Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

July 16, 2007 17:15 ET

Canadian and Colombian Labour Jointly Reject Trade Talks

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - In a joint statement, the largest labour federations in Canada and Colombia reject the announced trade negotiations between Canada, Colombia and Peru as "an extreme free-market trade and investment model which guarantees the rights of investors over the human, social, economic, cultural and labour rights of its citizens."

In Colombia, more union leaders and activists are assassinated in Colombia than in all of the Americas 2,245 between 1991 and 2006. Moreover, some 8,000 suffered threats, arbitrary detention, kidnapping, torture and disappearances.

The joint statement released by the Canadian Labour Congress and the "Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Colombia" (the CUT) declares that no trade negotiations with Colombia should be initiated before the Colombian government:

- completely severs all ties with paramilitary organizations and international criminal networks;

- provides meaningful and adequate protection for unions and trade unionists;

- makes significant advances in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against trade unionists;a

- brings its labour laws into conformity with the International Labour Organization (ILO) core labour standards; and

- provides full support for the newly created ILO office in Colombia to monitor labour rights compliance and pursue the investigation of key cases of assassinations of trade unionists.

Moreover, the Canadian Labour Congress and the CUT demand that any future "negotiations between Canada and Colombia towards a future trading agreement be preceded by labour, as well as environmental assessments which would evaluate the likely economic and social impacts the deal would have on both countries' labour markets, capital mobility, wages, employment stability and working conditions."

The full text of the statement will be available on the Canadian Labour Congress's web site:

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 135 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    Jean Wolff
    613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040