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Salvadorian women concern on FTA

Prensa Latina, Cuba

Salvadorian Women Concern on FTA

10 February 2006

San Salvador, Feb 10 (Prensa Latina) Workers of the Salvadorian maquilas Friday expressed their concern on the prompt implementation of the Free Trade Area (FTA) with the US.

Female workers said they could be left unemployed and become more vulnerable to permanent outrages and abuses.

According to statistics revealed in the forum to analyze perspectives of Salvadorian maquilas, at least 11,500 women were fired without any right to legal compensations during 2005.

Yanett Urquilla, director of the Agreement for a Decent Job at Salvadorian maquilas, described the FTA as a threat for workers’ rights as they may be even more violated.

In this sector, owners usually suspend activities without taking into account employees’ payments, Urquilla stated.

In May, 75 women operators were fired from the maquila "Hermosa Manufactory" and despite their repeated demands issued to different instances so far, they have not received any response.

Attorney General’s Office National Coordinator for Workers’ Rights German Munoz attributes the permanent outrages to the inexistent laws in support of workers and to the passiveness hampering they may denounce the violations for fear to possible reprisals.

The Salvadorian activist criticized the Code of Work, discriminating workers instead of protecting them and the policy to rotate employees so that they can not personally address their demands against any specific owner in case they commit violations.