The Cerrejon coal mine in the province of La Guajira, Colombia, is owned by London-listed multinationals Anglo American, BHP and Glencore. It has a history of conflict with local farming and indigenous communities. It also has a history of disputes with its workers. The latest concerns apparent refusal to rehire contract workers from the municipality of Albania, in which much of the mining concession is situated. The following is a press release from mine workers’ union SINTRACARBÓN.

Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria del Carbón, SINTRACARBÓN

Press release – 6 July 2020

The Cerrejon coal mine

Sintracarbón has written to Cerrejón’s director of labour relations, Gustavo Solano, requesting a formal meeting to seek a solution to what seems to be an employment block affecting comrades who previously worked at Cerrejón and who today cannot find a job or are fired before completing their probationary period in Cerrejón’s contractor companies. The apparent cause is a disciplinary process in which they were involved but which did not call for anyone’s dismissal.

Faced with the situation, the comrades have already held public demonstrations, saying Cerrejón is not a good neighbour (#CerrejónNoEsUnBuenVecino), since the workers live in the municipality of Albania, which contains most of the Cerrejón mine.

For Sintracarbón, it is absurd that the company is denying these comrades the right to work in its facilities when its main operations are in this locality. It is a violation of the right to work, because the company is the largest contractor in the region.

We call on the media, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Mines and Energy, to help bring an end to this apparent persecution and re-establish the right to work and, therefore, to livelihood, for almost two dozen families in the municipality of Albania.

Igor Kareld Díaz López
JDN President