CGTP protests against labour liberalisation policies

19 January 2019

The Confederación General de Trabajo del Perú (CGTP), Peru’s largest and oldest labour confederation, organised protest marches in Lima and other regional centres last week in protest at the government’s plans to legislate changes ostensibly designed to raise Peru’s competitiveness.

So-called ‘flexibilisation’ of labour contracts has long been a demand of business organisations in Peru. Such calls have also been voiced by multilateral financial organisations which tend to have close ties to business interests. Businesses argue that Peru’s labour code, as it stands, is the prime cause of Peru’s relative lack of international competitiveness. Dismantling labour protection and reducing labour costs, they say, would help generate more and better employment in Peru’s massive informal sector.

The unions, for their part, argue that this is just another way of undercutting the labour conquests made over the last 50 years or so. They have repeatedly called on governments to respect and protect labour stability. Previous policies designed to create more liberal rules among specific sectors of the workforce have had to be abandoned because of the opposition they encountered. The so-called ‘Ley Pulpín’, supposedly designed to promote youth employment through deregulation, had to be aborted in 2015.

The CGTP is angry that it has been left out of negotiations held with other smaller confederations. These include the Confederación de Trabajadores del Perú (CTP), the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) and the Central Autónoma de Trabajadores del Perú (CATB). Changes to labour legislation are supposed to be negotiated in the tripartite Consejo Nacional de Trabajo (CNT).

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