The US Mission in Timor-Leste refused to meet with the General Workers
Union of Timor-Leste (SJTL) on 22 November 2010 regarding the unfair
dismissal of our member Mario Barretta on the basis that:
“as part of the terms of his employment, Mr Baretto was/is not allowed
to be a member of any organized union and therefore we will not meet
with any representative acting on his behalf”
The US Mission is denying Mario Baretto his right to form and to join
trade unions for the protection of his interests as per Article 23 (4)
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The US Mission is also breaching the International Labour Organization
convention 87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to
Organise Convention, 1948 which Timor-Leste ratified on 16 June 2009.
US Mission officials had previously refused to meet with SJTL or to
attend mediation by the Labour Board on the incorrect assertion that
they enjoy diplomatic immunity.
Almerio Vila Nova, General Secretary of SJTL said:
“The US Mission seems intent on using any fabrication to avoid their
obligations to consult with Mr Baretto and his trade union.
We are dismayed that the United States of America is denying Timorese
workers their human rights and breaking national law and we are
disappointed that the US Mission will not even meet with us or attend
mediation to discuss the matter.
As such we are left with no option other than to call on the
governments of Timor-Leste to intervene and to seek international
Mr Baretta was employed by the US Mission as a security officer from 3
May 2004 and dismissed on 16 July 2010 in breach of the Labour Code of
SJTL will hold a press conference at 10am in front of the Palacio de
Governo on 9 December 2010. All are welcome to attend.
Please direct any media enquiries to:
Almerio Vila Nova Rigoberto Monteiro/Jose da Costa
General Secretary General Secretary/President
General Workers Union Timor-Leste Trade Union Confederation
+670 724 8482 +670 723 6276/+670 723 9824