Rep. Michaud Meets With Colombian Workers On FTA

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Mike Michaud, Chairman of the House Trade Working Group, issued the following statement after sitting down with Colombian workers who told him that realities on the ground in Colombia don’t mesh with the Obama Administration’s “Action Plan Related to Labor Rights.” On Monday, June 13th, the United States Trade Representative touted that Colombia has met the milestones set out in the action plan. “We should judge Colombia’s progress by the actual conditions on the ground, not by proclamations from the administration. I do not believe their action plan adequately addresses the pattern of human rights violations in Colombia. Nor do I believe that the action plan’s timeline will sufficiently resolve decades of attacks on trade unionists, human rights defenders, and Afro-Colombians. “My concerns and doubts were confirmed today in a meeting with Colombian union representatives, who explained that without time for meaningful change to take place, the reality on the ground will not change. “This trade agreement should not be sent to Congress until Colombian trade unionists themselves certify that the situation on the ground has dramatically improved and workers’ rights and human rights are protected.”