Solidarity with ASOTRECOLFebruary 17th, 2013 | Posted by in Articles & Essays
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. Since Aug 2, 2011 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.
Injured GM worker, Jorge Parra, and five other workers, including Melvin Thompson, former UAW 140 Local President, were on hunger strike since November 20th, 2012 most with their mouths sewn shut. Jorge’s hunger strike lasted a total of 72 days and the others starved for a month. In solidarity with the GM workers a demonstration was held in front of a GM dealership in Midtown Manhattan. Feb 2, 2013.
Update from the ASOTRECOL campaign:
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.”