British and Irish unions welcome arrival of new Colombian government

Trade union organisations in Britain and Ireland have written to Colombia’s new government to express support for its political programme and emphasise their continued commitment to supporting implementation of the 2016 peace agreement.

In a letter addressed to President Gustavo Petro and Vice-President Francia Márquez, the unions welcome policies which contain ‘the potential for change that could see significant steps away from the violence and deep-rooted inequality that has affected Colombia for so long.’

The letter is signed by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), as well as 25 individual trade unions, including Britain’s two largest, Unite and UNISON, and the largest in Ireland, SIPTU. Other signatories include the General Federation of Trade Unions, Thompsons Solicitors and Justice for Colombia. The combined membership of the signatories is more than 6.5 million workers.

The Historic Pact coalition of Petro and Márquez was elected on a wave of support that included trade unions, social organisations and the pro-peace movement. As the first leftist government in Colombian history, it has pledged to address human rights abuses, implement the peace agreement and develop a green economy to move Colombia away from its dependence on resource extraction.

The Historic Pact government entered office on 7 August and will govern until 2026.

You can read or download the letter below.