In the summer of 2006, the European Union was going to eliminate El Salvador's preferred trade status because of El Salvador's failure to approve certain conventions of the International Labor Organization. It was pressure from Grupo Calvo, a Spanish company which processes tuna in El Salvador, which got El Salvador to ratify the worker protection measures and avoid loss of those trade benefits.
Raul Guttierez of IPS now reports that Grupo Calvo is flouting labor laws in El Salvador by terminating employees involved in forming a union at the plant:
Gilberto García, vice president of the Centre for Labour Studies and Support (CEAL), said Calvo's campaign for better labour laws was motivated "more by commercial considerations than concern for working conditions." The Spanish company's actions belie its words, he told IPS.
"It's a scandal that Grupo Calvo should fail to fulfil the ILO conventions, after exerting pressure in favour of their ratification," García said. Nor does the government enforce labour laws, he complained.
"The workers were dismissed while they were protected by the immunity enjoyed by union leaders, and the company knows that. They acted knowing full well that they were breaking the law," the labour adviser said.(more)