News Release

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US and Colombia agree to additional meetings on Colombian Labor Action Plan commitments

WASHINGTON — In a meeting on Monday, Nov. 11, during the Inter-American Conference of Ministries of Labor held in Medellín, Colombia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris and Colombian Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo Rueda agreed to continue bilateral meetings on the commitments in the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights through at least 2014. Both sides recognized advances made by Colombia under the Action Plan to date, while underscoring several areas of mutual concern. These areas of concern include: the collection of fines imposed for labor violations; targeted inspections in the five identified priority sectors (palm oil, sugar, mines, ports and flowers); the investigation and sanction of all forms of abusive contracting; the status of hiring labor inspectors in line with Action Plan commitments; and violence and threats against trade unionists and continued impunity for the perpetrators.

"The agreement to continue meeting on Action Plan obligations reflects the joint commitment of the United States and Colombia to full implementation of the Action Plan," said Harris. "Together, we must fulfill the commitments agreed upon in 2011. We look forward to continuing to work with Colombia to make these promises a reality for workers."

The agreement reached specifies two technical-level meetings and one meeting of senior officials in 2014, with any future meetings to be agreed upon mutually. President Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón signed the Action Plan in April 2011.

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Egan Reich

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