Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

September 15, 2009 13:58 ET

Say No to Colombia Free Trade Agreement, CLC President Tells MPs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2009) - The president of the Canadian Labour Congress is urging Members of Parliament not to ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia. "If our MPs pass this legislation they will be signalling to the world the abandonment of our democratic values abroad," says Ken Georgetti.

He was responding to the Conservative government's placing Bill C-23, as the first government business to be debated when Parliament resumed on September 14. If passed by Parliament, this bill would ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia that was signed late in 2008. The bill to implement the deal was removed from the parliamentary agenda in June 2009 following intensive lobbying by unions, human rights activists and community groups who urged Parliament to conduct an independent human rights assessment first.

"Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world to be a unionized worker, with hundreds of murders of trade unionists every year" Georgetti says. "Ratifying a free trade deal with a regime that has the worst human rights record in the Americas sends the wrong message," Georgetti says. According to the International Trade Union Confederation, murders of trade unionists in Colombia increased 25 percent from 2007 to 2008. To date in 2009, 28 union members have been murdered.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    CLC Communications
    Dennis Gruending
    613-526-7431
    613-878-6040 cell.