Nearly a thousand people blocked the road linking the town of Puerto Gaitan in the department of Meta to the region’s center of oil production in protest against Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales on Friday.
The president of oil workers union USO, Henry Jara, told journalists the blockade was because Pacific Rubiales and other companies operating in the area were not contracting locals and were targeting unionized workers.
“[The protesters] are here and they will stay here because they say the companies are not permitting them the right to work. Instead of contracting people from Puerto Gaitan, they are firing them with the argument that they are affiliated with the union,” Jara said.
According to financial publication Portafolio, oil industry sources maintain the low levels of local employment are because local workers do not meet the minimum levels of training required for the roles.
This latest protest comes a month after Pacific Rubiales signed a labor deal with workers to end nearly a month of strikes and rioting involving thousands of workers.