Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales is threatening to fire Colombian workers who join labor unions, a local NGO said Wednesday.
In an interview with radio station W, a spokesman of the NGO Proyecto Gramalote said the Canadians have responded aggressively to complaints by locals over environmental damage and workers who try to organize themselves.
“Instead of receiving solutions, they received threats of massive lay-offs,” said spokesman Felipe Harman of Proyecto Gramalote.
According to Harman, some 300 Colombian workers are involved in a dispute with the Canadians over delayed wages, uncooked meals, and a lack of potable water and sanitary equipment.
Pacific Rubiales told the radio station that it would not officially respond as the dispute is between no more than 20 workers and a subcontractor called SAE Exploration.
The Canadian oil company and local authorities have frequently clashed with workers and locals in the municipality of Puerto Gaitan, one of the locations where Pacific Rubiales extracts oil.