Colombia: National Strike

22 November 2019 20:42

Workers in strike. Source: Trabajo Decente - Intergremial

The CUT and the CTC, together with independent trade unions, national workers federations from public and private sectors, teachers, students and other organizations called the country to a National Strike.

21 November: Hundreds of Colombian workers started a national strike against the new reform package imposed by President Iván Duque. According to the Colombian national centers, the reforms will threaten the already-weakened Colombian peace agreement and put the vulnerable population into greater poverty, precariousness, and social insecurity. It is estimated that these reforms will put at least 70 percent of the Colombian people (about 30 million people) into precarious living conditions.

The reform package will eliminate the state pension fund, increase the retirement age, reduce young workers salary by 75 percent, legalize outsourcing, eliminate overtime payments, night hours, holidays and Sundays, and increase taxes, which are the highest in Latin America. It will also lead to privatization of institutional banking that supports workers, families, small and medium companies in the countryside and the city, and with this, the dismissal of more than 20 thousand workers. The people are also protesting the murders of social leaders and the bombing of children in Caquetá. They also are calling for the full implementation of the Peace Agreement.

"Once again, people in Latin America are rising up against economic reforms that would worsen the conditions for working people. The government of President Duque is not listening to its people, so the people are making their voices heard," stated Nilton Freitas, BWI Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Building and Wood Workers’ International sends its solidarity support its Colombian affiliates and the people of Colombia in their legitimate struggle to dismantle these reforms that will have devastating impact on workers and their families.

BWI affiliated organization, Intergremial, in Colombia on strike.