Oil workers resumed their protests in Puerto Gaitan in the Colombian department of Meta last week, once again confronting security forces. The new protests come after the Colombian government and the Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales failed to fulfill promises made during last month’s oil workers’ strike. In July, 10,000 oil workers walked out of several multinational oil companies to protest subcontractor layoffs and dismal working conditions.
However less than a month later Pacific Rubiales and its partner, the Colombian majority state-owned, Ecopetrol, have failed to change their employment strategy. Both companies primarily depend on subcontractors that employ thousands of workers paying low wages and few benefits. As I discussed in a previous blog, Pacific Rubiales’ subcontractors also largely recruit from remote areas, refusing to hire from the local community. Now the residents of Puerto Gaitan are demanding that these companies hire more of its unemployed work force.
Stay tuned for more.
Behind the Oil Workers’ Strike in Colombia, Nazih Richani, July 27, 2011
Multinational Corporations in Colombia: Land Grab, Nazih Richani, June 7, 2011
Buenaventura, Colombia: Where Free Trade Meets Mass Graves, Kelly Nicholls and Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli,
NACLA Report on the Americas July/August 2011
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