Government of Peru tries to silence union leader

December 02, 2014
Luis Isarra - FENTAP General Secretary
PSI is urgently calling for letters of protest to be sent to the Peruvian Minister of Labour in support of Luis Isarra (FENTAP General Secretary) whose permanent union leave has been abrogated by the Peruvian Government. This takes place just before COP20 when Luis Isarra is responsible for coordinating Peru's labour movement mobilisation for the summit.

PSI calls on all its affiliates to join the LabourStart Campaign and send a letter of protest to the Peruvian Minister of Labour to ensure that Luis Isarra’s union leave is NOT revoked.

It seems that the government of Peru wants to muzzle the leadership of PSI’s water workers’ union, Luis Isarra, FENTAP General Secretary.  A permanent leave provision agreed between his union and his employer was unilaterally abrogated by the government.  We can only assume that this drastic measure is politically motivated.

FENTAP has been increasingly active in opposing the water and sanitation privatisation policies of both the current and previous governments.  The union is building and helping to sustain major national mobilisations on the right to water.  These mobilisations include many groups, not just trade unions.  They also focus on the lucrative mining industry which is polluting water sources for both farmers and city-dwellers. 

We consider that this pressure was devised to put an end to the anti-privatisation and anti-mining mobilisations, which are proving highly embarassing to the government.  However, it is probable that Luis has also been targeted for his recent activities in media and communications in the General Confederation of Workers of Peru – CGTP.  

PSI affiliates in Peru, led by the CGTP in coordination with CITE, CTE, UNASE, SUTEP, FENDUP and the Medical Federation, have been regularly requesting adjustments to the economic and state reforms carried out by the government. They demand that the government sets up appropriate mechanisms to eradicate corruption and amends the Civil Service Act (30057) in order to ensure decent work, fair wages and pensions, and respect for freedom of association for public service workers, among a range of measures.

We can only wonder at the timing of this intimidation, given that Luis has also been responsible for coordinating Peru’s labour movement mobilisation for the climate summit, COP20 which will take place in Lima on 10th December. (http://www.cop20lima.org)

This is a direct attack on union rights and on democracy in Peru.

PSI calls on all its affiliates and the international community to join the LabourStart Campaign and send a letter of protest to the Peruvian Minister of Labour to ensure that Luis Isarra’s union leave is NOT revoked. (You may also download the model and send your own letter)


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