Nov. 28th Call to Action: General Motors Nominated for “Corporate Excellence” Award as Disabled GM Workers and Families Starve
National protests at GM Headquarters in Detroit and U.S. State Dept. in D.C. on Wednesday, Nov. 28th
WHY: Solidarity Protest for Hunger Strikers demanding negotiations with GM-Detroit
WHEN: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Wednesday Nov. 28th
WHERE: GM Headquarters, 400 Renaissance Center Drive, Detroit AND U.S. State Dept. Ben Franklin RM, Washington D.C.
The President of the Association of Injured and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (ASOTRECOL), Jorge Parra, sewed his mouth shut on November 20th and is on hunger strike. Jorge, alongside local unions, community organizations, and religious leaders, demands that GM Detroit negotiate with ASOTRECOL. Jorge’s fellow workers continue their 15-month-long tent occupation outside the U.S. embassy in Bogotá, Colombia.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is considering awarding General Motors the “Award for Corporate Excellence,” citing GM’s “exemplary labor practices” and its overall “corporate social responsibility.” In 2006 the Bush administration granted the award to Colmotores, the GM plant located in Bogotá, Colombia–the same plant responsible for destroying the lives of the ASOTRECOL workers.
SHAME ON GM
GM Colombia (Colmotores), the most profitable GM plant in Latin America, fired over 200 workers who suffered work-related injuries and diseases, including spinal fractures and cancer.
GM bought off government inspectors, doctors, lawyers, and judges to hide evidence of poor working conditions and worker injuries. They falsified documents and destroyed patients’ medical histories.
GM refuses to recognize the workers’ occupational injuries and provide the fired workers with adequate medical compensation and pensions. Taking into account lost wages, pensions, and medical care, labor lawyers estimate a just settlement to be $24 million. In August 2012 Colmotores offered just $5,000 in total compensation to 12 workers. One spinal surgery alone costs over $50,000.
THE WORKERS’ DEMANDS:
- GM Detroit must negotiate directly with ASOTRECOL.
- Recognize workers’ injuries as occupational and provide adequate medical care
- Pay pensions for disabled workers and rehire those still able to work
- Compensate workers for economic damage, including lost wages and homes
- Recognize ASOTRECOL as a GM union
- U.S. enforcement of the Labor Action Plan, which outlines basic protections for workers within the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION:ASOTRECOL workers and their families lack adequate food, shelter, and medical care. Send a donation check to “Wellspring UCC” with “Colombia relief” on the memo line. Mailing address: Wellspring UCC, Box 508, Centreville VA 20122.
CONTACT: For Spanish: Jorge Parra (ASOTRECOL), jjorgeaalberto at hotmail.com; 540-220-8257. For English/Spanish: Diana Sierra (Graduate Employees’ Organization), dcarolina1994 at gmail.com, 607-857-5677, or Kevin Young, kyoung1984 at gmail.com, 607-857-5677.
Flyer for event (PDF).