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SIDOR and Sutiss agreement ends "go-slow"

Bnamericas Published: Monday, November 10, 2003
Venezuelan steelmaker Sidor and the steel workers' union Sutiss have agreed to maintain collective agreements as a mechanism to guarantee industrial relations harmony, Sidor said in a statement. The company said that the agreement involves using legal arbitration to tease out differences in respect to Clause 3 of the Collective Agreement, which relates to performance evaluation. The agreement ended a month-long industrial action by Sutiss. The accord also requires that prebonuses for 2004 are included in the current collective agreement and includes an increase of US$1/d in extra contractual pay. In addition, the two sides negotiated the creation of a high-level commission to evaluate health and safety conditions at the steelmaker. The agreement was reached after the labor inspectorate said it had no authority to rule on the implementation of the Collective Agreement, as Sidor had been pressing for. The ruling of the inspectorate, part of the Labor Ministry, came after a month of stoppages and "go-slows" at Sidor's plant, resulting in considerable losses. Puerto Ordaz-based Sidor is 60% owned by the Amazonia consortium, made up of Mexico's Hylsamex of the Alfa group and Tamsa of the Techint group; Argentina's Siderar, also of the Techint group; Usiminas of Brazil and Venezuela's Sivensa. The group bought what was originally a 70% stake in the company from the state for US$2.3bn in the late 1990s. The Venezuelan state has the remaining 40%.

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