Photo: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka opposes free-trade with Colombia, cites violance and job loss
Along with a letter stated its opposition to the pending free-trade agreement with Colombia, the national trade union center known as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has sent President Obama a list of labor union leaders who have been killed in Colombia, a country with documented violence against union activists.
In the letter, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stated, “Simply put, Colombia should not be rewarded with a trade agreement until it develops a proven track record of ensuring that workers can exercise the fundamental rights of free association and collective bargaining; preventing violence against union leaders and other social justice advocates; and bringing to justice those who perpetrated such crimes.”
The letter also said that about 55,000 jobs would be lost if the deal were to be made, and said President Obama should really be against taking the already low number of jobs away from Americans when the U.S. unemployment rate remains so high.
Trumka wrote, “Given this predicted job loss, at a time when working Americans are already struggling to find jobs, pay their mortgages, and make ends meet, advancing the Colombia Trade Agreement will send the wrong message to the working people of both Colombia and the U.S.”