Organising in LATAM
The merger in 2012 of the Chilean flag carrier, LAN, with Brazilian airline TAM created LATAM. This giant company routinely ignores workers’ rights and avoids recognising trade unions and their collective agreements.
Employees are experiencing worsening conditions, falling salaries and unfair dismissals.
- Develop organising strategies and a regional network for trade unions in LAN and TAM airlines
- Strengthen aviation unions in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru
- Encourage networking and organising in Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay
For more details, watch our video about the ITF LATAM network
- ITF LATAM network film English
- ITF red de LATAM Español
- ITF LATAM network film Spanish with English subtitles
Strengthening trade unions in Colombia
Colombia is a dangerous place for trade unions; members face death threats and a genuine risk of assassination. Only four percent of the workforce is unionised and 75 percent are in casual work.
We want to see SNTT (which represents transport workers in Colombia) become a sustainable and growing union federation. The project provides training and education to improve collective bargaining, leadership and organising skills. Through this, we encourage the formation of young workers’ and women workers’ committees.
Solidarity support organisation: FNV Mondiaal
Strengthening rail unions
Privatisation and restructuring have lead to a decline in rail workers’ unions. We now need to increase membership in Latin America because:
- rail workers are threatened by outsourcing and informal work
- new unions for metro systems need help to grow
- older unions need help to flourish
- workers in multinational companies need to develop networks to combat anti-union tactics
- working conditions, health and safety and job security are often substandard
Many workers are also still striving for equality. In some countries, for example, women aren’t allowed to drive trains.
Our priorities are to:
- map union density in rail unions in each country
- increase union membership and participation
- build union leadership with the capacity to organise, negotiate and bargain collectively
- develop a regional network to share information
- provide spaces for social dialogue and collective bargaining between unions and employers
Solidarity support organisations: LO-TCO
Strengthening road unions
We want to increase trade union membership and participation for road workers in Latin America because:
- local road transport unions are small and weak
- demand for a ‘flexible workforce’ has driven down wages and working conditions
- privatisation has lead to anti-union tactics
We also want to:
- merge small unions together to give them a louder voice
- get more women, young people and informal workers organised and campaigning
- develop a road transport union network to share knowledge and ideas and unite to take action and run campaigns
Solidarity support organisation: SASK
Strengthening unions in Central America
In the transport sector in Central America, there are many informal workers and those on temporary contracts. Following the privatisation of state companies, unions need to evolve to be able to organise all workers – public and private sector workers, permanent and informal workers.
As well as increasing membership and participation across unions, this ITF education project needs to:
- bring more women into trade union structures
- get more collective agreements signed, across the region, with national and multinational companies
- strengthen co-operation and solidarity between trade unions in Central America
Solidarity support organisation: 3F
Browse through our education resources for inspiration and practical tools to help you organise.