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Colombian Hunger Striking Workers and GM Reach Agreement to Mediate Labor Dispute

This morning, the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (ASOTRECOL) announced that they had reached an agreement with General Motors (GM) and its Colombian subsidiary GM Colmotores to enter into mediation to resolve a labor dispute that has been going on for more than a year.  Twelve ASOTRECOL members have just announced an end to their hunger strike, organized to shame GM Colmotores into coming to the table to discuss a variety of issues including wrongful termination and compensation for occupational injuries.

The workers allege that GM Colmotores illegally fired them and as many as 100 of their co-workers when they could no longer perform as expected due to a variety of occupational injuries and illnesses.  GM Colmotores has maintained that the firings were legal and has refused to compensate or reinstate the workers.

The AFL-CIO stands beside ASOTRECOL in its quest for justice and encourages the parties to approach the process in good faith, with an eye toward resolving this dispute for swiftly and justly. No worker should have to threaten to starve himself in order to obtain justice for himself and his family. The Colombian Labor Action Plan was supposed to ensure Colombian workers didn’t have to resort to such measures.  We urge the U.S. and Colombian governments to redouble their efforts to fully and effectively implement the Labor Action Plan.  Promises can’t feed families.  

Read more on Colombian labor rights and watch the YouTube video in the post for more information on the prior hunger strike. 

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