After a year of protesting in front of the U.S. Embassy with no response, injured General Motors workers in Colombia go on a hunger strike. Help them fight for their rights!
Jorge Alberto Parra was 30 years old when he began working for General Motors, Colmotores in Colombia, in 2004. Now eight years later, he and four colleagues from the Association of Injured and Ex-Workers of GM Colmotores de Colombia (ASOTRECOL) are taking drastic measures. They have launched a hunger strike to protest their firing and lack of compensation.
Systematically fired as their injuries and symptoms prevented them from working, members of ASOTRECOL have maintained a peaceful occupation in front of the U.S. Embassy. Unable to work as a result of occupational injuries, such as carpal tunnel due to repetitive motions and herniated disks from operating heavy machinery, ASOTRECOL has petitioned GM for compensation, medical benefits, and retraining or reintegration into the company. They have also asked the Colombian Ministry of Labor to protect their rights and to rectify their illegal dismissal from GM.
Since the U.S. government’s bailout of GM, ASOTRECOL has found a clear platform in which to petition the U.S. government for help in resolving their case. ASOTRECOL has also demanded that both the U.S. and Colombian governments recognize their labor plight as part of the commitments in the Labor Action Plan signed by both governments prior to the FTA’s approval. The Labor Action Plan calls for the strengthening and implementation of Colombian labor laws, as well as the protection of union members.
As of today, ASOTRECOL has been unable to effectively reach out to either GM or the U.S. and Colombian governments. The stress of their situation has begun to take a toll on all members. Their injuries have prevented them from securing any source of income. With many of them having to take care of their families, they need a solution now.
One year has passed since ASOTRECOL began camping out in front of the U.S. Embassy and they have not received an answer. Join us in elevating the voice of ASOTRECOL in supporting their quest for justice.
For more information about ASOTRECOL, please read LAWG’s Blog.