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When Emeterio Nach suffered a shoulder injury at his job, he asked his supervisor at the Ternium aluminum processing plant in Villa Nueva, Guatemala, for time off to see his doctor. After the supervisor denied his request, Nach asked again. The supervisor continued to refuse, finally telling Nach he would be fired if he kept asking—and if he were sick, he'd be fired as well because the factory needed healthy workers.

The 250 workers at the Villa Nueva plant frequently experienced such treatment, leading Nach, along with his co-workers, to create a union, SITRATERNIUM (Ternium International Guatemala Worker’s Union). They filed for registration of organization in March with the Ministry of Labor.

As a result, the company immediately fired dozens of workers, including Nach. The firings violate Guatemalan labor code (Article 209), as well as international labor standards relating to freedom of association and the right to unionize.

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