BRUSSELS (July 14, 2004) — An international chemical workers group is calling on members of its affiliated unions to protest at Bridgestone Corp. facilities worldwide on July 16-17 to support disaffected workers in Argentina.
The action, called for by the International Chemical, Energy and General Workers Unionm (ICEM), is in support of workers at Bridgestone's plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who are engaged in a labor dispute with management there. The labor dispute centers on workers dismissed by Bridgestone/Firestone Argentina S.A.I.C. in October 2003 following a week-long strike to protest new work rules.
The ICEM accuses Bridgestone/Firestone management of circumventing legal obligations under Argentina's labor code by refusing to bargain with Sindicato Unico de Trabajadores del Neumatico Argentina.
In late 2003, the ICEM said, the Labour Ministry for the state of Buenos Aires ordered the workers reinstated with back pay, but Bridgestone refused.
BFS continues to pursue the situation through the Argentine legal system, according to a company spokeswoman, who said about a third of the 64 affected employees already have accepted a severance package.
The ICEM is asking members to write letters of protest to Japanese embassies or missions in their respective countries and to protest at Bridgestone/Firestone factories and other commercial sites on either July 16 or July 17.
Bridgestone Corp. is based in Tokyo.