Bolivia Labor 101: Notes on labor reform

Rodolfo Erostegui writes in Pagina Siete:

Notes on labor reform

Rodolfo ErosteguiThe labor reform should have two sources of inspiration: the labor market and the characteristics of the employment relationship.

The first is important, since in most of the country there are small businesses. These companies account for about 80% of employment. However, our labor legislation is modeled on labor relations that occur in large companies.

In small and micro-enterprises there are, unlike other business segments, family relationships, cronyism, friendship and typically capitalist relations.

In small units, the material conditions in which it operates employment, ie, buildings are improvised: a home is a suitable place to start a venture. On the other hand, machinery and equipment are old.

The second inspiration must come from a review of labor conflicts in the Ministry of Labor. In other words, consider how workers complain individually and which are collective disputes. Apparently the main individual complaints occur because the employer does not comply with the agreement at the inception of employment, especially in economic issues.

In our country, again is opening a space to discuss the issue of labor reform. Current legislation dates from 1939. A feature in all labor reforms is one that indicates that the General Labor Law (LGT) turned ideology.

No article of its content can be played. It is said to protect workers. However, we see that approximately 80% of the working population have no legal protection.

In some countries, such as Peru, proceeded to recognize the differences between different types of companies. From this a new labor law was adopted for micro. This recognition is framed in a law to promote these businesses.

Thus, in that country live two labor regimes. The entrepreneurs should primarily cover the cost of medical care for workers and their families in social insurance like all businesses. There is a regime of dismissal, holiday, bonus payments, and so on. Thus these employers formalize their working relationships with the various state agencies.

The trend towards labor reform, except for Spain, does not transit on flexible routes, but in protective frames, the worker must recognize the failures and gaps in existing laws. In other words, labor reform protects those areas that by law now show deficits.

In our country, as we said above, there are initiatives to reform the law. These initiatives, some come from the state, some originating in decisions from the unions and others from the academia.

Last Friday [05/30/2014], an independent academic group, who worked with the coverage of the Prisma Foundation, presented at the Law Society [lawyers’ association] an interesting proposal for a new labor law. This proposal affects, among other changes, in resolving individual disputes of the dismissed worker to facilitate the collection of social benefits and/or unpaid wages. It also includes aspects for workers to go on strike without any mediating process in some specific cases.

Rodolfo T. Eróstegui is a labor expert.

An independent academic group presented at the Law Society an interesting proposal for a new labor law.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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