MAC: Mines and Communities

A Message From Francisco Ramirez Cuellar

Published by MAC on 2006-06-28


A Message from Francisco Ramirez Cuellar

Thanks to all of you who responded to last Thursday’s urgent action request in support of striking miners in Colombia. It’s in part due to the international pressure through your letters that U.S.-based Drummond Co. and the union negotiated a collective bargaining agreement. The union reports that: “ After resisting all types of pressures, persecutions, threats, assassination attempts, attacks from the bosses and state, we have achieved a collective bargaining agreement, yesterday they have began operations in the Puerto Mine…”

The collective bargaining agreement ensures improved labor stability, health and safety standards in the mines, as well as increased investment in depressed zones (such as hospitals). It also means better working conditions through things such as increases in education assistance, more time off to tend to family and union matters, better transportation, among others, and an increase in salary.

The union sends the following message to their supporters:

“We would like to thank all of the support and national and international solidarity around the strike, calling for extra attentive because after the strike a strong repression against the miners and the involved organizations in the social movement is possible, furthermore we ask for continued pressure with respect to human and labor rights of the miners and the native population of these regions, by the multinationals that exploit the mineral-energy resources, to condition the importation of Colombian coal to strict environmental standards and to respect Fundamental Rights.

Again, many thanks, gracias, merci, muito obrigado!!

Francisco Ramirez Cuellar
Secretario General FUNTRAENERGETICA, June 28 2006

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