No matter how miserably mundane your job seems — whether you’re constantly crunching numbers for a large insurance provider or mindlessly trolling the web for relevant blog fodder — the American workforce has little reason to complain when compared with workers in many other countries. That’s not to say, however, that if you’re employed by a large American company abroad, work is a slice of apple of pie.
At a General Motors assembly plant in Colombia, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
About 164 hard workers have lost their jobs at GM’s Bogotá factory after developing medical problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal injuries, and hernias, the combined result of shoddy working conditions, long hours spent operating heavy machinery, and virtually nonexistent corporate safety standards.
And for more than 300 days, several of those workers have camped out at a makeshift tent city in front of the U.S. embassy in Colombia hoping to shed light on the issue. Leading the fight is Jorge Parra, a former employee of the assembly plant in Bogotá and president of the Association of Sick and Fired Workers of General Motors Colombia (ASOTRECOL in Spanish).
Tue., June 26, 8 p.m., 2012