United States Launches Program to Strengthen Labor Rights in 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 (ILO) and Teresa Casertano, Solidarity Center’s Regional Program Director for Latin America, led today a formal signing ceremony for the Labor Union Strengthening Program launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The program is to be executed nationwide by the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center). It 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 allow unions to organize by economic sector at regional and national levels.

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

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principal U.S. Government Agency providing economic, social, and humanitarian assistance worldwide.

In Colombia 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.

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