Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie

Unión Sindical Obrero Returns to Campo Rubiales

26 January 2015

On January 22, the Unión Sindical Obrero (USO) returned to Campo Rubiales in an act of strength and defiance to show that nor threats, nor assassinations, nor contract terminations can keep the USO away.  This public return involved various events with USO members from all over Colombia as well as participation from accompanying organizations and groups such as members from the Sikuani community in Puerto Gaitan, the Comite Ambiental Agrario y Comunitario de Puerto Gaitan, the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE), CUT (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores), student groups from Villavicencio, La Red de Hermandad y Solidaridad con Colombia, and Project for International Accompaniment and Solidarity in Colombia.

The day started with a board meeting of the national board of USO, then USO members and their accompaniers proceeded to visit different locations within Campo Rubiales with the intention of spreading the message to the workers that the USO was back and was going to fight for better working conditions, stable contracts, and for Eco Petrol to not renew Pacific Rubiales’ contract in 2016.  When the group reached their first destination in Campo Rubiales where hundreds of workers usually eat lunch, they found the place empty of workers and instead occupied by ESMAD (S.W.A.T.) police forces.  They then went to a different cafeteria and found the doors blocked by police and private security force, who refused to allow USO members to enter. After a slight scuffle between both sides, the USO succeeded in entering the cafeteria and distributed fliers, gave speeches about the importance of worker power and solidarity, and i