UNI supports union organiser Orhan Akman in his fight against expulsion from Peru

Monday 2 May 2016

Orhan Akman, a German trade union organiser who has been working for UNI Americas in Peru over the last couple of years, has been expelled from the country. Akman has successfully overseen unionization and collective bargaining at companies such as Cencosud, accompanied by peaceful strikes and demonstrations of Peruvian workers. The Peruvian government has accused Akman of “disrupting public order, tranquility and social peace” and has therefore refused him reentry to the country. Despite the authorities claiming to have evidence to corroborate this public disruption, no proof of the alleged claims has been produced.

On 12th of May there will be an international day of action to support Akman and the rights to freedom of association and trade union organising. Together with LabourStart UNI will be setting up a petition to show solidarity with Orhan Akman and workers all around the world who are being unfairly targeted by companies and governments for their union activity.

Please also find here a template letter which we ask you to present to the Peruvian embassy in your country. You can find a list of Peruvian embassies around the world here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/peru

UNI sees this as a coordinated attack on the work of UNI Americas in Peru, where more and more workers are organising into unions and peacefully exercise their rights to freedom association and collective bargaining. UNI Americas and our organisers such as Orhan Akman are being targeted for their successful work on behalf of workers. UNI remains concerned for the physical safety of Akman, who was tailed, photographed and intimidated by security staff prior to his expulsion from the country.

UNI Global Union, the CGTP [General Confederation of Peruvian Workers], and other national and international organizations will take every action necessary fight back against such violations of basic human and labour rights. We cannot allow for such a negative precedent for international union organizations and human rights organizations to be set.

We ask you to support UNI’s campaign of solidarity for Orhan Akman to get his expulsion overturned and that democratic freedoms and human rights prevail in Peru.