Following the collapse on 15 January of a partially-constructed bridge in central Colombia, in which ten workers died and another eight were injured, Otoniel Ramírez, the president of the trade union National Syndicate of Workers of Industry Materials for Construction (SUTIMAC), has criticised the conditions facing construction workers in the country.
The accident occurred south of Bogota on the main highway to the city of Villavicencio when one of the main support towers for the new Chirajara bridge suddenly gave way. An investigation into the cause of the accident has been launched.
‘The colleagues in the construction sector are not only badly paid and the majority given rubbish contracts, but they are exposed to high risks due to the lack of security in workplaces’, said Ramírez.
‘It is vital to continue organising our colleagues to fight for contracting and better labour conditions. While the bosses of projects get the largest cut, which allows them to fill the pockets of corrupt politicians, the workers get the worst cut’, he added.
According to Ramírez, SUTIMAC, which is affiliated to Colombia’s main trade union body, the CUT, can ‘count on 25 sub-directives in Colombian regions and thousands of affiliates who are ready to continue strengthening our organisation… We are an internationalist trade union which works alongside the World Trade Union Federation. We support worker struggles in Latin America and around the world against the neoliberal model and capitalist exploitation’.
Source: Prensa Rural