The AFL-CIO, the United States' largest union federation, says it is "deeply disappointed" with a deal brokered between Colombia and the U.S. on reforming labor laws and the improving the protection of union workers in the Andean nation.U.S. unions have always opposed the US-Colombia FTA and find that the new labor pact "does not go nearly far enough in laying out concrete benchmarks for progress in the areas of violence and impunity, nor does it address many of the ways in which Colombian labor law falls short of international standards." "There is no guarantee that the terms of it will in fact lead to a reduction in violence, and no backup plan to delay implementation if the violence and impunity continue.
Furthermore, the action plan is a stand-alone agreement, not connected to the benefits conferred in the trade agreement. Once the trade agreement is ratified by Congress and implemented, the U.S. government will have no leverage whatsoever to enforce its terms in the event that the terms are not implemented as agreed," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said on the labor organization's website.The Switzerland-based UNI Global Union said Wednesday it "had yet to be convinced" the situation of Colombian workers will improve, following a meeting with Colombian union leaders and Vice President Angelino Garzon, a former labor rights activist.
[also see>Debunked FTA Export Claims Continue to Pop Up http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2011/03/debunked-fta-export-claims-continue-to-pop-up.html More free trade agreements? When NAFTA failed? http://www.bilaterals.org/spip.php?article19244 Dairy farmers march in Bogota against trade deal http://www.bilaterals.org/spip.php?article19201 Representatives of dairy businesses from across Colombia meet in Bogota to protest against the pending free trade agreement with the US, fearing it will ruin nearly 480,000 producers who have less than 10 cows, and thereby damaging food security for the country, especially in rural areas Act Now to Stop Colombia Free Trade Deal