Rolling Solidarity Fasts with ASOTRECOL, Injured Colombian GM Workers

Labor Radio
program date: 
Thu, 03/07/2013

People in Portland, the rest of the US, and Colombia are engaging in a series of one-day fasts in solidarity with the injured Colombian autoworkers association, ASOTRECOL.  The workers got hurt on the job at General Motors and then kicked to the curb.  Listen to the people who have fasted describe in their own words why they are taking a stand: and Ruth Needleman said: I am fasting today in solidarity with the GM workers in Bogota, Colombia. This past summer I spent 10 days in Colombia with Witness for Peace, and visited with the injured GM workers of ASOTRECOL camped out across from the US Embassy. I wa...s moved and outraged by their stories. Discharged due to on-the-job injuries at the Colmotores plant, these workers explained how GM was systematically eliminating union workers, injured workers, and workers who stood up for their rights. In their place, in violation of the Labor Accord of the Free Trade Agreement between the US and Colombia, GM was hiring temporary workers and pressuring them to sign a collective pact, authored by the company, with company-selected representatives. Instead of job security and rights, GM was providing precarious jobs, with no security, lower pay and without any room for a union.

"Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists. Thousands have been murdered. Leaders and their families face constant death threats. The courage of these ASOTRECOL workers to stand up to GM in Colombia as well as in the US inspired me to stand with them. I am an Emeritus Professor from Indiana University, with a background in Latin America and Labor Studies. This struggle is being fought in the interests of workers globally and should be supported, because no worker should be fired for a workplace injury and no worker should be stripped of union rights."

*The attached picture shows Ruth raising awareness of GM's injustice outside the Colmotores plant in Bogota, Colombia.
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  • Length: 2:23 minutes (2.18 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)


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