IOE Deputy Secretary-General visits El Salvador in light of serious discrimination against ANEP
Category: news, Americas
IOE Deputy Secretary-General, Roberto Suárez Santos visited San Salvador on 9 May 2017 to lend the support of the international employers community to the national employers' organisation, ANEP in light of serious discriminatory practices implemented by the Salvadoran Government.
For more than 4 years, ANEP has been exposed to increasing government interference. The Government has, for example:
- assigned in a discretionary manner private sector representatives within the existing bipartite committees dealing with specific work-related topics (minimum wages, social protection schemes, training funds, among others)
- suspended the functioning of the tripartite social dialogue committee (Consejo Superior de Trabajo), unilaterally imposing high increases of minimum wages, beyond what the parties had already agreed
- questioning Supreme Court Decisions which recognises ANEP’s and independent trade unions’ prerogatives to nominate their own representatives
- the contempt towards the ILO CAS request to accept a direct contact mission
These actions have led the Committee of Experts of the ILO (CEACR) to consider it a serious case of failure to comply with ILO Conventions and to select this case, as one of their suggestions (out of five) to be discussed this year, for the second time, before the CAS in the ILO during the upcoming 106th Session of the International Labour Conference.
The ILO's Committee on the Freedom of Association (CFA) had also expressed its concern on this issue. But the seriousness of the case also comes from the fact that the Government is indirectly stimulating violent protests against ANEP in front of their facilities and threatening the physical integrity of business leaders and staff. The Government has also called on the population to engage in demonstrations in front of the Supreme Court facilities (which have turned violent), in light of past decisions the body has taken that are viewed as favourable towards the private sector.
Within this context, the presence of Mr Suárez Santos was highly appreciated, as he expressed concern regarding the situation in El Salvador. His views on the lack of respect towards Freedom of Association and his constructive call for a change of attitude from the Government were shared during a one-to-one interview during a reputed local TV programme and in other interviews with the local press. A confidential exchange with employers' representatives from different sectors served also to identify areas of future action, with the support of the IOE.
Read the press coverage in La Prensa Grafica (Spanish only)
Read the press coverage in the Salvadoran press (Spanish only)
View the headline covering IOE Deputy Secretary-General's visit to El Salvador (Spanish only)
For more information, please contact María Paz Anzorreguy, Senior Adviser for Latin America