DOL Official Defends Peru FTA Labor Report; Pledges To Maintain Pressure

Inside U.S. Trade


The report was prompted by a petition filed in July 2015 by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) and eight Peruvian groups alleging that Peru violated Articles 17.2.1(a) and 17.3.1(a) of their FTA with the U.S.


Eric Gottwald, legal and policy director at ILRF, said the DOL report substantiates all of the claims made in the original petition even though the DOL stopped short of finding FTA violations. "The reason I am pleased with the report is that [DOL has] serious concerns, and that is a good signal," Gottwald said. "They did their investigation. From what they gleaned from their investigation … they think there are real problems with the short-term contract law."

With regard to upholding freedom of association under Article 17.2.1(a), the ILRF petition alleged that short-term contracting is used by employers in the so-called non-traditional economy (NTE) sectors to discourage workers from joining labor unions. In Peru, NTE sectors include textiles and apparel, certain agricultural products, fishery products, jewelry, wood and paper, and nonmetallic minerals.


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