Colombian Labor Pains
What is possibly happening in Detroit that would drive a man to have his lips sewn shut?
Published: June 5, 2013
Which is why Para and his fellow protesters continue in their efforts to generate public pressure on both GM and the Colombian government.
Asked why he thought people in Metro Detroit should be concerned about the fate of injured workers in Colombia, Parra, who was in Michigan when the Legislature passed the so-called “Right-to-Work” law last year, says the assault on unions is hardly limited to Colombia.
“All you have to do is look at what’s going on in Colombia and you can see what is gradually happening to you,” he contends.
Which brings us to that image of him with his mouth literally sewn shut, and the question of why anyone would do that to himself?
He talks about the difficulty of struggling against a corporation as powerful as General Motors, especially in a country as hostile to organized labor as Colombia, and the need to gain broad support in what he describes as the struggle for justice that he and others are engaged in.
“We need to express the impotence we felt as poor workers,” he says. “After you sew your lips shut, you can’t turn back. You have to keep going on. We felt like there were no other options. We are desperate.”
News Hits is written by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com.
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