Leaders of about twenty trade unions got together last Saturday to inform about the emergence of a Trade Union Coordinating Board to “cooperate actively in the process of reactivation of the Paraguayan Trade Union Movement”.


During the meeting, which was held on the premises of the Trade Union of Bank Workers of Paraguay (Fetraban), the leaders asserted their intention to act “in order to recover the fundamental principles of trade union struggle, such as solidarity in the struggle, proletarian democracy, independence, autonomy and classism” as Julio Lopez, leader of Trade Union of Workers of the Catholic University declared.


“The coordination emerges to stimulate the process from the grassroots up”, he added and explained that it is an instance where trade unions grouping workers from the state sector, private sector and independent workers meet and some of them are affiliated to different centrals while others are not.


“We do not pose to constitute ourselves as a new central; what we do pose is the need to work to recover the organic functioning of the organisations in order to recover from the grassroots up the unity of the trade union movement. Within this framework, we call all those who agree with this orientation to work together to reach this aim”, as asserted in the statement issued by the Trade Union Coordination.


The new organisation declares that, “The capitalist system and its neoliberal plans have deepened labour precariousness, caused unemployment to accrue and augmented the poverty of the workers.” It also says that both, in the private sectors as much as in the public parts, outsourcing grows and, together with it, the contracts that snatch away our historic rights for most of these contracts do not take into account timetables, thirteenth salaries, holidays or social security not to mention other debased rights.”


“Violations of Collective Contracts, ignoring the representation of trade unions, declaration of illegality of strike and persecutions of trade union activists are just some of the situations that we suffer day after day,” the document adds.


Aida Robles, chairwoman of the trade union of nurses of the Hospital of Clinics regarded the fact that over twenty trade unions of all the sectors should get together to carry out joint activities quite “suspicious,” she said, “We believe that we are living times when all conditions are given to overcome that atomisation and disorganisation of the Workers’ Movement. There is a exasperation and anger of the workers that we must convert into organisation, mobilisation and struggle,”


Within the framework of this process of reorganisation of the trade union movement, the Co-ordinating Board is promoting a National Encounter men and women workers by the end of August 2007. The Encounter is to discuss the situation of the workers and to define the orientation we are to follow in order to recover the strength of the movement and how to get organised in order to reach the goal,” explained Robles.


Finally, the trade union leaders issued a call to all the workers’ organisations “to join this necessary task, to work co-ordinately in an ample space that can include everybody and democratic to recover and to strengthen the historic principles of the trade union struggle.”


Organisations that promote the Trade Union Co-ordinating Board


Trade Union of the Hospital of Clinics

Federation of Bank Workers (Fetraban)

Trade Union of Workers of the Catholic University

Trade Union of Journalists of Paraguay (SPP)

National Trade Union of Commerce

Association of Craftsmen of Paraguay

Trade Union of Employees and workers of IPS (Seopis)

Trade Union of Workers of ANDE (Sitrande)

Trade Union of Workers of Neuro-psychiatric Hospital

Trade Union of Graphic Workers (SOG)

Trade Union of workers of the Cooperative San Cristobal

Inter-Trade Front of the Hospital of Clinics

Trade Union of workers of the Cooperative Fernando de la Mora

Trade Union of the Officials of INERAN (Juan Max Boettner)

Trade Union of clerks and workers of the Lambare Town Hall

Trade Union of workers of Wackenhut

Trade Union of workers of Petrobras Gas

Trade Union of Paraguayan Pottery

Maritime Workers League of Paraguay (LOMP)

Trade Union of Independent Workers of the Ciudad del Este

Trade Union of the Officials of the School of Law of the University UNA

Federation of Officials of the National University.


Coordinating committee

Rita Alvarez – Craftsmen (0981 890 314)

Julio Lopez – Workers UC (0981 757 720)

Ada Estigarribia – Nurses Clinics (0981 965 919)

Coco Arce – Journalists (0981 421 244 – 021 426 035)