Solidarity with Injured GM Workers Launching Hunger Strike February 11th

Demonstrate Solidarity with Injured GM Workers in Colombia
4:30-6 PM TUES FEB. 11
GM Headquarters, Renaissance Center, Detroit MI (map)
Facebook event

GM-COLOMBIA 8 RESUME HUNGER STRIKE FEB. 11

The GM-Colombia 8 autoworkers announced on February 1st that they are resuming their water-only hunger strike, with their lips sewn shut, on Tues., Feb. 11th. That’s the date in 1937 when militant UAW workers in Flint ended a historic 44-day sit-down strike, after GM agreed to recognize the UAW as the workers’ exclusive bargaining agent.

Their first fast in August 2012 ended after 22 days when GM agreed to a mediation with the workers’ association, ASOTRECOL – which ended without a settlement. Citing the workers’ rejection of their paltry ‘final offer,’ GM has since refused the workers’ demand to go back to the table.

Out of the 68 members who formed ASOTRECOL in 2011, eight are holding steadfast and remain in the fight today. Employed an average of 8 years, they suffered debilitating injuries working 12-14 hours/day on an antiquated assembly line. 4-6 years ago GM devised illegal ways to get rid of them. With no union to turn to, and stonewalled by the Colombian legal system, the workers in August 2011 set up a tent encampment in front of the US Embassy in Bogota – where they’ve been ever since – (as of Feb. 1st) 914 days.

GM: FLINT 1937 = COLOMBIA TODAY

The working conditions in their factory were eerily similar to those in Flint in the 1930s. These include: hazardous and unhealthy work conditions, job insecurity, extreme speedup, firings, anti-union policies including espionage and intimidation, and displacement of workers at an extremely early age – all with the backdrop of no government oversight and weak or no unions. This is what gave rise to the struggle by the GM workers 80 years ago in Flint – and today in Colombia.

After these conditions were exposed by ASOTRECOL, GM made safety improvements, corrected some management practices and changed management personnel at the Colmotores plant. GM must now end its war of attrition against the GM-Colombia 8, and make them whole!

For more background on the injured GM workers in Colombia, see the ASOTRECOL website.GMColombia

Advertisements

Salsa for Justice! A Fundraiser for the Striking Workers of GM Colombia

salsaForJustice2Big

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who attended Saturday’s fundraiser! Special thank you to dancer Angeline Burrell who provided free salsa lessons. We raised $668 for the families of the injured GM workers who’ve been camped out since Aug. 2011 demanding health care, compensation, and job rehiring.

Join Washtenaw Community Action Team and friends for…

Salsa for Justice! A Fundraiser for the Striking Workers of GM Colombia
Time: 7 PM, Saturday February 16, 2013
Place: Hathaway’s Hideaway, 310 South Ashley Street (near Liberty St), Ann Arbor
Price: $5 suggested donation at the door

Come and party with us to express solidarity with the workers and their families who have led a tent encampment outside the U.S. embassy in Bogota for over a year and a half to demand justice. Jorge Parra, injured GM worker was on hunger strike for 72 days, from Nov. 20th 2012 to January 31st 2013, demanding negotiations. As the president of ASOTRECOL, the association of injured and ex-workers of GM, Jorge wants to meet with GM to work out a settlement as soon as possible. GM has refused to meet them.

Música y Baile: Una recaudación de fondos por los huelgistas de GM Colombia

Lugar: Hideaway’s Hathaway, 310 South Ashley Street (cerca de Liberty St), Ann Arbor
Hora: 7pm, sábado 16 de febrero 2013

¡Demuestre su amor verdadero!
Vengan a festejar con nosotros para expresar su solidaridad con los ex-trabajadores de Colmotores (filial de General Motors en Bogotá, Colombia) y sus familias. Desde Agosto del 2011, los trabajadores y sus familias llevan un campamento exigiendo justicia enfrente la embajada estadounidense en Colombia. Jorge Parra, presidente de ASOTRECOL, la Asociación de Trabajadores y Extrabajadores Enfermos de General Motors Colmotores, está en Detroit exigiendo una reunión con GM para elaborar un acuerdo tan pronto como sea posible. GM se ha negado a reunirse con él.

