Oscar Olivera, one of the leaders of the gas struggle in Cochabamba is being victimised by his bosses. He has been denied his wages at the Manaco Footwear Company (owned by the multinational BATA) without just cause or explanation. Oscar and his family have also been deprived of their medical insurance.
Oscar is the locally elected Executive Secretary of the Federation of Factory Workers of Cochabamba, on full time facility time. Up until the recent struggle, he has been paid by the company, in accordance with an agreement with the union. He has no other source of income. Oscar was one of the leaders of the great struggle against water privatisation three years ago in Cochabamba.
The General Manager of Manaco, Arturo Blanco, has accused Oscar of using Manaco's workers to "serve his personal interests" and alleged that Oscar was "seeking to incite workers to join his organisation". In fact Oscar has been representing workers in a struggle against management's decision to impose an unpaid vacation on workers and to lay-off the 16 co-workers.
Oscar is being victimised for representing his members and taking part in the struggles against gas and water privatisation. The Federation of Factory Workers and social movements in Bolivia are asking for international solidarity to support Oscar.
Send e-mails to: Arturo Blanco, Gerente General de Manaco: firstname.lastname@example.org with copies to la FederaciÛn de Fabriles email@example.com. Send messages of support to Marcela Olivera firstname.lastname@example.org.