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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:12 PM
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Drummond attorney tries to undercut union witness
Source: Birmingham News

Testimony resumed this morning in the Drummond Co. trial stemming from the slayings of three Colombian union officials.

Union treasurer Francisco Ruiz returned to the stand in Birmingham federal court for cross-examination by Drummond lawyers who tried to raise questions about his motives in the case. Ruiz testified Friday that Drummond resisted efforts to fund improvements such as dormitories and locker rooms sought by workers at the company's vast Colombian mine.

Under questioning by Drummond lawyer Paul Enzinna this morning, Ruiz acknowledged that after the slayings in 2001 he began receiving a $1,500 monthly payment from the Solidarity Center, an organization set up by the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations. The United Steelworkers union, a member of the AFL-CIO, has provided lawyers for the case against Drummond.

Ruiz also acknowledged that he had been present at a union rally against Coca-Cola, which faces similar allegations that it paid right-wing paramilitaries in Colombia.

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