UNI – PAM historic meeting with Congresswoman Ángela María Robledo
An international delegation comprising the UNI Global Union General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, the president of PAM, Ann Selin and Patricio Sambonino, the Latin-America coordinator for SASK met the former vice-presidential candidate of Colombia Humana and current congresswoman Angela María Robledo at the Congress of the Republic of Colombia. Key issues addressed at this important meeting included international support for the peace process, the National Development Plan, decent work, recognition of the care economy, as well as the murders of and threats against women and men community leaders.
Congresswoman Angela Robledo emphasised a key fundamental: "We have to defend peace if we are to strengthen the trade union movement", otherwise the labour movement will continue to be under threat. She also expressed her support for the labour statute established by the 1998 Constitution to guarantee decent work, to support the care economy and for trade unions to play an active role in defending them.
For her part, Christy Hoffman said: "the great challenge is how to give all unions a political role in promoting and protecting peace" and that UNI with all its structure, experience and organisational strength could contribute to attaining this objective.
Ann Selin, President of PAM Union in Finland, agreed with what was said during the meeting, and expressed her willingness to support the peace process and to exert greater pressure at international level.
To summarise, discussion centred on the outlook and future action of the trade unions in Colombia and the region as we move towards more flexible workers' rights as promoted by neo-liberal governments.