On-line petition against union-busting in El Salvador
Source Aram Falsafi
Date 99/05/01/02:02

/* Written 6:46 PM Jan 23, 1998 by in igc:labr.all */
/* ---------- "Online petition against union-busti" ---------- */
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 10:22:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Aram Falsafi
Subject: On-line petition against union-busting in El Salvador

The following action alert was sent by CISPES, The Committee in Solidarity
with the People of El Salvador. It is about firing of union leaders at
the El Salvador telephone company, in preparation for its sell-off.

We at TecsChange have set up an on-line petition for sending protest
letters. It is at: (click on "on-line petition")

If you fill out your name and address in the form, we will send an email
to the president of El Salvador on your behalf (with copies to you).
Copies will also go to the state department and the project manager at
the InterAmerican Development Bank for the "modernization" [i.e.,
privatization] of the Salvadoran telephone company.

You will also see a copy of the message being sent in your name.

The workers of El Salvador thank you for your support.

Aram Falsafi
for TecsChange




Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

National Office:
P.O. Box 1801, New York, NY 10159
212-229-1290 3

Regional Offices:
New York, NY 212-229-1290
Minneapolis, MN 612-872-0944
San Francisco, CA 415-648-6520

January 6, 1998


On Friday, January 2, CTE, the Salvadoran Telecommunications Company
(formerly ANTEL), fired 72 leaders of the four ANTEL unions, including
Wilfredo Berrios, ASTTEL Secretary General, and Wilmer Erroa Argueta,
ASTTEL Secretary of International Relations. Many of you met Wilmer in the
fall of 1996, during a CISPES-sponsored national tour.

The firings were announced just after the union leaders began to solicit
recognition of a single industry-wide union in the area of
telecommunications, ATANTEL. Union leaders charge that the Government of El
Salvador and the management of the privatized ANTEL want to destroy the
unions before turning the company over to a strategic partner, (i.e. a
global telecom giant), who will bid for and win the right to buy 51% of the
company. The entire process of privatization is slated for completion in
the first half of this year.

CTE claims that the 72 employees were fired because of their poor
performance historically and for carrying out union activities instead of
their jobs. Juan Jose Daboub, the company's president, justified the
firings on the grounds that the employees' union activism might discourage
potential investors, while CTE's General Manager, Carlos Medina, stated,
"These people threatened the process of privatization."

Most recently the unions have protested the closing of the ANTEL Hospital
and transfer of services to the Social Security Institute hospitals. (None
of the ANTEL Hospital workers are being recontracted and chronic patients
that have been receiving care as family members of ANTEL employees are no
longer going to be eligible for continued care.)

The fired leaders and their unions have denounced the company's actions as
violating their constitutional right to organize; the privatization of
ANTEL law, which stipulates 18 months of job stability; as well as the
labor contract that CTE signed with its employees on Dec. 29, 1997.

The company claims that it is complying with the privatization law by
giving the fired workers extra monetary compensation for the 18 months of
labor stability promised. The workers are refusing this compensation,
insisting that they be reinstated. They are considering organizing protests
and undertaking legal procedures to challenge the constitutionality of the
firings. Article 47 of the Constitution allows for free association, the
right to defend one's interests and unionize. It also prohibits the firings
of union leaders for one year after they are no longer in their respective

For over 2 years workers warned that the privatization of ANTEL would
dramatically undermine workers' rights and ability to organize. The fired
union leaders and their unions are calling for solidarity to denounce this
violation of their rights and insist upon the workers' reinstatement!


* Call and fax Dr. Armando Calderon Sol, President of the Republic of El
Salvador. (See letter below.) Tel: 011 503 271 1555; Fax: 011 503 281
Fax copies of messages to Dr. Juan Jose Daboub, President of CTE, Fax:
011 503 281 0017, and to Lic. Carlos Medina Novelino, Fax: 011 503 221
DEMAND that the 72 union activists be reinstated at CTE in accordance
with the contract signed between the workers and CTE on Dec. 29, the
Law for the Privatization of ANTEL and article 47 of the Constitution
of El Salvador.

* Contact your congressional representative and the US State Department
El Salvador desk and urge them to send the above message.
Congressional switchboard toll free: 1-800-972-3524. Ask for your rep.
by name! US State Department El Salvador desk: 202-647-3505

* Contact labor unions, especially 1996 Tour relations, and urge them to
take action to demand the reinstatement of the fired workers.

Please send copies of all messages to ASTTEL!
Fax: 011 503 270 8056 or


This on-line petition is brought to you with the help of volunteer web
developers at The Boston Committee on the Middle East. Please visit their
web page at

They also have on-line petitions demanding an end to unconditional U.S.
support for Israel.

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