Justice for the GM workers in Colombia

A large group of auto workers at General Motors in Colombia were injured on the job, then fired by General Motors and denied severance or workers compensation. For more than a year the workers have been demanding justice, appealing for GM to recognize their work-place injuries and offer them due compensation.

A large group of auto workers at General Motors in Colombia were injured on the job, then fired by General Motors and denied severance or workers compensation. For more than a year the workers have been demanding justice, appealing for GM to recognize their work-place injuries and offer them due compensation.

 

Write to GM and US officials demanding justice for the GM workers in Colombia.

In 2011 a group of 68 current and former autoworkers at a GM assembly plant outside of Bogota, Colombia formed ASOTRECOL (the Association of Current and Former Injured Employees of GM Colmotores) after a number of workers were fired when they could no longer perform their jobs due to workplace injuries, such as herniated disks, other back injuries, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the workers will never be able to work again. Their firings were authorized by a labor inspector who was subsequently suspended and is now in jail. The worker's compensation company was fined for changing the workers' medical record to make the injuries appear as "common" rather than "occupational." The workers' announced their demands: re-training and new jobs in the plant, disability benefits for those unable to work and compensation for lost wages following their wrongful dismissal.

Last week United Church of Christ leaders issued a statement in solidarity with the fasting workers.  The statement says “General Motors has the responsibility to provide a safe environment for all of its workers and, in the event of an injury, just compensation. As a global company General Motors must be held accountable for violations of fair labor practices whether those violations occur in the developing world or the United States. We call upon General Motors to resume good-faith talks with the ASOTRECOL in order to reach a just settlement.”

The hunger strikers are calling on supporters around the world to join them in demanding justice. Write to President of GM South America, the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia and Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, to demand justice for the GM workers in Colombia.

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