UNI Global Union, an organization which represents 900 trade unions around the world, said that the human and labor rights situation in Colombia prevents it from supporting the U.S.- Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Spanish agency EFE reported Tuesday.
The general secretary of Global Union Philip Jennings said that its 20 million members have a clear position on the state of human rights in Colombia which “will always be an obstacle” to the ratification of the FTA.
Jennings continued “We understand the importance of trade agreements but there should be a competitive basis which should be fair, where people can organize and can negotiate collective agreements.”
Jennings pointed out that since 1986, 2890 trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia, an average of one per week. Moreover, the level of unionization is only 4% which does not correspond with the conventions of the International Labor Organization in relation to freedom and other trade union rights.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that within weeks he is hoping for progress in the ratification of the U. S.-Colombia FTA. However US President Barack Obama is refusing to present the FTA to congress until there is improvement in the Colombian labor rights situation.