Two months after a free-trade agreement between the United States and Colombia went into effect, workers and activists are warning that U.S.-stipulated labour reforms have not been fully implemented and have yet to result in promised improvements in the lives of workers.
“We ask President (Barack) Obama to push for more guarantees for Colombian workers,” Miguel Conde, with Sintrainagro, a union representing workers on palm-oil plantations, said here on Tuesday. “In Colombia, it is easier to form an armed group than a trade union … because we still have no guarantees from the government.”
Colombia today is the most dangerous place in the world to be a member of a trade union.
Further, those gathered Tuesday at the Washington headquarters of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of trade unions in the United States, warned that much of a year-old labour agreement, meant to pave the way for the free-trade agreement (FTA), was in certain respects making things even more difficult for labour organisers in Colombia.