On January, 31st Jorge Parra, president of ASOTRECOL, the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of GM Colombia, lifted his hunger strike. He took this step in anticipation of a close cooperation between ASOTRECOL and US labor in working for a just resolution with General Motors at the corporate level of the grievances arising from the unjust and illegal firings of autoworkers hurt on the job at GM’s Colombian subsidiary, Colmotores. ASOTRECOL’s tent occupation across the street from the US embassy in Bogotá, in its 550th day at the beginning of February, continues, as does the campaign to compel General Motors to agree to redress this injustice.
El 31 de enero, Jorge Parra, presidente de ASOTRECOL, levantó su huelga de hambre. Él tomó este paso en anticipación de una cooperación cercana entre ASOTRECOL y el movimiento sindical estadounidense en trabajar para lograr una resolución justa con GM al nivel ejecutivo con respecto a los despidos injustos e ilegales de trabajadores heridos en la filial colombiana de GM, Colmotores. Siguen la huelga de ASOTRECOL y su campamento frente a la embajada estadounidense en Bogotá, los cuales alcanzaron 550 días a inicios de febrero. Sigue también la campaña que presiona a GM para resolver esta situación injusta.
—— MEDIA ADVISORY ——
Contact: Kevin Young For immediate release
ASOTRECOL Solidarity Network January 9, 2013
GENERAL MOTORS TO BE TARGETED AT INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT FOR FIRING 200+ INJURED WORKERS IN COLOMBIA;
PRESIDENT OF WORKERS’ ORGANIZATION, ON HUNGER STRIKE SINCE NOVEMBER 20th, TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE
WHO: Injured GM autoworker Jorge Parra plus religious leaders, autoworkers, and community supporters from Detroit and elsewhere
WHAT: Press conference
WHEN: Monday, January 14th at 3pm
WHERE: Across the street from the Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit 48226
WHY: The members of ASOTRECOL (the Association of Injured and Ex-Workers of GM-Colombia) were fired from the General Motors plant in Colombia after suffering injuries and illnesses on the assembly line, leaving them without workers’ compensation, medical coverage, or job prospects to support their families. For over 530 days ASOTRECOL has maintained an encampment outside the U.S. embassy in Bogota, having chosen that location because the U.S. government bailed out GM and still owns 26 percent of the company. ASOTRECOL President Jorge Parra has been on hunger strike to protest GM’s refusal to negotiate with the workers since November 20, 2012, during which time he has consumed nothing but clear liquids. As General Motors continues to reject the workers’ request for negotiations, come meet Jorge and hear his story. For more info call Kevin Young at (607) 857-5677 or visit http://www.ASOTRECOL.com or http://www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers.
We are simple workers and peaceful people. We are always ready to dialogue. We are engaging in these actions because of the lack of serious commitment on the part of General Motors in the more than 470 days we have spent seeking justice We are not asking for charity, we are demanding that The General Motors Corporation engage with us to right its wrongs.
- Because of the multiple occasions that we have suspended the hunger strike without achieving a resolution, we will not lift the hunger strike until there is a final and just resolution to our demands.
- Due to the multiple times that General Motors Colmotores has dismissed the validity of our claims and attacked our motives, we demand that this situation be resolved directly with the parent company, General Motors, not with Colmotores, nor in Colombia.
- ASOTRECOL is the sole representative of the injured and fired workers of GM Colmotores. Suggestions that GM engage with us individually are unacceptable. We will continue to engage in good faith efforts to solve this in a collective manner.
General Motors Colmotores says that we are “radical.” If defending our rights and protecting the well being of our children and our families makes us “radicals,” then we are radicals. We are sure that workers in the United States and around the world would not tolerate the injustices which we have experienced working at GM Colmotores.
We are ready to release documented evidence of the abuses we received from GM Colmotores to the media in the United States and Colombia. These documents will show that everything we are saying is true and that all of our denouncements are valid.
We are grateful to the people of the United States, and all the leaders of faith, for the unwavering support they have given us and we hope to have this same support as we begin this hunger strike. We are grateful to the UAW and the AFL-CIO for their efforts to help us win justice, and ask for their direct intervention in assisting us to reach a just resolution.
We hold General Motors directly responsible for the consequences of this hunger strike. We will give our lives if necessary, because we will no longer permit our children to go hungry.