Bank Workers’ Leader to Visit UK

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 14 January 2008

The British trade union Unite, working with Justice for Colombia, will shortly be hosting Colombian trade union leader Emigdio Triana in the UK for a two-week visit. Mr Triana is the leader of the bank workers' trade union, UNEB, in the Colombian capital Bogotá.

Unite and UNEB first made contact late last year during a strike in Colombia by workers at HSBC – where both unions have members. The strike was called in response to an attempt by the company to undermine employment rights and introduce less favourable terms and conditions. When the bank refused to negotiate seriously with UNEB, 80% of Colombian HSBC employees voted for strike action.

After 11 days of strike action the company backed down and a new collective bargaining agreement, valid for two years, was signed by both parties. Mr Triana was at the forefront of organising the strike as well as being involved with the negotiations with HSBC. During the strike Unite made contact with UNEB and Mr Triana in particular and as a result the British union sent letters of protest and contacted HSBC head office in London to express their concern.

During his visit Mr Triana will be meeting with Unite activists at HSBC and union representatives from across the broader finance sector, speaking at a seminar on globalisation, and holding meetings with Members of Parliament to update them on the current situation in Colombia. In addition JFC will be hosting a public meeting for him – details of which will shortly appear on this website.



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