In March 2018, Mondiaal FNV asked DECP for something special: Camposol – one of the largest agricultural companies in Peru – was preparing the collective labour bargaining that would start at the end of May. Would it be a good idea to fly in some DECP trainers on negotiation skills to give a training to employer and trade unionists together, just two days before the negotiations actually would start?
We - Dirk Joosse and Martien Robertz - were enthusiastic about the idea right away and started preparing our trip to Trujillo, were Camposol is located. Dirk already had been in Peru twice to give a training on negotiating skills, based on the Harvard method. And he made a very good impression with his trainings, above all considering the fact that the request came from the trade union side.
The 9th of May we flew to Peru; to give our training, but also to support our partner organisation SNI and to meet with CGTP, the trade union supported by Mondiaal FNV. Five days to give social dialogue full attention.
Lima can be reached comfortably in 12 hours. We had a nice flight but how different turned out to be our trip to Trujillo, the third city of Peru, 600 kilometres north of Lima. It took us two days to get there. Bad weather conditions made flying impossible, so we had to go by bus. Two worlds, connected quickly through the air, but slowly through the desert. Luckily we were accompanied by Samuel Machacuay of Mondiaal FNV, who turned out to be an excellent organiser and a perfect companion.
On the Saturday before Mother's Day, we prepared the negotiating delegations of employers and trade unions of one of the country's largest agribusinesses, Camposol, for their collective labour agreement negotiations that started immediately on Monday. We met 25 extremely motivated people who work together. Again, a meeting between two worlds, scanning each other's interests and practicing to achieve a good result together.
On Monday, we met with 20 business people in the local Chamber of Commerce. They expected a lecture on social dialogue. However, they were in for an interactive ‘experience’. Dirk Joosse immediately got everyone working in mixed groups to talk about their experiences and expectations. Camposol closed the meeting with a professional film about their progress with the introduction of social dialogue. And the progress they have made was impressive. Five years ago there was nothing in that area and now the company is an example. Two worlds and within five years to travel.
Perfect weather conditions made the return flight to Lima possible in an hour. And that was great and allowed us to prepare for a breakfast meeting the next day with a group of 10 representatives from the larger companies in Peru. They had requested us to share with them our experiences with social dialogue, not only in the Netherlands but also in more than twenty countries worldwide.
On the Tuesday morning they had the opportunity to ask us anything. We exchanged ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. We encouraged them to join forces, for example by sharing their enthusiasm with fellow companies through the newly established ‘Association of Labour’.
Two worlds: a small group of forerunners that hopefully will serve as an example for a far larger group of employers and trade unionists that are looking for ways to get their companies and their country ahead together.