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Letter from the IUF's Latin American Executive Committee to the President of Peru




Regional Latinoamericana
Unión Internacional de Trabajadores de la Alimentación,
Agrícolas, Hoteles, Restaurantes, Tabaco y Afines (Rel-UITA)



Argentino Geneiro

Neuza Barbosa

Carolina Llanos

Héctor Ponce

Silvia Villaverde

Alberto Broch

Siderlei de Oliveira

Luis A. Pedraza

Guillermo Rivera

Edwin Ranchos

Gerardo Iglesias
Secretario Regional

Lima, May 21, 2009

To the President of the Republic of Peru
Alan García Pérez
Palacio de Gobierno

Subject: AmBev Sullana Strike

Dear Sir,

On April 20, the Sole Union of Beer Industry Workers of AmBev Peru SAC (SUTAMBEV) called a strike: the last resort legally available to these workers in their efforts to obtain an answer to their just demands.

Only a few days earlier, Peru’s Supreme Court of Justice had sentenced former president Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison. Fujimori was charged with “authorizing, commanding and controlling” the Military Intelligence Service (SIE) death squad better known as the Colina Group.

Dictator Fujimori will some day also be held accountable for the implementation of extremely anti-union and anti-worker policies. The impact of his neoliberal ideology on the world of labor translated into a chronic pauperization of the working class and an indiscriminate proliferation of precarious work contracts, dragging workers into almost feudal working conditions. The onslaught against state companies and their ensuing privatization entailed huge layoffs and, above all, the arbitrary dismissal of thousands of trade union leaders.

But Fujimori did not just leave it at that, and went so far as to stigmatize the labor movement, its political activities and every form of struggle that presented demands and advocated for the defense of labor rights and the interests of workers, calling such activities “terrorism” and such activists “terrorists.”

This scenario, which was marked by a ruthless persecution of the entire labor movement, and the curtailment of the basic rights and liberties established in the 1979 Constitution had devastating consequences for trade unions and collective bargaining.  According to the Labor Program for Development (PLADES), the reduction in the number of active trade unions accompanied the 76 percent drop in the number of Collective Bargaining Agreements in the country.

Mr. President, we know full well that your government inherited an authoritarian labor legislation tailored so that the “exclusionary, predatory and dehumanizing” neoliberal economic model could display “its full splendor” in what was a tragic and cruel decade. We are also aware that our affiliate, the Sole Union of Beer Industry Workers of AmBev Peru SAC, is being held hostage by this situation and the attitude of a transnational corporation that ranks first in beer production worldwide, a company that as it expands its control over the global market, becomes increasingly more insensitive and intransigent towards organized workers.

An IUF Mission is currently in Peru, with a visit to Sullana scheduled for Friday, May 22, where we plan to express our broadest solidarity with these workers and their families, who have been on strike for over a month now.

There, we will also express our conviction that with your firm and urgent intervention, Mr. President, you will be able to put an end to this absurd conflict that is a source of great concern and outrage to our 374 affiliated organizations from 120 countries.

Yours sincerely,


Gerardo Iglesias  

IUF Regional Secretary


Siderlei de Oliveira
IUF Latin American Executive Committee
President, CONTAC | Brazil



Luis Alejandro Pedraza
Latin American Executive Committee
President, UNAC
| Colombia




Wilson Ferreira Aldunate 1229 Ofic. 201, Montevideo, Uruguay

Tel: (5982) 9007473 - 9021048 / Fax: 9030905  -


               22 de mayo de 2009





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  UITA - Secretaría Regional Latinoamericana - Montevideo - Uruguay

Wilson Ferreira Aldunate 1229 / 201 - Tel. (598 2) 900 7473 -  902 1048 -  Fax 903 0905