JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.
In Detroit, General Motors held their annual shareholders meeting.
And we are now joined by Frank Hammer. He is a retired GM employee of 32 years, former president of United Auto Workers Local 909. And he also worked in the GM Department of United Auto Workers. He is currently a labor organizer at the School of Americas Watch. And Frank was among those demonstrating outside the shareholders meeting on behalf of workers injured at a Bogotá, Colombia, plant.
Now, Frank, tell us more about why you were there in front of the GM shareholders meeting.
FRANK HAMMER, COFOUNDER, AUTOWORKER CARAVAN: I was there in support of the Colombian workers who are continuing to struggle for a just settlement with General Motors in Colombia. And their struggle has been quite an inspiration for many, many auto workers here in the Detroit area, particularly because it’s now into the 22nd month of an occupation in front of the embassy, and these workers have endured three hunger strikes, and as you’ve reported previously in The Real News, that’s even included sewing their lips shot.
This struggle sort of dramatizes the struggle that’s going on for workers pretty much around the globe. I want to point to what happened in Bangladesh with over 1,100 garment workers dying in an unsafe building that collapsed. We can talk about what happened at the fertilizer facility in Texas that I think hadn’t been reviewed by OSHA since 1985, had an explosion, killed a number of workers and demolished the community. We had the miners in West Virginia that 29 lost their lives because of unsafe conditions.