On August 28 a delegation of Colombia Support Network (CSN) members visited the Colmotores workers’ tent across the street from the United States Embassy in Bogota. We met with Jorge Parra, who was buried up to his neck in the ground and had his lips sown shut, and with Carlos Trujillo. These two Colombian employees of Colmotores (General Motors’ car production facility in Colombia) described for us how the General Motors facility has refused to pay for workers injured on the job and instead fired them.
The Company has not recognized its obligation to pay them and rehire them, clearly failing to comply with the labor standards to which Colombia committed itself in a side agreement to the Colombia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. We delegation members urge CSN members and friends to join us in writing to General Motors CEO Mary Barra and General Motors Vice President of Labor Relations Jim Glynn to urge them to reinstate the injured workers with work they can perform and to compensate them for the earnings they have lost as a result of their having been wrongfully terminated. CSN thanks the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee for initiating and drafting this action.
Support the injured Colombian GM workers with a phone call!
On August 26, 2014, a group of autoworkers dismissed from General Motors after developing permanent disabling injuries on the job, dramatized their appeal for justice by initiating a hunger strike and burying injured worker Manuel Ospina in the ground, up to his neck. Ospina’s companions, Jorge Parra and Carlos Trujillo – also former assembly line workers at GM Colmotores, sewed their lips shut. Thursday, Jorge Parra replaced Ospina in the ground, next was Carlos Trujillo and then Ferney Rodriguez.
Carlos Trujillo, one of many young workers who was dismissed from General Motors’ Bogota, Colombia plant after developing occupational injuries on the assembly line.
The injured Colombian GM workers have been on hunger strike for over a week and have kept the burial action going as well. This has resulted in extensive media attention in Colombia and a renewed interest from General Motors Colmotores to resolve the situation. Help us get GM to the negotiating table!
Please make the following calls:
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General Motors VP of Labor Relations, Jim Glynn:
Home phone: 248-377-8821 (you will probably get his answering machine)
Hi, this is ____________________(NAME) and I am from ______________ (UNION/ ORGANIZATION/ CITY, STATE). I am calling today to ask General Motors to settle with the workers who were injured at its Bogota, Colombia plant- workers who have been camped out in front of the Embassy for over 3 years. I would also like to see GM make the necessary changes at the plant to prevent workers from developing disabling on-the-job injuries. CEO Mary Barra asked to be informed of safety concerns, so please pass my message on.
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Kevin Whittaker, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy, Bogota, Colombia
(This is an international call which you can make in English)
Hours: 8-4 Central Time
When the switchboard answers, just ask for the “secretary to the Ambassador”
They will transfer your call.
Hello, this is __________________ (NAME) and I am from _____________________ (UNION/ ORGANIZATION/ CITY, STATE). I am calling to ask the Ambassador to intervene on behalf of the injured Colombian General Motors workers and help set up a mediation with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) between General Motors and the injured workers. These workers have been camped out in front of the Embassy for three years and it is time that they see some justice so that they can remove the tents and go home.
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With these workers on hunger strike, time is of the essence. Given the urgency of the situation, daily calls to these individuals is okay and would be much appreciated. For more information about the struggle, to make a donation, or to watch a documentary about what these determined workers have been through, visit http://www.asotrecol.org
To connect via facebook, visit and like “Solidarity with GM Hunger Strikers” https://www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers
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Colombia Support Network