Support Colombian Sugarcane Workers Facing Violence - No Colombia FTA!
Thousands of Colombian sugarcane workers in the Valle de Cauca, Risaralda and Cauca provinces – supported by the CUT, Colombia’s largest labor federation -- have been on strike since Monday, September 15, calling for basic minimum labor standards. Sadly, the sugarcane companies and the Colombian government completely refused to negotiate with the workers and instead sent in state troops to break up the work stoppage. These workers have the right to negotiate their very basic demands related to their work conditions, and instead they have been met with repression by state forces who receive U.S. funding. This latest repression happens on the heels of the Colombian government’s lobbying blitz in Washington, in a last-ditch effort to convince the U.S. Congress to pass the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Congress needs to send a strong message to the Colombian government: No Colombia FTA, which replicates the failed NAFTA model and would only exacerbate Colombia's horrific record on labor rights.
The lives of sugarcane workers are on the line! Please take a moment to send a letter to your members of Congress, urging them to contact the U.S. State Department and Colombian government and to oppose the FTA. Adapt and send the model e-mail message below. The form will send the e-mail to your representative and both of your senators.