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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:48 PM

Minnesota Fair Trade Urges President Obama not to Green Light Columbia Free Trade Agreement

April 13, 2012
3:31 PM

Minnesota Fair Trade Urges President Obama not to Green Light Columbia Free Trade Agreement

MINNESOTA - April 13 - The Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition has sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to put greater pressure on the Colombian government to complete and enforce protections for workers before implementing the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. As the President travels to Cartegna, Colombia for the Summit for the Organization of American States, it has been speculated that he will green light the agreement to go forward. However, it is clear that Colombia is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for workers to stand up for their rights.

“Workers continue to live in fear in Colombia,” says Josh Wise, director of the MN Fair Trade Coalition. “Last year, 30 trade unionists were murdered, and this year there have already been 4 murders with no prosecution. It would unconscionable for the US to approve a race to the bottom for worker protections by implementing this agreement before Colombia fulfills its responsibilities.”

As a part of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Colombia was required to implement a Labor Action Plan, which would outlaw many of the worst employment practices, and give workers the rights and protections to organize. MN Fair Trade Coalition member organization, Witness for Peace, recently led a delegation to Colombia to speak with workers, and found that the Labor Action Plan is nowhere near being effectively enforced. “Colombian union leaders were killed immediately before and following my trip to Colombia with Witness for Peace in February,” says Jessica Hayssen, one of the delegates. “Echoing the Colombians I met with, I do not see the Colombian government taking significant action to prevent violence against labor leaders, a key part of the Labor Action Plan. Major decisions to implement key parts of the Free Trade Agreement, especially parts that affect worker’s lives and livelihoods should be based on concrete action, not conveniently scheduled world leader meetings.”

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/04/13-3

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Reply Minnesota Fair Trade Urges President Obama not to Green Light Columbia Free Trade Agreement (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2012 OP
Judi Lynn Apr 2012 #1
Bacchus4.0 Apr 2012 #2
Judi Lynn Apr 2012 #3
Bacchus4.0 Apr 2012 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 05:14 PM

1. Colombia's unions question Obama's commitment to human rights .

Colombia's unions question Obama's commitment to human rights .
Monday, 16 April 2012 19:29
Sarah Kinosian

After Sunday’s announcement that the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement is set to take effect May 15, Colombian unions doubt the sincerity of the U.S. government’s commitment to human rights.

According to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the Andean country had complied with the labor conditions set forth in Labor Action Plan, clearing the way for the trade agreement to go into effect.

However, several prominent politicians along with U.S. and Colombian labor unions disagree with this assessment and oppose the deal due to the fact that Colombia is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a trade unionist.

“They continue to kill union workers, the labor cooperative model still exists, laborers continue to be exploited and there is still 95% impunity for cases of violence against trade unionists. They have barely completed the minimum. Of the 37 points in the plan, the Colombian government has not even fully completed two of the requirements,” Secretary General of Colombia’s National Union of Food Workers (SINALTRAINAL) told Colombia Reports.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/23469-colombias-unions-question-obamas-commitment-to-human-rights.html

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 05:57 PM

2. a little late on this story. Obama did in fact green light the agreement n/t

s

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 06:02 PM

3. That's when I posted it. I added a new article beneath it today. n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 09:42 PM

4. sorry for interrupting your conversation then. carry on. n/t

s

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