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Colombian Union Leader to Speak


* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *


2:30 & 6:30 P.M.



WHAT: A Colombian union leader next week will seek help for his country's workers, thousands of whom he says have been assassinated by paramilitary groups.  Hector Giraldo, who is one of 20 Colombian trade unionists in the U.S. on a one-year asylum sponsored by the AFL-CIO, will speak on 'Plan Colombia and the War on Colombian Workers."

WHERE:  Multi-Purpose Room, Lydon Library, UMass Lowell North Campus (2:30 to 4:30 p.m.) and Mercier Center, 21 Salem St., Lowell (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)

WHY : Giraldo's talks will focus on Plan Colombia, the country's assistance program which receives U.S. funding, which he says supports the Colombian military that is linked to groups believed responsible for the deaths of 3,800 union leaders since 1985.  Organizers say Giraldo has been threatened by right-wing paramilitaries because of his resistance to policies that cause the replacement of union workers with sub-contracted labor.  Giraldo, a highway worker, has held a variety of elected union offices since the 1980s.           

            At the evening talk, Giraldo will be joined by Jeff Crosby, president of the North Shore Labor Council and a member of a labor delegation to Colombia, and UMass Lowell Political Science Prof. Vanessa Gray.

            Both events are sponsored by the Coalition for a Better Acre; the Mogan Cultural Center; local union organizations, including the Merrimack Valley Central Labor Council; and a variety of UMass Lowell groups, led by the Labor Extension Program.  The talks are free and open to the public. 

For more information, contact Coordinator Susan Winning, 978-934-3127.

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224