Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cartagena oil refinery strike ends after wage agreement

A union-led work stoppage at one of Colombia’s largest oil refineries, located in the northern city of Cartagena, has ended after a wage agreement was struck just three days after strikes began, media reported Monday.

Colombia’s national oil workers’ union, the Union Sindical Obrera (USO) successfully negotiated a pay increase of between 40 and 100 percent for employees of the REFICAR plant, according to its leader Redolfo Vecino. He said: “We reached a $104.5 million deal for salary increases.”

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Colombia tightens security cooperation with Russia and Sweden

Colombia’s defense minister announced an accord to strengthen security cooperation between his country and two European allies, Russia and Sweden, at an event in Stockholm on Saturday.

Speaking at the Global Strategic Review of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon announced agreements between the three countries to tighten collective efforts in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

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Colombia`s sugarcane unions denounce labour abuses

Comment / News Review | By Peter Bolton

Four of Colombia’s sugarcane unions united at a press conference last month to denounce abuses against workers in the sugar industry. Sintrainagro, Sintracatorce, Sintracañazucol and Sinaltrainal met for the first time in years to sign a resolution which set forth common concerns faced by labour activists in the sugar sector and agreed to a set of recommendations and actions for the future.

The document made condemnations of “violence and impunity against union leaders” such as the assassination of Sintrainagro leader Carlos Pérez Muñóz which took place in January of this year. Muñóz’s death has been given as proof that unionist in Colombia are still under considerable risk from targeted violence. Despite a decrease in assassinations of unionists in recent years, Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists. The resolution also condemned continued threats against leaders and the failure of the National Protections Union to provide guarantees for their organizations.

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