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Mar 25

Organising and Training Workers in a High-Risk Context: ODL Guatemala

From ODL, Guatemala

Labour Rights Observatory – ODL Guatemala – is an initiative of a coalition of trade unions in Guatemala, CGTG, and UNSITRAGUA HISTORICA, supported by National Confederation of Christian Trade Unions of the Netherlands – CNV International’s programme since 2018.

The objective of the ODL is to monitor and systematize relevant information on the labour situation with the purpose of providing technical assistance to union leaders and organizations. It is also intended to share relevant information that can help the efforts of unionized workers and workers in general to promote fair and equitable labour relations.

Another key strategy of the ODL is providing workers’ education and updating of information for trade unionists and labour rights defenders, combining virtual and face-to-face methodologies.

In 2012 the union movement presented a formal complaint to ILO regarding the non-observance by Guatemala of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise. The history of the union movement in the country is full of a high number of disappearances and the assassination of trade unionists. The trade union density rate in Guatemala is very low, about 2.6%[1]and there are many attacks on unionists who try to establish collective bargaining initiatives. Therefore, educating workers on labour rights is of the utmost importance.

Video education

ODL shares IFWEA´s values, we also strengthen democratic values and try to create participatory and interactive online education methods for workers to be empowered in defending their labour and human rights. Therefore, we would like to share with IFWEA´s community the most recent effort to educate on labour rights through a campaign consisting of seven short videos on different topics that we have found are the most threatened, especially during the pandemic.

This labour rights campaign is necessary because many workers in Guatemala do not have access to this information, so it is important to educate, interact and get the message across to different areas. One of the objectives is to raise awareness about the importance of respecting the labour rights that have been guaranteed, not only in the national legal framework, but also internationally.

The videos were done using animations to create two main characters (Don Pepe Derecho and Doña Franca Verdad). This technique is an eye-catching, creative and friendly resource that facilitates the delivery of the message we want to give. We are using different social media platforms to spread the learning as much as possible.

 Labour rights animations

Don Pepe Derechois a trade unionist with great experience and committed to the struggle of workers. He knows a lot about labour rights and is a friendly person who draws attention. Doña Franca Verdadis a woman representative of many workers who want to learn about labour rights and who also has strong convictions in relation to what seems fair or unfair to her.

In this campaign, we focus on the ILO fundamental Conventions, since all of the countries in the region have ratified them.  Among these are: C.87 – Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948; C.98 – Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949.

We will continue sharing and distributing these resources as widely as possible. And we would like your support to spread the campaign.

Watch Don Pepe Derecho videos (in Spanish):

 Don Pepe Tells You About Rights

Freedom of Association

Labour Abuses in the Pandemic

Access to Social Security

Workers in the Informal Economy

Click here to find out more: www.observatoriodl.org

[1]https://ilostat.ilo.org/data/country-profiles/

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