Auto Show Protests in Solidarity with GM Hunger Strikers

Stand alongside injured worker Jorge Parra, on hunger strike since Nov. 20th, 2012, demanding negotiations with GM Detroit. Medical Compensation, Job-Rehiring and Union Recognition Now!

Auto Worker Protests: Sun. 1/13 and Mon. 1/14, 1:30-3pm
GM Hunger Strike Press Conference: 1/14, 3pm
Location: North American 2013 Auto Show, across street from Cobo Center, Detroit
Contact: asotrecolsolidaridad@gmail.com, facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers

Print

Jorge Parra’s statement on reaching the 44th day of his hunger strike, 1/2/13:

Protest GM at the Detroit Auto Show in January

Help us expose the crimes of General Motors against workers in Colombia. From JANUARY 14th THROUGH 27th people who care about democracy and human rights will be protesting GM at the annual International Auto Show in Detroit through a series of actions designed to call attention to GM’s wrongful firing of over 200 workers who suffered injuries and illnesses while working in GM’s Colombia plant. One of the workers, Jorge Parra, has been on hunger strike in Detroit since November 20th and may or may not survive past mid-January. Please join us to make sure the world knows the truth about what GM has done, and to pressure GM into fully compensating and rehiring the workers in Colombia.

Stay tuned to the Facebook event for information on specific actions.

Fore info on the campaign see http://www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers

Week of Actions in Solidarity with GM Hunger Strikers

This week is an important week for the ASOTRECOL/GM hunger strikers. Below are several ways in which you can participate. For more about the ASOTRECOL/GM Hunger Strikers, see WCAT’s posts on ASOTRECOL

Monday, Tuesday Dec 3 -4: Social Media Blitz: Tell GM to Negotiate NOW!
Post on GM’s Facebook and Twitter. Call GM. Post solidarity pics at asotrecolsolidarity.tumblr.com .

Wednesday, Dec 5th: Protest at GM headquarters in Detroit, starting at Hart Plaza at 4 PM
For more info contact melvinthompson322 at gmail.com

Thursday Dec 6: Candle-light vigil for worker’s families at GM VP’s residence, 5 PM
For carpooling info, contact Kevin at kyoung1984 at gmail.com

Friday Dec 7: Fundraiser for hunger strikers’ families that lack food, shelter, & medical care
Donate at www.wellspringucc.org . Write “Colombia relief” on message subject line. Or write a check to Wellspring UCC with “Colombia relief” on memo line, to Wellspring UCC, Box 508, Centreville, VA, 20122.

Saturday, Dec 8th: Raise awareness among dealers & customers at GM dealerships
For rally locations visit this Facebook page.

Sunday, Dec 9th: Day of prayer for GM hunger strikers and their families
Add your name to the open letter from 109 faith leaders demanding negotiations. Post video prayer or statement on GM’s Facebook page.

For more info visit: asotrecolsolidarity.tumblr.com and facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers

Interview with Jorge Parra and ASOTRECOL Supporters on WCBN Radio And How You Can Help

ASOTRECOL president Jorge Parra and WCAT organizers Diana Sierra and Kevin Young were guests on Greg Pratt’s WCBN-FM radio show this past week.They spoke about Parra’s renewed hunger strike and the connection with Michigan struggles.

Listen to the interview here (53 minutes)

Learn about ways you can help the ASOTRECOL workers from home.

WCAT and Southeast Michigan Community Support Injured GM Colombian Workers

On November 20, Jorge Parra, president of a union of injured GM-Colombia workers (ASOTRECOL), sewed his mouth shut and restarted his hunger strike, as other ASOTRECOL workers continue their 15-month long tent occupation outside the U.S. embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. To support ASOTRECOL workers, on November 28, members of the Washtenaw Community Action Team joined Southeast Michigan Latin America solidarity activists and labor activists at the Renaissance Center in Detroit in calling for GM to hold direct negotiations with ASOTRECOL.

Free Speech Radio News, a alternative media service broadcast across the U.S., interviewed WCAT organizer Kevin Young. Listen to the interview here.

1128GMProtest_1Participants at Rally for GM Colombian Workers1128_GMProtest_3

For background on ASOTRECOL, see this leaflet (PDF) and other Washtenaw Community Action Team website updates on this struggle.