Labour law reforms to protect workers during decarbonasition processes
Colombia could become one of the first countries to propose a labour reform in favour of a just transition, protecting workers' rights during the closure of the mines. On 16 March, the Colombian government submitted the proposed labour reform to Congress. The “Work for Change Bill” includes a tripartite roundtable involving trade union confederations, mine workers unions and the government.
The Workers’ Collective for a Just Transition welcomes the dialogue with workers, as reflected in the National Labour Code, as a big step towards a just transition in coal in the country. “We trust that the proposed labour reform will lead to an enforceable and applicable standard for a just energy transition.”
The document guarantees the formalisation of labour, especially open-ended contracts and the protection and promotion of the right to trade union association. It takes into account the proposals of the Workers' Collective for a Just Transition, which focus on social dialogue and freedom of association, social protection, economic diversification and labour market conversion. Throughout last years the Collective has been engaging in a dialogue on just transition with the government underlining the importance of these four pillars.
The protection of workers during the decarbonisation processes
Article 33 of the labour code stipulates the protection of workers during the decarbonisation processes addresses work reconversion and the relocation of workers by the company. To ensure dialogue and consultation with workers, the Labour Reform takes up the Collective's proposal on consultation with trade unions for the joint development of a closure plan to protect workers in case of mine closures. In the closure plan, social protection and economic diversification play a key role, as well as the financing of a fund to guarantee not only the social allowances to ex-workers but also to enable reconversion.
Prodeco Glencore returning mining titles
The proposals of the Workers' Collective had been previously discussed with the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Mines and Energy as a response to the cessation of mining operations in the context of the relinquishment of mining titles by the Prodeco-Glencore Group. Eventually, the closure of mines caused by the global energy transition will lead to the decarbonisation of the Colombia’s economy.
Publication date 02 05 2023