"Days of Action" Set for Workers' Rights in the Americas

Thursday, April 12, 2012

(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)

In 1996 a group of armed thugs showed up at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Carepa, Colombia, where influential labor leader Isidro Segundo Gil worked. They shot Gil ten times, killing him, and then made sure his union was dead as well, telling plant workers they had three choices: resign from the union, leave Carepa, or be killed. School of the Americas Watch – a group working to stop the U.S. from training union-busting paramilitary groups in Latin America through the “School of the Americas” (now known as the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation”) – will hold a week of action in DC April 14-17. Since 1990, more than 2,000 unionists have been killed in Colombia. SOAW’s April Days of Action, featuring a noon-time rally at the Capitol on April 16, are an opportunity for local labor to “stand in solidarity with workers in Latin America defending – with their lives – their right to organize,” says Metro Council President Jos Williams. Click here to watch a video about the School of the Americas and the struggles of Columbian unionists (warning: video is graphic). - report by SOAW’s Nick Alexandrov; screenshot from video of Colombian unionist Joaquin Romero Mejia


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