BOGOTA, Colombia, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Local and national leaders from
Canada's largest energy union will take part in a public hearing this
week on charges laid against the Canadian oil and gold company, Pacific
Rubiales Energy, in Bogota, Colombia.
"Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union President Dave Coles and
CEP Local 707 (Suncor) Secretary-Treasurer Angela Adams will be
available for media interviews throughout the process, which will also
spotlight the pillage of Colombia's natural resources by foreign
mining, gas and hydroelectric companies as well as the ongoing
political violence against union members, indigenous leaders and
communities affected by mega-development projects, as well as
environmental and social activists.
CEP is calling on the Canadian government to support a moratorium on all
mining concessions in Colombia until the country revamps its policies.
Many of the extractive companies in Colombia are registered in Canada.
"Pacific Rubiales has created a violent conflict in its blind pursuit of
profits, and that is a black mark on Canada and our mining industry,"
"Worker activists have not only faced threats and violence, but have
paid with their lives."
Pacific Rubiales refuses to recognize the oil workers' union (USO) and
sub-contracts its workforce, meaning that its workers live in permanent
job insecurity. They work in dismal conditions for wages below minimum
for the Colombian oil industry.
At the hearing, July 13, the main charges that will be laid against
Pacific Rubiales are for violations of the Colombian labour code,
violations of freedom of association and union-busting. It will take
place in the context of the Popular Tribunal Against Extractive Policies in Colombia, organized by Colombian organizations, including the USO. More than one
hundred experts, researchers, jurists, human rights defenders,
journalists, affected community members, union leaders, and workers
will hear the full details of the accusations against Pacific Rubiales.
Representatives of the company are also invited to respond to the
various charges and testimonies.
Pacific Rubiales Energy is headquartered in Toronto and is run by
Venezuelan expatriates who left their country in 2002. Pacific Rubiales
has several subsidiaries in the petroleum and mining sectors operating
throughout Colombia and announced in 2012 that it intends to explore
untapped shale gas and tar sands deposits. The company's main operation
however lies in the Campo Rubiales deposit, where output reached
200,000 barrels a day in November 2012, having grown almost 50% over
the past two years.
The company employs approximately 15,000 workers in the Puerto Gaítan
and Campo Rubiales regions of the Meta department.
SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Dave Coles (613) 299-5628, firstname.lastname@example.org