Colombian labor unions have expressed concern over possible cut backs to the cooperative workers sector due to the new labor deal struck between Colombia and the U.S., reported El Espectador.
The Confederation of Cooperatives of Colombia (CONFECOOP) said that over 600,000 jobs could be lost, out of a total industry of 1.3 million employees. This is a worrying figure as national unemployment currently sits at 12.8%.
The Colombian government have said that as a result of the labor deal they will scrutinize the organization of the 4,000 worker cooperatives in the country. The deal was struck on Wednesday as a precondition to the signing of the long-awaited Washington-Bogota free trade agreement.
Clemencia Dupont, head of CONFECOOP, expressed concern about the Government’s announcement, saying that “we do not share the idea of slashing the cooperatives. We believe this may be unconstitutional because it would be against the law of the association.”
The Central United Workers and General Confederation of Workers unions have also condemned the deal, fearing the crippling effects the labor deal could have on the cooperative sector.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. labor groups announced their deep disappointment over the deal, saying it lacked strong objectives in the areas of violence and impunity.