Colombia – GM Negotiation Failure with Auto Workers

September 26, 2012

By Padmini Arhant

Colombian autoworkers employed by General Motors were on hunger strike with their mouth sewn in protest against the automaker policy found discriminatory and exploitative compared to international labor standard.

The earlier fasting in similar manner was called off at GM’s behest with management offer to address grievances to employees satisfaction.

However, the talks favoring GM position understandably was not acceptable to labor union representing the plant workers forcing them to resume dissent abstaining food intake like last time.

Finance and auto industry – the chief beneficiaries in the U.S. taxpayer bailout not only evaded responsibility on the economic crises but also continue to practice business as usual.

Although, corporate executives net income and bonuses are secure and exponentially increase in relation to company profits,

The inclination for fair income distribution with rest of the organization especially the blue collar team and those at the lower end of hierarchy in administration and other areas are nil contributing to stagnant economy restricting consumer base and desirable living conditions in society.

Whenever corporations neglect workers despite being the production unit, the trend hinders manufacturing sector ultimately affecting business earnings and competitive edge in the global economy.

Globalization packaged with free trade agreement alongside World Bank and IMF conditional financing shackles workforce depriving them decent wages, job security and local productivity challenged by mega corporations – the target being developing nations in particular.

Simultaneously corporate overseas ventures in search of unlimited access to human and natural resources marginalize industrialized nations labor market resulting in subjugation and reduction in average citizens household income worldwide.

Realistically income sharing spread across the globe among ordinary citizens lowers economic status with austerity further exacerbating survival.

While senior management and top officials thrive on extraordinary remuneration, stock options and various entitlements in the absence of accountability for erroneous decisions attributed to major debacle with pervasive impact.

General Motors’ profitability post taxpayer rescue cheered at U.S. political convention as a remarkable achievement with incumbent leaderships ignoring ongoing stalemate between GM and auto plant workers in Colombia – the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) drawback for partner nation designed to benefit globalization concept.

United States government being an equal stakeholder in GM operation at home and abroad bears the burden in resolving disputes of any kind.

Colombian workers experience with foreign corporation is a common plight and the government functioning directly under external power control – neither domestic nor international rules necessarily apply facilitating economic oppression.

Moreover, militarization in Colombia allowing U.S. troops presence through permanent installation is essentially dismissal of sovereignty usurping authority over selected or elected political system in the state.

The pattern being globalization agenda for regional and eventually global dominance evidently aimed at complete surrender to economic and military dictum.

General Motors’ failure to settle issue with Colombian workers could severely damage goodwill, employees’ work ethics and above all confirm United States government commitment or the lack thereof towards hard working population considering U.S. ownership of the corporation.

The outcome would determine General Motors fate with workers signifying prime asset value for enterprise existence in the tough environment.

Hopefully rationale would prevail in reaching amicable agreement on the contentious problems confronting corporations expanding offshore.

Wishing reason and integrity success setting future precedence.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

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