The bus had just left Drummond Co. Inc.'s coal mine carrying about 50 workers when gunmen halted it and forced two union leaders off. They shot one on the spot, pumping four bullets into his head, and dragged the other one off to be tortured and killed.Was there ever really any doubt? After all, this is the kind of thing U.S. companies did here before labor won protections from the government. Pinkertons, anyone?
In a civil trial set to begin Monday before a federal jury in Birmingham, Ala., union lawyers have presented affidavits from two people who allege that Drummond ordered those killings, a charge the company denies.
The Chiquita banana company admitted paying right-wing militias known as paramilitaries to protect its Colombia operations. Human rights activists claim such practices were widespread among multinationals in Colombia, and that Drummond went even further, using the fighters to violently keep its labor costs down.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Just a few hours after reading a hilarious Investor's Business Daily article attacking Congressional Democrats for scrapping a U.S. trade pact with Colombia over human rights violations (erroneously claiming "only 4.3% of workers are unionized, union deaths are barely an issue and paramilitaries have been dismantled"), a new AP report details allegations that an Alabama coal company is linked to hostile Colombia paramilitaries being used to kill union activists: