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  • Workers' rally in front of the Health Ministry, Bogota, Colombia, June 11, 2020

    Workers' rally in front of the Health Ministry, Bogota, Colombia, June 11, 2020 | Photo: Twitter/ @cutcolombia

Published 11 June 2020
Opinion

Economic stabilization during the pandemic is used as a pretext to favor large corporations.

The Unitary Central of Workers (CUT), the Confederation of Colombian Workers (CTC), and the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) Thursday held rallies against President Ivan Duque’s policies that seek to reduce the labor rights of the population.

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Specifically, workers reject the proposal of the National Federation of Merchants (Fenalco) which would allow employers to evade social benefits, grant hourly wages, and alter working hours under the pretext of "stabilizing" the economy in the face of the pandemic.

Besides rejecting pension reforms, workers' organizations demand that the Colombian State allocate resources for health, implement a universal basic income for food, and stop the violence and repression against social leaders.

The CGT denounced that the Duque administration seeks to promote mechanisms such as labor subcontracting, which would allow large companies to “neglect” their obligations related to occupational risks, retirement pensions, and other social benefits.

The meme reads, "During quarantine, a leader is assassinated every three days. As of May 31, there were 183 acts of violence against political, social, and community leaders."

“We reject working for hours because the rules of the game are not clear. It is not known exactly what they are trying to do, although they swear they seek to create jobs," the CGT president Julio Gomez said.

The CUT president Diogenes Orjuela demanded that the Colombian Government protect labor rights, especially in activities related to agriculture and agro-industries.

“Colombia is going through an enormous calamity caused not so much by the COVID-19 pandemic but rather by Duque''s policies, which aim at benefiting bankers, monopolies, and landowners at the cost of people's increased sacrifices,” said the Bloc Supporting Indefinite Stoppage, which integrates over 30 national organizations of professionals and workers.

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