Colombia: National Strike for Life and Peace Unites Society

published 20 November 2019 updated 22 November 2019

On 21 November, trade unions and social organisations called for a major mobilisation in defence of life, peace, public education and the rights of teachers and the Colombian people.

The 24-hour national strike called by trade unions and social organisations has a number of objectives:

  • The defence of life, peace and democracy.
  • The right to health for teachers and their families.
  • The strengthening and protection of the Fondo Nacional de Prestaciones Sociales del Magisterio. (National Teachers Social Benefits Trust Fund).
  • The reform of the Constitution with a view to guaranteeing growing resources for health, drinking water, basic sanitation and education for the Colombian people.
  • The fulfilment, development and implementation of the agreements signed with the national government.

The strike also opposes the repression and criminalisation of social protest, the assassination of social, popular and environmental leaders, and the implicit attacks of the tax, wage, labour and pension reform projects planned by the administration of President Iván Duque.

It is the first great social mobilisation of its kind in the country, uniting both trade unions and social organisations in a large civic front. Its organisers, the unions CUT and FECODE (member organisations of Education International) are long-standing proponents of a peace agreement in Colombia, and they oppose the criminalisation of social protest, demand a decent minimum wage in the country and seek the fulfilment of agreements with both works and various social sectors.

The mobilisation has had the support of EI in the form of a video communiqué from EI General Secretary, David Edwards, who published his statement alongside Nelson Alarcón, President of FECODE.