International President Bob Scardelletti and Assistant National Legislative Director Tony Padilla meet with the labor leaders from Colombia.
During the month of June, TCU was host to 14 labor union leaders from Colombia, South America who traveled to the United States under the auspices of an AFL-CIO Colombia Trade Union Program. TCU provided classroom facilities and meals here at our headquarters in Rockville. President Scardelletti, IST Danny Biggs, IVP Bob Davis and Legislative Representative Tony Padilla all had the opportunity to speak with and spend time with the Colombians.
The AFL-CIO program offers the Colombian unionists a two-month training program focused on organizing and bargaining. After classroom training, these experienced union officers will work with various U.S. unions which are involved in organizing and mobilizing Spanish-speaking workers.
The program also provides the Colombian unionists an opportunity to raise awareness in the United States about the difficult obstacles faced by unions in Colombia, where anti-union employers and politicians with ties to paramilitary organizations sometimes threaten union leaders with violence or assassination. Since the mid-1980s more than 4,000 Colombian unionists have been murdered, most often in connection with an organizing drive or strike.