Colombian Trade Unionist Calls on Government to Change Policy
Justice For Colombia News |
on: Thursday, 7 February 2008
At a public meeting attending by over 75 people in London on Tuesday, Colombian bank workers trade union leader, Emigdio Triana, called on the British Government to change their policy on Colombia. Mr Triana specifically urged the Government to divert resources away from the Colombian military and towards helping the victims of the conflict.
During the meeting, which was also addressed by Labour NEC member Ellie Reeves, Mr Triana told of how his union had organised successful strike action against HSBC bank after the multinational had attempted to curtail workers' benefits. All HSBC offices in Colombia were closed for ten days as a result of the strike and the bank was forced to back down.
In response to a question about UK military aid to Colombia Mr Triana suggested that the UK should think again about giving aid to an army that so regularly abuses human rights. "There are plenty of necessities in Colombia – education, health and housing for example – where the UK could help, but instead they send financial resources to army units that kill civilians, including trade unionists."
Chair Graham Goddard, the Deputy General Secretary of Unite, Britain's largest trade union, backed Mr Triana's call and said that Unite would continue to campaign for an end to military aid to Colombia.