Agricultural employers in Peru seek dialogue with workers

Agricultural employers in Peru seek dialogue with workers

Peter Boorsma Country manager View profile

The employers in agriculture in Peru (Agap) want to work together with the trade union federation Fentagro to improve the working and living conditions of the workers. There have already been some talks between the two organizations. The intention is to intensify these contacts in the short term.

Agap is supported by DECP in setting up this social dialogue through advice, contacts, information and training in negotiation skills. Support from DECP is coordinated with Mondiaal FNV, which supports Fentagro.

Agriculture is a very important sector in Peru with an estimated 2 million workers. Main products are avocados, asparagus and blueberries. It is a complex industry because much of the work is seasonal and workers move from one company to another. Furthermore, many workers live in poor conditions in villages without water, electricity, schools or health care.

The contacts between the Asociación de Gremios Productores Agrarios del Perú (Agap) and the Federación Nacional de Agroindustria (Fentagro) have already led to a joint manifesto on working safely with Covid. It is the first time in Peru's history that employers and agricultural workers have joined forces.

Agap also wants to join the bipartite consultative body Asociación para el Trabajo (ApT). In consultation with SNI and CGTP - the current members of the ApT - a route has been mapped out that provides for a step-by-step accession. A gradual accession has been chosen in order to get used to each other and to build trust. The employers in the construction industry united in Capeco will also join the ApT in the course of this year.

DECP and Mondiaal FNV have been cooperating since 2014 in supporting their partner organisations in setting up a social dialogue in Peru, a country where until recently there was hardly any contact between employers’ and workers’ organisations. This support included a working visit by board members of the Sociedad Nacional de Industria (SNI) and the Confederación General de Trabajadores del Peru (CGTP) to the Dutch Labor Foundation in 2016. During three weeks they were given the opportunity to attend meetings to learn the tricks of the trade. In 2018, this led to the creation of a Peruvian version of the Labor Foundation, the Asociación para el Trabajo.