AFL-CIO Files Complaint Over Violence In Guatemala

The AFL-CIO has filed a complaint with the Bush Administration that says violence against trade unionists in Guatemala may have worsened since the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) became law, reports The Hill's Kevin Bogardus:

Expect the labor union to use the complaint as an argument against the free trade agreement with Colombia. Colombian supporters believe the trade deal would help that country's economy and thus lessen violence against labor activists. But the AFL-CIO complaint on Guatemala runs counter to this argument.


"This petition will demonstrate that labor conditions in [Guatemala] have remained unchanged or have worsened since the trade agreement was ratified," charges the complaint. "The level of physical violence against trade unionists increased markedly since the agreement entered into force in July, 2006. Violations of freedom of association and collective bargaining continue apace, and access to fair and efficient administrative or judicial tribunals remains elusive."