Comments Inform USTR on Labor Rights Violations

In the comments, ILRF focused on the importance of addressing the factors that have caused the violence, impunity and labor contracting, making Colombia one of the world's worst environments for workers to freely affiliate with a union. The Obama Administration has been cautious about moving forward with a Colombia FTA but has indicated that if certain benchmarks are met on violence and impunity, Colombia could still be rewarded with an agreement in the near future. ILRF proposes that Colombia should not be rewarded with an agreement until it meets very strict preconditions, not short term benchmarks, including the dismantling of illegal paramilitary groups that murder unionists and the investigation of all State actors and U.S. corporations that are suspected have aided and abetted paramilitaries.
ILRF recommends that the U.S. Department of Justice play a much greater role in ending violence and impunity in Colombia by investigating U.S. corporations that have allegedly financed and aided the murders of their own union affiliated employees. Complaints filed against Alabama based Drummond Coal, Dole Foods and Chiquita (by ILRF's former lawyers), have clearly demonstrated that violence against employees of these companies was directed towards union leaders and unionists who were engaged in labor disputes that were costly to the companies. Take action here to tell the DOJ to investigate  Dole.

The corporations have still not been held accountable and sufficient evidence should prompt systematic investigations by the DOJ. These companies allegedly financed the AUC paramilitary group which was deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2001. Shouldn't the enforcement of the Patriot Act apply in Colombia??