Colombia: Vale Coal Colombia allegedly made reprisals against workers who tried to unionise, says US union USW

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Company response
5 July 2011

Response from Vale to article alleging abuses of freedom of association rights of its workers in Colombia

Author: Vale

Vale in Colombia is accomplishing all labor laws of Colombia, and also have extra benefits above the statutory legal rights for employees. Vale in any case is interfering with the right institutional of labor union association. The managers of the company in any case have attacked the good practices in its dealings with employees.

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20 June 2011

Colombia violating FTA labor agreements through union reprisals: US Union

Author: Tom Heyden, Colombia Reports

Vale Coal Colombia has been violating the Labor Action Plan between the United States and Colombia, a requisite of the pending free trade agreement, through threats and reprisals against unionists in the northern department of Cesar, according to U.S. trade union United Steelworkers (USW). In a letter to Vale Coal Colombia President Zenaldo Olivera, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...USW's International President Leo W. Gerard lambasted recent retaliations against trade unionists at Vale's El Hatillo coal mine in Cesar department, [because] Colombian trade union Sintramienergetica informed…that workers at the mine organized a union in early June but that the company "unlawfully refused to recognize and bargain with that union" and "immediately proceeded to take reprisals against the workers in retaliation for their union support."

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