Colombia | SEATECH

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SEATECH fined by the Ministry

of Social Protection

USTRIAL Press Release






Press Release


Colombia’s Ministry of Social Protection fines the companies SEATECH International and A Tiempo Servicios Ltda.


On Tuesday, May 17, by resolution no. 170, Colombia’s Ministry of Social Protection, acting in Cartagena, found the companies SEATECH INTERNACIONAL INC, and A TIEMPO SERVICOS LTDA. in breach of workday regulations. The companies were fined, respectively, with 15 days worth of minimum wages (8,034,000.00 Colombian pesos), and 20 days worth of minimum wages (10,712,000.00 Colombian pesos). The decision was made in response to a complaint filed by the Food Industry Workers’ Union (USTRIAL) on December 13, 2010, and the money collected will go to the National Learning Service (SENA).


In its resolution the Ministry declared that the companies had failed to produce “the authorization issued by the Ministry allowing them to require their workers to work overtime, copies of the files registering the number of hours of overtime worked, and a copy of files indicating entrance and exit hours for operators working at Seatech.”


USTRIAL filed a complaint with the Ministry in the month of December 2011, denouncing a situation that it is public knowledge in Cartagena, as workers are repeatedly forced to extend their workdays past 5:00 p.m., thus working impossibly long hours, with the ensuing increase in the number of workers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis and other occupational diseases or conditions that are irreversible.


Last week, the people of Cartagena and Colombians in general witnessed the peaceful mobilization of USTRIAL workers to the Ministry of Social Protection’s Cartagena offices, and this resolution is part of the commitments secured over a month ago.


The union is still awaiting resolutions in other complaints, which have to do with the failure to provide copies of work contracts; the illegal closing of Seatech on August 12, leading to the dismissal of all the workers affiliated to USTRIAL who suffered no work impediments; the company’s refusal to sit down with the union and negotiate the list of demands; and the violation of the workers’ freedom of association and right to unionize.


We call on all labor organizations and on the general public to continue supporting USTRIAL’s struggle to defend trade union and collective bargaining rights.















Cartagena, May 2011.




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                  23 de mayo de 2011






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