A group of employees and ex-employees of the Colombian branch of General Motors began a hunger strike in front of the U.S. embassy in Bogota Wednesday to protest the firing of colleagues on sick leave.
The hunger strike followed months after the factory workers set up a provisional shelter in front of the embassy, demanding the company respect labor laws, and talks with the American ambassador and Colombian government.
General Motors “is firing us without just cause, harming us and our families. We are taking this decision because our health has worsened day by day, we have lost our homes, we’re basically on the street and we have been forgotten by the government,” one of the protesters told Caracol Radio.
“The association of workers and former workers of Geneal Motors Colomotores takes the decision to begin a hunger strike, sewing our lips, until our rightful requests are heard by the company, the ambassador of the United States and the government,” a second protester added.
The (ex-) workers told the radio station that while the U.S. government is demanding Colombia to respect labor rights, the U.S.’ largest car producer itself is violating the rights of its Colombian workers.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, the United States business attache met with the protesters and promised to inform General Motors headquarters in Detroit about the situation.