The Colombia Support Network (CSN) supports the demands of workers at the General Motors/Colmotores plant in Bogota, Colombia. The Colmotores executives dismissed numerous workers who suffered a variety of injuries while at work, apparently to avoid the obligation of compensating them for their injuries. We stand in solidarity with the dismissed workers who went on a hunger strike in front of the United States Embassy. We are hopeful that the framework for negotiations which Colmotores established with the workers, who have suspended their hunger strike, will lead to an agreement by the Company to return the workers to their jobs and compensate them for their injuries. The Company needs to follow Colombian law which protects the rights of workers to organize unions to represent them.
We also call upon the President and Board of Directors of General Motors in the United States to make it absolutely clear to Colmotores officials that labor unions are to be respected and protected, and that attacks against labor union leaders and attempts to undermine their right to collectively bargain for wages and benefits will not be tolerated. The pro-labor commitments agreed to by the Santos and Obama Administrations in implementing the Colombia-United States Free Trade Agreement require the acceptance of these protections. It is especially disturbing to see a U.S. manufacturer flouting these commitments. We call upon the officials meeting with representatives of the Colmotores workers to negotiate in good faith and with respect for the workers and their rights.
John I. Laun for the Colombia Support Network
August 25, 2012
cc Mr.Ron Kirk
U.S. Embassy / Bogotá
Minister of Labor Colombia