Trade unionist murdered in El Salvador

El Salvador remains a highly dangerous place to be a trade unionist. Following pressure to bring its national laws into line with International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards so that it could benefit from preferential trade access to the EU, El Salvador recently ratified ILO conventions 87 and 98 which cover the right to form unions and bargain collectively.

However the difference between laws on paper and actually using them to benefit working people has been tragically highlighted by the assassination of Victoriano Abel Vega.

Victoriano was murdered on his way to a meeting in San Salvador to discuss the submission of a complaint regarding the sacking of a number of public sector workers in his town.

When news that a complaint was to be made was circulated, he received death threats, but he continued regardless to defend the interests of his members and was murdered shortly afterwards.

Across Central America trade unionists are dying as they seek to defend the most basic human rights and the common theme remains the failure of their governments both to protect them and when this has failed to hold their killers to account. The TUC has protested to El Salvador's Ambassador as part of an international trade union protest.

Sam Gurney

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