Colombia is one of the countries that showed signs of growth in the first half of 2017 despite the slowdown and the decrease of public and private investment in various sectors of the industry. The country was selected for a meeting between trade union actors, national affiliates of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA) and the global union federations, including IndustriALL, UNI, PSI, ITF, BWI and IUF, as well as the Confederación Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) and the Confederation of Workers of Colombia (CTC).
The mission was headed by Víctor Báez Mosqueira, General Secretary of the CSA and Antonio Rodriguez Fritz, Regional Secretary of ITF for Latin America and the Caribbean. In Bogota, they met with the leaders of these organisations to discuss common challenges and joint actions in Colombia.
The BWI was represented by members of the construction and wood coordination board "Intergremial" from Colombia, the united trade union platform bringing together 14 organisations in the sectors of construction, building materials and wood.
There were discussions on the regional and national situation, the atomization of unions, outsourcing and subcontracting, closures of companies, prosecution of industrial relations in favour of capital, and "robotization".
Rodriguez Fritz said: "In the future, there will be 650 million people in the region and the economic active population of this population density is not in the unions, the unions are not an alternative in the imagination of new generations, but it is responsibility for own unions." He also said that it is necessary and urgent to strengthen the organisation by national centres, branch or industrial sector.
Víctor Baez referred to the process of trade Union “self-reform” proposed by TUCA years ago, consisting in defending small businesses of national capital that create jobs. He called on more people to join, to go to the field, to work, to be able to overcome the difficult future affecting the trade union movement in the world.
The trade union meeting was held in Bogotá on 22 August 2017 arriving from Mexico to Chile, countries where coordination between GUF´s - CSA also developed a similar agenda with national trade union actors.