Colombian state-run oil company Ecopetrol announced on Thursday that it will file lawsuits against labor union USO over damages and injuries inflicted during Wednesday’s worker protests.
A press release by the oil company said that 12 people were injured, including 4 contractors, a union leader, a media correspondant, and six members of the national police during rioting in the refineries.
Ecopetrol said that there are videos and relevant evidence that establish the USO representatives as being commissioned to lead the protests in the cities of Barrancabermeja and Cartagena where the protests took place.
The oil company also accused the union members of not allowing workers acess to the plants.
According to Ecopetrol, more than 90% of direct employees were able to get to their jobs, however, the majority of contract workers did not enter the refineries.
The end of day report showed that there was normal production and operations in their fields, refineries, and transportation systems.
USO director Rodolfo Vecino told Colombia Reports Wednesday that 32 protesting workers were injured in clashes with riot police.
According to the oil union director, the protest was in defense of the workers’ right to associate and collectively bargain wages. Vecino accused Ecopetrol of having pressured workers to leave the union.
The unrest at Ecopetrol is the second oil workers protest turning violent this year; in July riots erupted at the largest oil field of Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales, who protested the dismissal of hundreds of their colleagues.