By: Shelly Ruzicka
As workers and unionists across the Midwest and across the country continue their fight to maintain collective bargaining rights, unionists in Columbia are fighting for their lives. Last year alone, 51 unionists were killed in Columbia. That’s more than the rest of the world combined.
Our friends at the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) and the 8th Day Center for Justice are calling all allies to call on President Obama to oppose the Columbia Free Trade Agreement with Colombia as long as attacks on unionists continue.
- Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists.
- The FTA would push Colombia to lower minimum wage, and remove or reduce guarantees for overtime pay, collective bargaining and worker’s compensation.
The two Chicago groups, along with several other community and religious organizations across the country are calling on concerned groups and individuals to call President Obama asking him to keep his campaign promise to oppose the Colombia FTA. More information on the negative impact of the FTA on people in Columbia can be read in this Baltimore Sun article.
Want to take action? 8th Day and CRLN are asking people to call the White House opposing the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia. You can call President Obama at the White House Comment line each day from Friday, June 10th until Friday June 17th with the following message:
“Please tell President Obama to keep his campaign promise to say NO to the U.S.- Colombia Free Trade Agreement so long as union leaders are being killed with impunity. Last year along, 51 trade unionists were killed–more than the rest of the world combined. President Obama, NO Colombia FTA. Thank you.”
White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414
-Shelly is the Director of Operations at Arise Chicago