THE NATIONAL Union of Mineworkers has pledged its support for workers in El Salvador who are fighting to gain recognition for free trade unions in the country.
A delegation of union members from the Committee of Syndical Unity. (CUS) — the representative committee of Salvadorean trade unions — visited England last week as part of the worldwide campaign for their cause.
Mr Joe Gormley, leader of the NUM. promised that if the CUS sent him a list of everything they needed his union would give them whatever help it could. He also promised to put pressure on the Canadian miners' union when he visits Canada in August.
The two Salvadorean delegates visiting Britain, Alfonso and Ramon Martinez, described their meeting with Mr Gormley as the most positive they had yet encountered. The TUC have asked the international Labour Organisation to send a committee to El Salvador to investigate the suppression of trade unions.
Anti-worker decrees in Salvador include a ban on the right to strike by civil servants, the dissolution of the electrical energy trade union (STECEL), and the militarisation of transport, energy and supply industries, with the aim of subjecting workers in such industries to martial law if they go on strike to recover their rights.
The delegates described the Labour Party as "sympathetic", but said it would not come out with a statement of support.