Colombian workers, union leaders and the director of Colombia's national union school will take part in a panel discussion at AFL-CIO headquarters tomorrow following the release of a new report by the AFL-CIO on the Labor Action Plan that was intended to reduce the violence directed at Colombian workers and union activists and increase their ability to exercise basic labor rights such as free association and collective bargaining.
The Labor Action Plan was negotiated to ease the passage of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The AFL-CIO and allies successfully held off the vote for years over Colombia's troubling human rights record.
Colombia has been the deadliest nation in the world for trade unionists. Thirty were slain in 2011 and another 10 were killed already this year. Impunity from prosecution for such killings remains high, at around 95 percent.
This April 27, Daniel Aguirre, secretary general of the sugarcane cutters' union, SinalCorteros, was shot to death while walking home in the town of Florida, Valle de Cauca.
Tomorrow, Jhonsson Torres, a founding member of the sugar cane cutters' union, who recently has received death threats, will talk about the dangers faced by Colombian trade unionists and other challenges.
The forum gets under way at 10 a.m. EDT, and those who cannot participate in person may attend via phone:
Dial-in Number: 888-251-2909
Access Code: 6375344
Read more about Colombia’s labor rights record here.