Bolivian Workers' Center

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Full name Bolivian Workers' Union
Native name Central Obrera Boliviana
Affiliation WFTU
Key people Pedro Montes, executive secretary
Oscar Salas Moya, general secretary
Office location La Paz, Bolivia
Country Bolivia

The Bolivian Workers' Center (Spanish: Central Obrera Boliviana, COB) is the chief trade union federation in Bolivia. It was founded in 1952 following the national revolution that brought the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement to power. The most important affiliate of the COB was the Union Federation of Bolivian Mine Workers (FSTMB). From 1952 to 1987, the COB was led by the legendary Juan Lechín, who was also head of the FSTMB.

Traditionally a demanding, confrontational organization, the COB has had a difficult relationship with every Bolivian president since the 1950s. More recently, it played a significant role in the series of demonstrations that brought down President Carlos Mesa (2005). The COB currently supports nationalization of Bolivian natural gas reserves and opposed water privatization during the 2000 Cochabamba protests. In 2010 it led a brief national march that led to pension reform and in April 2011, it organized a twelve-day general strike for higher wages.

The COB represents about two million Bolivian workers, bringing together workers from various branches of industry and public services as well as consultation with many peasants' and indigenous leaders, such as Felipe Quispe. The current Executive Secretary of the COB is Pedro Montes, a miner. Montes' term lasts until the XV Ordinary Congress of the COB, which will be held in January 2012 in Tarija.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Montes se queda hasta mayo de 2012". Los Tiempos. 2011-07-30. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  2. ^ "COB ratifica que no asistirá a Cumbre de Cochabamba y decide construir su propia propuesta". Los Tiempos. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-13.