An employee for Kraft Foods Inc.’s local unit in Colombia was killed by a gunman on a motorcycle, said the local labor union, which is calling for an investigation because it says the company’s workers are in a labor dispute with management.
A statement Friday from the union Sinaltrainal said Wilson Albeiro Erazo Ascuntar was in a car Dec. 11 when an unknown assailant on a motorcycle pulled up alongside him and began firing. The killing occurred in the state of Valle Del Cauca in southwestern Colombia, it said.
The union is in a dispute with Kraft over the company’s decision to suspend workers’ contracts starting Dec. 8 of last year, the statement said.
“Workers are victims of being pressured by the company to give up their labor contracts in exchange for an economic payout,” the statement said. “We’ve asked authorities to investigate the crime to figure out the motive and who is responsible.”
Officials at Kraft in Colombia weren’t immediately available, and a press official reached Friday at Kraft’s headquarters in Illinois had no immediate comment.
Colombia is one of the deadliest countries in the world for members of labor unions, although the number of killings has been reduced sharply from a decade ago. Thirty-nine members of labor unions were murdered in Colombia in 2009, down from 49 in 2008, according to Colombia’s National Union School, a worker-rights group based in Medellin. (Dan Molinski / Dow Jones Newswires)