Police repression against striking miners: On 24 July 2015, worker Nelson Quichillao López died as a result of shots fired by the Special Forces on the outskirts of the city of El Salvador. Another worker, Rodrigo Vásquez Salazar, was seriously injured.

According to the copper workers' confederation Confederación de Trabajadores del Cobre (CTC), the Special Forces were sent in to repress, neutralise and disperse the peaceful mobilisation of striking miners.

The nationwide strike was called following Coldeco's refusal to negotiate a framework agreement seeking to improve the working conditions of the contract and subcontract staff organised within the CTC.

Restrictions on the principle of free and voluntary bargaining: Under the Labour Code, the right to collective bargaining is only guaranteed at the company level. The Code provides for 'voluntary' collective bargaining at inter-company level. Article 334 bis provides that collective bargaining with the inter-company union shall be voluntary for the employer and in the event that the employer refuses to negotiate, employees not belonging to this union shall be entitled to present draft collective contracts.

The Labour Code prohibits collective bargaining in state enterprises working for the Ministry of Defence, in those in which laws prohibit it, and in public or private companies or institutions that have had 50 per cent or more of their budget funded by the State during any of the last two years. In addition, officials working for the Parliament and the judiciary, employees of State-run enterprises or institutions or those in which the State makes a contribution, is involved or is represented, wherever the officials or workers have a special legal status, do not have the right to bargain collectively (Labour Code, Art. 1, 304).

The Labour Code establishes that workers with apprenticeship contracts and those employed solely for specific tasks, such as temporary workers, those working in agriculture, construction, ports or the arts and entertainment sector, can only engage in collective bargaining if the employer is willing (Labour Code, Art. 305.1).

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