UNI expresses solidarity with Colombian activists standing for peace and against regressive National Development Plan
The UNI Management Committee endorsed a resolution expressing its solidarity with activists in Colombia, as they resist the government’s National Development Plan (NDP) and fight to sustain the peace process.
The NDP would weaken labour protections in the country by making it easier to employ people on a casual basis without access to rights and social protection. It would deregulate the labour markets and make it even harder for workers to join unions. Under the NDP, conditions would worsen for all workers but fall hardest upon women, undoing any hope of the prospect of peace based upon shared prosperity.
“At a time when we should be strengthening social and economic stability in Colombia, this government is trying to strip away necessary safeguards and diminish the institutions that promote equality,” said Marcio Monzane, Regional Secretary of UNI Americas. “This plan will be devastating for Colombian workers.”
The NDP comes at a time when there has been a surge in violence against union and social activists, and the perpetrators of these attacks are rarely brought to justice.
Additionally, the current government has stalled the implementation of the peace agreement, by raising objections to the legal structures intended to secure post-conflict justice and truth.
“UNI will stand together with unions and activists in Colombia as they struggle to keep the peace agreement alive and to put an end to the escalating violence. The murders of union leaders and others in civil society should be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted. The NDP is makes matters worse by driving employment into informality and stripping workers of their rights. This should be abandoned in favour of an economic program which strengthens the institutions which protect workers and enhances collective bargaining,” said Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary.