Two years after the trade union was set up, following several strikes and a trial against the Goverment, the Minister of Labour has finally signed the inscription act for the trade union. From now on, he representation of IT workers is definitive.
Until recently, no serious prequel of trade unions for the IT industry could be found in Argentina. In fact, this is a global trend and IT trade unions are being setting set up abroad simultaneously. Unión Informática was formed back in 2011 in reply to a worsening situation in the industry: multinational IT companies such as IBM, HP, Avaya, SAP and Oracle amongst many others kept enjoying enormous and growing profits while salaries were frozen and inflation rates rose year after year. Besides, the attitude adopted by the managerial staff towards employees was one of mistreat and persecution of any attempt by organizations to claim for salary rises and better labour conditions.
The local legislation about trade unions determines that inscription acts must be signed by the Labour Minister within 90 days from the moment that all requirements are fulfiled. All the necessary forms were filled in by March 11th 2011, but the Minister gave no answer. At almost the end of the year, Unión Informática took the case to court in order to put pressure on the Minister, Carlos Tomada, to comply with the Law.
The verdict obliged the Minister to sign the inscription act, but in two different appeals he tried to reverse it. Also, the last instance of appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of Justice. The judges dismissed the appeal as well.
During the legal process, all the union activies in favour of the IT workers continued, including three historical strikes against IBM, the biggest IT company in Argentina. New dependencies are being set up across the country and more people are joining the union. Unión Informática has gained great legitimacy since the ones who started it are still IBM employees, and not traditional unionists.
2013 has been a conflictive year with struggles with several companies but mainly with the Labour Ministry for the non-compliance. Beyond the reasons given by the Minister to justify such attitude, it’s obvious that there’s been corporate lobby and pressure over the Government not to allow unions in the tech industry. But attempts failed: on October 28th the Minister couldn’t avoid the act signature any longer and Unión Informática became a recognized trade union for the IT industry.
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