1. Take Action to support the protection of Honduran union leader Victor Crespo.
2. Take Action to call for justice and protection of other union members following the assassination of Colombian union leader Oscar López Triviño.
Oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. See the Citizens Trade Campaign for information and suggested actions.
Support Colombian General Motors Workers. See Witness for Peace which is leading national actions in support of Asotrecol General Motors workers (Colombia).
General Motors Workers in Colombia
General Motors workers in Colombia went on a hunger strike in August and September 2012 to draw attention to their demands for justice after being fired for work-related injuries. USLEAP supported actions organized by Witness for Peace, the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, and others to push General Motors to negotiate a resolution with the workers group ASOTRECOL. In September 2012, the workers asked for a suspension of the public campaign but in November requested a resumption of public support.
Violence Against Del Monte Banana Workers in Guatemala
Seven members of the largest private sector union in Guatemala were murdered in the 12 months ending February 2012. USLEAP led U.S. support efforts that helped secure the restoration of security protection of the union's General Secretary Noe Ramirez and the establishment of a security perimeter for other members of the union, Sitrabi. While no further murders have taken place since February 2012, no one has been arrested for these and previous murders of Sitrabi workers. A resumption of action on this case is expected before the end of 2012.
Colombia Free Trade Agreement: On April 7, 2011, the U.S. and Colombian governments signed a Labor Action Plan that sets the groundwork for U.S. Congressional approval of a Colombia Free Trade Agreement by the end of 2011, in spite of the fact that Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a trade unionist. While the Labor Action Plan includes some significant measures, it falls short of what Colombian trade unionists and USLEAP believe is necessary before considering the Colombia FTA. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration sent the Colombia FTA to Congress where is was approved in October 2011; it was implemented in May 2012.
Honduras and Human Rights Violations: Congressional opponents of U.S. policy in Honduras are circulating a sign-on letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking the Obama Administration to suspend aid to Honduras. Strengthening congressional opposition to the Administration’s policy in Honduras is critical to moving it in a direction that supports democracy and basic human rights, including worker rights. NOTE: This Action is now closed.
Death Threats Against Worker Rights Activists in Mexico Force Closing of Worker Center. Death threats and violent intimdiation of staff at the Center for Worker Support (CAT), a non-profit organization that has been supporting organizing efforts in Puebla, Mexico, forced the closing of the center in June 2012. USLEAP supported efforts to persuade the Mexican government to proivde protection and to prosecute those responosible.
Oppose Obama’s Revival of the Free Trade Agenda. Contact your members of Congress to oppose the Obama Administration's revival of the Free Trade agenda. The Administation has initiated negotiations for a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with nations bordering the Pacific Ocean and says it will push for a vote on three pending FTAs negotiated by the Bush Administration, including Colombia, which continues to lead the world in number of trade unionists murdered. See the Citizens Trade Campaign for more information and proposed actions on this agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Help End Impunity for Violence Against Guatemalan Trade Unionists. Violence targeted at trade unionists in Guatemala has been increasing at an alarming rate. In 2009, 16 trade unionists were reported murdered in Guatemala, making it the second most deadly country to be a trade unionist according to the International Trade Union Confederation, trailing only Colombia. Another six trade unionists have reportedly been murdered in the first half of 2010. Seven Del Monte banana unionists were murdered from 2011 to February 2012.
The violence against trade unionists has spiked since the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in July 2006, a year in which no trade unionists were reported murdered in Guatemala. A CAFTA labor complaint filed in April 2008 has not been effective in stemming the violence or ending impunity.