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GM Colmotores workers suspend hunger strike

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30 August, 2012The dispute over the dismissal of workers with occupational diseases still continues but the workers have decided to suspend their hunger strike after an agreement on mediation.

The hunger strike by workers dismissed by General Motors, Colombia, lasted more than 20 days. The workers sewed their mouths shut in an effort to get the company, government and the United States embassy to listen to their demands.

The workers decided to end their hunger strike on 24 August after the company agreed to mediation. However, they will remain camped outside the United States embassy until the dispute is resolved, said the union.

The workers, who are all members of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Columbia (ASOTRECOL), have been protesting for one year against General Motors’ practice of systematically dismissing without compensation any employees whose physical health deteriorates because of occupational diseases.

The United States Federal Mediation Service has agreed to mediate. The workers were asked to suspend the hunger strike while mediation takes place.

Jorge Parra, president of ASOTRECOL, told the national and international press that the workers had suspended their hunger strike because of the new dialogue, but that they will resume the hunger strike if mediation fails.