An international delegation of trade unionists visiting Ecuador to protest the unjust sacking of cabin crew member Jimena Lopez has won assurances of government backing for their call for justice.
Jimena Lopez is the general secretary and founder of the SITA (Sindicato de Trabajadores de Aerolane) union. She was sacked by LAN Ecuador – part of the LATAM holdings group, the largest airline in Latin America – following a successful recruitment drive for the union. The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has sent an eight strong international union delegation to Ecuador to support her case – see www.itfglobal.org/en/news-events/press-releases/2015/march/international-union-mission-arrives-in-ecuador-to-protest-airline-sacking
ITF women transport workers’ coordinator Alison McGarry is one of the delegation. She reported: “Yesterday we met with vice minister of labour Manolo Rodas, who stated ‘we struggle together in this case’. This is extremely significant; that kind of ministry support in an unfair dismissal case is unparalleled.”
She continued: “From there we went on to meet with presidential secretary Omar Simón. We explained the urgency of Jimena’s case and he set up a meeting with the president’s legal advisor straight away. On the way to his office we met vice president Jorge Glass. The subsequent meeting with the legal advisor was very valuable, and explored several constitutional routes open to us to pursue justice for Jimena.”
She concluded: “The access and goodwill offered by these government representatives has been fantastic. We are deeply grateful – and heartened by such high level support for justice for Jimena.”
The ITF made Jimena Lopez the centrepiece of its union mobilisation around International Women’s Day on 8 March: see www.8March2015.org. It has also initiated a LabourStart campaign to allow people to show their support – see www.labourstart.org/go/jimena