Salomón Batres, General
Assistant Director of Labor
We're confident the conflict will have a positive outcome
The Ministry of Labor is
facilitating talks between STIBYS
and Cervecería Hondureña
As negotiations between the Union of
Beverage and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS) and the company Cervecería
Hondureña (SAB-Miller) continue, the Ministry of Labor has appointed Salomón
Batres, General Assistant Director of Labor, to join the talks as facilitator to
help the parties reach an understanding. Negotiations have moved slowly due to
the company’s reluctant attitude, and were delayed even further by the
suspension of the meeting scheduled for Monday 16.
On February 17,
STIBYS’ Bargaining Committee met again with Cervecería
Hondureña (SABMiller) to examine a number of items on the bargaining
agenda. Representatives of STIBYS, however, report that the company
insists on changing what was agreed on during last week’s meetings, in an
attitude that seems more focused on wasting time until the first stage of
“direct talks” is exhausted, than on finding a real solution to the conflict.
To learn how
the labor authorities see this situation, Sirel spoke with Salomón
Batres, in his second day as delegate of Labor Minister Mayra Mejía
in the negotiations at San Pedro Sula.
-What role has
the Ministry of Labor played in this conflict until now?
-We’ve tried to
perform what is our main duty as labor authority, which is to provide the right
means, in terms of the Ministry’s specialized personnel, to try to bring the
parties together. The Vice Minister of Labor, Roberto Cardona, and
the General Assistant Inspector of Labor, Donaldo Martínez, have been
involved, and now I’m here to collaborate as necessary to settle the conflict in
-What were your
first impressions of the way negotiations are going?
-We began today
at 8:30 AM, and it looks a bit complicated, but nothing is impossible in this
life. The willingness and attitude of the two parties will be key in reaching an
agreement. I’ve let them know that I’ve come here willing to make any effort and
sacrifice that is necessary to achieve a peaceful solution to this conflict.
members of STIBYS claim that the company has breached numerous clauses of the
Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in January 2008. What is your opinion on
came to the company to determine whether the reports filed by the Union were
true, but they were unable to do so because the protest was already underway and
the place of work had been occupied. They were only able to take statements from
both sides. But there had been earlier reports filed with the General Labor
Inspection, and the inspectors who came to the company in response to those
reports did find that there were indeed violations, and the company was fined
for Work Contract violations.
Ministry of Labor have a specific interest in this case?
of Labor is the governing institution in the public administration of labor
matters and it has the obligation of bringing together the sides in conflict,
that is, the two agents of production: capital and labor. So it’s our duty, and
we’re here with the aim of helping the parties reach an understanding. I think
the first step has been accomplished. It’s a very complex situation, but the two
parties are clearly showing that they are willing to come to an agreement. I’m