Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 26, 2007 15:28 ET

Canadian Labour Congress: Stop Trade Deal With Colombia

Secret negotiations apparently near completion

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2007) - Across the country this week, workers and their unions will speak out against the Canada-Colombia trade negotiations and demand they be stopped. Indications are that this week's rushed negotiations will be in their last round.

"Colombia is labelled the worst humanitarian tragedy in the Western Hemisphere by the United Nations. It's the country where more union members and their leaders are murdered than in all of the other countries of the world combined," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "Why would we want to tie our country to such a situation? Canadians want a full and complete debate of these matters in Parliament."

This week, delegates at the conventions of the BC Federation of Labour, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ) will all consider this issue and demand an end to trade negotiations. On Friday, there will be a demonstration in front of the Pictou constituency office of Defence Minister Peter McKay.

"Canadians are asking why we are negotiating a trade deal that was turned down by the US Congress because the Colombia government has been universally condemned for its corruption, criminal activity and human rights violations. The current leadership of Colombia does not share or promote the values Canadians cherish," says Georgetti.

Moreover, the Canadian Labour Congress is concerned about the federal government's lack of transparency in these negotiations.

"They're trying to rush this thing through as fast as possible, without any input from the Canadian people. They've even gone so far as to ask Colombian negotiators to make sure that details about labour texts are kept from Canadian unions and non-governmental organizations. Why the secrecy?"

To alert Members of Parliament on this issue, the Canadian Labour Congress is running an ad today in Ottawa's Hill Times newspaper. A copy of this ad can be downloaded from our 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 136 district labour councils.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    Jean Wolff
    613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040
    Canadian Labour Congress
    Jeff Atkinson
    613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413