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Hunger Striking for Labor Rights in Colombia

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

Minutes before he started to sew his mouth shut, Jorge Alberto Parra Andrade explained his rationale to me: “Essentially GM gave us a choice: to die of hunger or to die waiting for them to solve this problem.”

Mr. Parra is one of 68 injured workers fired by General Motors Colombia who started a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá one year ago, on August 1st, 2011. The Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (ASOTRECOL) had two simple demands: fair compensation for injuries incurred in the workplace and reintegration into GM’s workforce. In commemoration of their protest’s anniversary — and without any movement on their case — four leaders of ASOTRECOL decided to sew their mouths closed and initiate a hunger strike. Another three joined on August 8th, and a small group will join each week until their cases are resolved. read more