United States Government Launches Program to Strengthen Labor Rights in Colombia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 26, 2009
USAID Press Office

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - William R. Brownfield, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia; Ana Noguera, Vice-Minister of Labor Affairs; Marcelo Castro Fox, Director of the International Labor Organization and Teresa Casertano, Solidarity Center's Regional Program Director for Latin America, launched Trade Union Strengthening in Colombia, a new U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded labor rights and union strengthening program.

Implemented by the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center) of the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations, this new program will work with Colombian unions, the Colombian government, and other stakeholders to develop and promote legal reforms, to allow the inclusion of workers in unions under a wide variety of contract arrangements, and to permit unions to organize by economic sector at regional and national levels.

The program will assist Colombian labor unions in developing and implementing organizing strategies to attract sub-contracted workers and members of cooperatives into unions. It will also provide training to Colombian union leaders in financial management, transparency, member services, negotiation, and collective bargaining.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, supports the government of Colombia's efforts to achieve peace, promote economic prosperity, improve the living conditions of Colombia's most vulnerable groups, develop economic and social alternatives to illicit crop production, and strengthen the presence and effectiveness of the state in conflict and post conflict areas of Colombia.

USAID is the principal U.S. Government Agency charged with providing economic, social, and humanitarian assistance worldwide.

For more information about USAID, please visit: www.usaid.gov.