Colombia Solidarity Campaign

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Urgent Action: BP Oil Workers Action in Casanare Colombia - Police Repression
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Friday, 19 February 2010 17:38

Urgent Action: BP Oil Workers Action in Casanare Colombia - Police Repression

Workers at the BP plant at Tauramena, part of the Cusiana oil field in Casanare, Colombia have been protesting since 22 January 2010 for improved wages.

POLICE ATTACK

On 15 February the notorious ESMAD ‘anti-mutiny' police attacked the workers picket line and the local community. For video see http://www.usofrenteobrero.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=519:trabajadores-petroleros-de-tauramena-agredidos-por-el-emad-video&catid=60:tauramena&Itemid=100

 

OILWORKERS UNION USO

The workers are members of the national Oil Workers Union USO that has only been able to organise in the plants in the last year. See their full Urgent Action in English and Spanish below.

A union spokesmen explains the strike in this audio clip (Spanish)

http://www.tauramena-casanare.gov.co/audio_video.shtml?apc=C1b-2622122-2622122&x=2622122

 

SOLIDARITY ACTIONS

The Colombia Solidarity Campaign urges immediate action:

a) Send protest messages to BP demanding the corporation conducts peaceful negotiations with USO, meets the workers just demands and guarantees no victimisation of union members; and that BP condemns the ESMAD police repression of its employees.  

Send your message to (£2.5 million a year) Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward at email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

b) Send messages of solidarity to the workers via USO Human Rights Commission email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

c) Emergency Picket of BP HQ in London

VICTORY TO COLOMBIAN OILWORKERS!

SHAME ON BP - HUMAN RIGHTS IN CASANARE!

NO MORE POLICE REPRESSION -  NO BLOOD FOR OIL!

4pm Friday 26 February, outside BP HQ,

1 St James Square, London SW1

(nearest tube Piccadilly Circus)

 

Bring banners, placards and let's make a noise!

 

ADDITIONAL NOTE:

The Colombia Solidarity Campaign will be planning further solidarity action at its annual meeting in London on Saturday, 27 February.

For more information on this and other campaign activities contact us at email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

URGENT ACTION:  POLICE ATTACK WORKERS IN CASANARE

 

The department of Casanare is one of the most prosperous oil producing regions in Colombia. For more than 20 years multinational corporation BP has been exploiting this natural resource. As is common in our country, the presence of extractive projects is accompanied by state depredations and a strong paramilitary presence. During all of this time the workers and farmers of the region have had to bear all manner of assaults and human rights violations. Paramilitary groups imposed labour conditions in the corporations, those who resisted were assassinated, as occurred to several campesino and community leaders in the department.

In 2009, the Oil Workers Union (Unión Sindical Obrera - USO) managed to organise a union branch in Tauramena. From that moment USO initiated a series of actions demanding rights for the workers and the communities in the region, supporting social processes that were already under way.  

The union has been leading a peaceful protest since 22 January 2010 demanding that [oil pipeline consortium] OCENSA and BP improve wages and working conditions for the workers at Tauramena.

Due to the workers' and community struggle a significant advance was made in terms of wages and the reintegration of some sacked workers.  The employers committed to holding talks this Tuesday 16 February to discuss the outstanding points; on its side the union stated its willingness to negotiate and to lift the protest action once talks commenced,  in the knowledge that it has been repeatedly deceived.

Then in the morning hours of Monday 15 February a squad of ESMAD [anti-mutiny - ‘robocop'] police attacked the workers and local people, not respecting the children who were just then making their way to school. As a result of this brutal aggression three workers were injured and several children contaminated by tear gas.     

In the face of this we ask:

1.     That the Colombian government of Álvaro Uribe insists that the oil companies in Casanare - BP, OCENSA and SAR ENERGY S.A., - respect the employment rights of the workers, that they work in dignified conditions. 

2.     That the Colombian government of Álvaro Uribe provides the necessary guarantees for the free exercise of the rights to trade union association and social protest.

3.     That the Attorney General  (Fiscalía General de la Nación) and the competent state authorities  investigate the links between paramilitarism and oil exploitation in  Casanare. Evidential proofs of the violations of human rights were presented to the Peoples Permanent Tribunal, but no state investigation is known.  

4.     We appeal to national and international unions, and to organizations defending human rights, to reject these aggressions and to be vigilant with this process of social resistance.  

 

USO National Human Rights Commission.

15 February 2010

VISIT OUR WEB PAGE: www.usofrenteobrero.org

 

ACCIÓN URGENTE:  FUERZA PÚBLICA AGREDE A TRABAJADORES EN EL CASANARE

 

El Departamento del Casanare  es una de las regiones mas prosperas en materia de producción petrolera en Colombia. Por más de 20 años la multinacional BP ha venido explotando este recurso natural.  Como es común en nuestro país, la presencia de estos proyectos extractivos son acompañados por la expoliación estatal y por una fuerte presencia paramilitar. Durante todo este tiempo los trabajadores y campesinos de la región han tenido que soportar todo tipo de atropellos y violaciones de derechos humanos, los grupos paramilitares eran quienes imponían las condiciones laborales en las empresas, quienes se resistían a sus pretensiones los asesinaban, como ocurrió con varios dirigentes campesinos y comunales del Departamento.

En el año 2009 la Unión Sindical Obrera USO, logró organizar una subdirectiva del sindicato en Tauramena, desde ese momento se inicio una serie de acciones de exigencia de derechos para los trabajadores y comunidades de la región, acompañando procesos sociales ya existentes.

Desde el 22 de enero el sindicato viene liderando una protesta pacífica exigiéndole a OCENSA y BP, el mejoramiento de condiciones salariales y laborales para los trabajadores de Tauramena.

Gracias a la lucha de trabajadores y comunidad se logró un avance significativo en materia salarial así como el reintegro de unos trabajadores despedidos, las empresas se comprometieron a instalar el martes de esta semana una mesa para discutir los puntos pendientes; por su parte el sindicato manifestó su voluntad de negociar y de levantar el movimiento una vez se instalara la mesa, esto porque siempre han visto burlados sus intereses.

El lunes 15 e enero en horas de la mañana un grupo del SMAD de la policía, arremetió contra los trabajadores y la población, no respetó que en ese momento de la mañana los niños se dirigían a sus colegios, como resultado de la brutal agresión tres trabajadores se encuentran heridos y varios niños intoxicados por los gases.

 

Ante tales hechos solicitamos:

1.     Al gobierno nacional en cabeza de Álvaro Uribe, se le exija a las empresas petroleras del Casanare, BP, OCENSA Y SAR ENERGY S.A.,  respeto a las condiciones laborales de los trabajadores, en condiciones de vida digna.

2.     Al gobierno nacional en cabeza de Álvaro Uribe, se brinden las garantías necesarias para el libre ejercicio del derechos de asociación sindical y la protesta social.

3.     A la Fiscalía General de la Nación y a las entidades del Estado que les competa, investiguen los nexos entre el paramilitarismo y la explotación petrolera en el Casanare, pruebas de las violaciones de Derechos Humanos fueron presentado en el Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos y no se conoce investigación alguna.

4.     A los sindicatos nacionales e internacionales y a las organizaciones defensoras de Derechos Humanos, rechazar estas agresiones y estar vigilantes a este proceso de resistencia social.

 

COMISION NACIONAL DE DERECHOS HUMANOS USO

15 de febrero de  2010

VISITE NUESTRA PAGINA WEB: www.usofrenteobrero.org

 

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