Woman Protests Labor Claims At EU HQ In Uruguay

Editorial Team
Credit: Montevideo Portal

Chabela Rodríguez carries out a “peaceful protest” after having brought the diplomatic mission to trial for the termination of her employment relationship.

A woman chained herself at the door of the headquarters of the European Union Delegation in Uruguay, starting at 9:30 this Wednesday, demanding the termination of her employment relationship with the diplomatic mission, which occurred in November 2019, and the subsequent judicial confrontation between both parties.

Evelina Rodríguez decided to carry out this “peaceful proposal” —as she defined it in an interview with Montevideo Portal— because she maintains that the European Union did not correctly comply with her employment relationship that ceased when the legation terminated her contract.

Rodríguez said that he began working in 1998 for the delegation in the cleaning area, but that he later went on to occupy a position similar to a “mayor” working linked to administration and logistics, “collaborating” with the Cooperation area of the mission and in the organization of events that occurred “both in the delegation and outside.”

“I have worked a lot of overtime. I was never paid anything. My salary and nothing else. I never had a Christmas bonus, vacation salary, nothing, ”she said. Rodríguez said that, at the time of being hired, she was required to form a sole proprietorship and register with the Banco de Previsión Social (BPS) and the General Tax Directorate (DGI) as such. “But I was always dependent on the delegation,” she maintained.

Conversation Between Elbio And Montevideo

Elbio Palladino, who was Rodríguez’s lawyer, told the Montevideo Portal that “she was forced to open a company before the BPS” and that “she billed for services with an annual contract that was renewed every year.”

“She worked exclusively. In the latest contracts, which is also part of the claim, there is an obligation to work overtime. If you have a company that bills for services, you don’t do overtime. It is part of a working relationship; there is an implicit acknowledgment that it is there”, pointed out the lawyer.

Both Rodríguez and whoever was her legal representative explained that after she was terminated, they took the case to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS), where a hearing was held and the EU delegation was notified through the Ministry. of Foreign Relations (Mrree). “They gave no signs of life,” said the lawyer.

After that, the lawsuit was filed at the judicial level and, according to Palladino, the EU was notified again through the Supreme Court of Justice and Foreign Ministry. “They did not answer the lawsuit either, they did not appear,” he said.

“The sentence was handed down, because it is what corresponds in those cases, where all the items were accepted, except for one concept, which were damages for non-affiliation with the BPS, because she was never affiliated, she worked there for 20 years and obviously that dead period, he could have a ridiculous retirement as the owner of that company,” said the legal representative.

“The sentence of conviction was notified and there was no response of any kind. In this, all the doctrine and jurisprudence have an almost unanimous position. You can promote a lawsuit against a diplomatic body, when dealing with issues that are not linked to its specific function, but management issues, such as a labor claim, damages, for example, due to a car crash. But all assets are unseizable, so execution cannot be initiated. So we had a sentence but it is the same as if we had nothing, ”he added.

Palladino pointed out that “justice can intimidate”, but “if it is not complied with, you have to go to execution” to “lock the assets”, something that “in diplomatic agencies is impossible”.

The lawyer pointed out that, once the 11th Shift Labor Court handed down a sentence and this was not answered by the legation, no further step could be taken in the judicial orbit. So they followed the administrative path.

“We started a process through the Foreign Ministry, where we made a proposal with a view to promoting a meeting within the Ministry and trying to find a solution. The Ministry gave him admission, there is a practice in that sense, the file was formulated. They notified the EU that, well, it took notice, but it did absolutely nothing,” Palladino explained.

Rodríguez said that he will stop his “peaceful protest” once the delegation contacts his lawyer, something that, according to Palladino, whose successor is following the case, has not yet happened.

Sources from the delegation told the Montevideo Portal that in light of this situation, a consultation was filed with the EU headquarters in Brussels (Belgium) and that the agency’s response is awaited. In turn, the local lawyers who handled the case were consulted.

This article is originally published on montevideo.com.uy

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