16 August 2014 – The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, has agreed to support Colombian union SNTT and its leader José Ignacio Garzón in their fight with a subsidiary of German multi-national logistics company DHL.
DHL Express in Colombia is accused of targeting Mr Garzón by relocating him from his place of work, suspension, and discriminatory treatment, including denying him a salary increase, although the salary of other workers was raised.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said ITF affiliates from all unions representing DHL workers around the world are concerned by the company’s attitude and will begin solidarity action, including the signing of a joint letter by unions, to remind them of their responsibilities.
“The ITF condemns the irresponsible and persecutory attitude adopted by DHL against our brother José Ignacio Garzón, ” Mr Crumlin said.
“This type of attitude is a violation of the principles and commitments set forth in the United Nations Global Compact, of which DHL is a signatory.
“Harassment at work constitutes a violation of the principles of freedom of association contained in the ILO fundamental conventions, ratified by Colombia, and is a fundamental human right.
“DHL is a multinational company, with its head office in Germany, a country which has also ratified the ILO fundamental conventions, and it is for these reasons that we demand that these agreements be respected.”
SNTT general secretary Esteban Baroza Palencia said: “It is essential that all workers are treated with respect and that companies comply with labour law in every country, including the monitoring of international standards.
“We ask DHL and its subsidiary in Colombia, DHL Express, to stop the violations of the freedom of association and the fundamental right of joining a union, as well as any form of harassment at work.
“In the case of our brother José Ignacio Garzón, the company must cease its persecution and reinstate him to his original job and respect the principle of freedom of association and initiate a process of collective bargaining in good faith with SNTT, the union representing its workers.”
An ITF video on the dispute can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtJ86iFCHK4&feature=youtu.be
The 43rd ITF congress in Sofia brings together almost 2, 000 participants from 379 unions in 116 countries.
News about congress is available at www.itfcongress2014.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITFglobal and Twitter at https://twitter.com/itfglobalunion (hashtag is #ITFcongress2014).