Thursday, June 30, 2011



The other year workers in Ontario and Newfoundland were "treated" to an exhibition of just how hard hearted and tight fisted the international mining giant Vale is. But Canada and Brazil are only two countries that figure in the global assets of the company. In Colombia Vale goes even further in its disdain for workers and democracy. Here's a petition from the online labour solidarity site Labour Start asking people to protest Vale's tactics in Colombia.

Colombia: Tell Vale no more union busting
As if it wasn’t hard enough for unions to operate in Colombia, now Vale wants to make it harder. Workers at global giant Vale’s El Hatillo coal mine in Colombia recently organized with the union SINTRAMIENERGETICA and presented modest bargaining demands. Rather than negotiate, Vale has attempted to dictate the process by which the union formulates its demands. Vale supervisors have threatened every worker with dismissal unless they renounce the union. Vale’s superintendent locked one union supporter in his office and threatened him to the point that the supporter showed symptoms of a heart attack and was hospitalized in serious condition. The majority of workers at El Hatillo are subcontracted which also limits their right to organize.


The Letter:

Please go to this link to send the following message to the President of Colombia and the Vale management:

Dear Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Vale Colombia CEO Zenaldo Olivera,

We demand that you respect the fundamental rights of workers employed at Vale’s El Hatillo coal mine in Colombia. Vale must cease its obstruction tactics and threats. It must recognize the union that these workers have organized with, SINTRAMIENERGETICA, and negotiate in good faith. The Government of Colombia must ensure that the fundamental rights of workers employed at Vale and those of all other Colombian workers are respected. Specifically, the Government must ensure that companies cannot use cooperatives or other subcontracting arrangements to deprive workers of their basic rights.

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