Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, has co-signed a letter with the trade unions of Great Britain and Ireland to The new Colombian government to express their support for his political program and underline their continued commitment to support the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement.
The letter, coordinated by the Justice for Colombia campaign, is addressed to President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez and the unions hail policies that contain “the potential for change that could see significant steps away from violence and deep-rooted inequality that has plagued Colombia for so long.
The letter is signed by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), as well as 25 individual unions, including Britain’s two largest, Unite and UNISON, and Ireland’s largest, SIPTU. Other signatories include the General Federation of Trade Unions, Thompsons Solicitors and Justice for Colombia. The combined membership of signatories is over 6.5 million workers.
The historic Pact coalition of Petro and Márquez was elected on an outpouring of support that included trade unions, social organizations and the pro-peace movement. As the first left-wing government in Colombia’s history, it pledged to fight human rights abuses, implement the peace accord, and develop a green economy to ward off poverty. Colombia from its reliance on resource extraction.
The text of the letter reads as follows:
President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez
Casa de Narino
Bogotá – Colombia
August 8, 2022
Dear President Petro and Vice President Márquez,
As trade unions that jointly represent over 6.5 million workers across Britain and Ireland, we congratulate the historic Pact on its victory in the Colombian presidential election.
We have long campaigned for labor rights, human rights and peace in Colombia through our campaign organization, Justice for Colombia, and welcome your government’s commitments to make progress in these areas. keys. We particularly welcome the commitment to focus policies on those who have been most marginalized in Colombia’s history. While we recognize that tackling Colombia’s long history of inequality and violence will be an enormous task, we are inspired and extremely encouraged by the government program released before we took office.
For two decades, Justice for Colombia has brought international delegations of trade unionists and parliamentarians to bear witness to the reality in Colombia and to strengthen international support for those who work for peace and social justice in the country – our last visit was took place in June of this year. In meetings with social organizations, trade unions, human rights defenders, victims of conflict and signatories to the peace process, among others, delegates witnessed the broad support for the historic Pact and the excitement about the potential for change that could see significant steps away from the violence and deep-rooted inequalities that have plagued Colombia for so long.
Through conference motions, advocacy and meetings with Colombian colleagues, our labor organizations have formalized and maintained our commitment to the rights of Colombian trade unionists, social activists and rural communities, among others. We have repeatedly reaffirmed our unconditional support for the full implementation of the 2016 peace agreement and the search for peace more broadly. We warmly welcome your willingness to seek a negotiated settlement with the armed groups that remain active in Colombia, and you can be assured of our full support for all efforts aimed at building a great peace.
The British and Irish trade union movements will continue to stand with the Colombian people. We wish your government success in implementing its political agenda and look forward to working with you to strengthen peace, human rights and social justice in Colombia.
[list of signatories]