U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and her Colombian counterpart Rafael Pardo signed a cooperative agreement Wednesday in order to strengthen labor inspections infrastructure and information sharing between the two countries.
“With this cooperation agreement, amounting to five million dollars, is established the National System of Inspection and Monitoring, which can be accessed by any worker or employer, in order to adapt to new information technologies,” announced Colombian Labor Minister Rafael Pardo after a meeting in Washington.
The new accord is a joint-effort by the International Labor Organization and the U.S. and Colombian ministries of labor to create a unified information system and monitor working conditions in Colombia in response to the recently finalized U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement that went into effect May 15.
As part of the project, on August 7 Colombia will begin training 600 labor inspectors who will ensure that safe working standards and practices are met.
“They are in 130 municipalities, so the information system is essential to ensure there are standards and inspection procedures,” said Pardo according to Caracol Radio.
The alliance will be funded by the U.S. Ministry of Labor while the International Labor Organization will provide technical assistance to Colombian observers.