The Committee of Experts on the Application of Standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO), has once again urged the Argentine government to grant union status to FeTERA, the Federation of Energy Workers of the Argentine Republic, as it has been stated on its 2019 report and before in 2017.
FeTERA first submitted its application for its union status 18 years ago and the administrative procedure has not been resolved yet. The ILO has now insisted once more and has urged the government to grant the required legal union status for our Federation.
In the “Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations” of the publication “Application of International Labor Standards, 2019”, the ILO analyzes the state of affairs of “freedom of association and unionization” in Argentina.
“The Committee recalls that, in its previous comments, it requested the Government to take the necessary measures to avoid unjustified delays in the procedures to register a trade union or obtain trade union status. The Committee notes that the ITUC, CTA Workers and CTA Autonomous once again allege persistent delays and refusals by the administrative authorities to register trade unions and to grant trade union status,” reads the report.
Specifically, on page 54 of the report, the ILO points out that “trade union status still has not been granted to the Federation of Energy Workers of the Argentine Republic (FeTERA) or CTA Workers, the initial requests for which were submitted 18 and 14 years ago, respectively).”
“The Committee also notes the Government’s indication that these issues could also be addressed by the proposed tripartite committees. Recalling that similar allegations of undue delays have been the subject of several cases before the Committee on Freedom of Association, which referred the legislative aspects of this issue to the Committee of Experts, the Committee is once again bound to urge the Government to take all the necessary measures, including those that may arise out of the above tripartite discussions, to avoid unjustified delays or refusals in the procedures for the registration of trade unions or the granting of trade union status, and to report on any progress made in this respect,” underlines the report.
For this reason, we affirm once again that the Argentine government, by reccomendation of the ILO and instruction of the Argentine justice system, has no other alternative and must grant FeTERA trade union status.
A historical claim
On 2017, the National Labor Court ordered the former Ministry of Labor to comply with what was indicated by the ILO. Specifically, the Chamber V of the National Chamber of Labor Appeals by majority granted trade union status to FeTERA (ruling 80,331), who had requested it in the year 2000.
“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,” the ruling reads.
In April 2018, Chamber V of the National Chamber of Labor Appeals rejected the appeals filed by the Ministry of Labor and the Federación Argentina de Trabajadores de Luz y Fuerza (FATLyF) against the decision taken by that same court which ordered to grant trade union status to FeTERA.
For more than 18 years this fundamental right has been denied to our Federation having taken all the necessary steps. During this time, FeTERA has appealed to the Argentine justice system and to the ILO, who has issued several statements in favour of this claim. Despite all this, the Ministry of Labor has denied energy workers from this right.
Now, the ILO again urges the Argentine government to grant us trade union status. The national government no longer has excuses or has any other alternative: it must grant us trade union status.
We demand that, without further delay, the enforcement authority abide by the ruling of the National Chamber of Labor and ILO resolutions and grant us immediately our trade union status number.
From FeTERA we continue fighting for freedom and trade union democracy
José Rigane, General Secretary of FeTERA.
Julio Acosta, Deputy Secretary of FeTERA.