By José Rigane
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 will be marked as the date on which, after 18 years of struggle and claims, the Federation of Energy Workers of Argentina (FeTERA), obtained its trade union status.
On that day, Chamber V of the National Chamber of Labor Appeals announced its ruling in which it decided to reject the appeals filed by the FATLyF and the Ministry of Labor of the Nation against the ruling of June 2017 in which, that same court, had granted Trade Union Status to the FeTERA.
Trade Unions in Argentina have the constitutional right to be recognized by the State and to fully exercise the benefits of union freedom and democracy. For that, it is the Ministry of Labor of the Nation that must grant them legal status.
For 18 years, the FeTERA, having carried out all the corresponding procedures, was denied this fundamental right. It even appealed to the International Labor Organization (ILO), who issued resolutions in favor of this claim. However, throughout this period, the different authorities of the Ministry of Labor of the Nation, denied this right to the energy workers.
With this delay, the FeTERA went to court to resolve the situation. In that sense, the Chamber V of the National Chamber of Labor Appeals on June 27, 2017 ruled that “there is no justification for the delay incurred by the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security to issue the order regarding the request carried out by the union, which is why it corresponds to order the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security of the Nation to grant trade union status to the Federation of Energy Workers of the Argentine Republic “.
Both the FATLyF and the Ministry of Labor appeal this ruling by presenting an extraordinary appeal. Now, the same Chamber confirms its ruling and resolves “to deny the extraordinary appeals filed by the defendant National State – Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security and by the Federación Argentina de Trabajadores de Luz y Fuerza”. This way, the initial ruling becomes final, which obliges the Ministry to grant the Trade Union Status to FeTERA.
From our Federation we celebrate this resolution, which is nothing more than a reaffirmation of our historic claim in defense of union freedom and democracy. In the same way, we denounce that both the Ministry of Labor and the FATLyF oppose this right so that the legal status won’t be recognized to a union that defends the interests of the workers, without agreeing neither with the union bureaucracy nor with a neoliberal government.
We demand that without further delay the enforcement authority abide by the ruling of the National Chamber of Labor and grant us, the energy workers, immediately, the number of Trade Union legal status.