Unions will not lend themselves “to hand over the flags” to Petro in the May Day marches: “it is not a socialist country”

Luc Williams

However, on this occasion, the union movements did not view favorably the claims of President Gustavo Petro, who seeks to take advantage of the mobilizations and direct them to his own benefit.

In the space of , leaders of union organizations in Colombia explained why they will not take to the streets on May 1st. Furthermore, they criticized that the Petro Government not only seeks to politicize the marches, but also ideologize them.

To begin with, Rubén Darío Gómez, president of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) Antioquia, stated that the movement will not participate in the marches: “He is not going to lend himself to handing over the flags to the national government headed by the president (Gustavo Petro).”

“We do not agree on how he is running this country, we do not agree on how he wants to carry out his reforms, We do not agree with the disrespect given to those who think differently, when they call us 'right-wing', 'ultra-right' (…). “We are not going to lend ourselves to that game,” insisted the president of the CGT Antioquia.

Finally, Gómez took the opportunity to make a direct request to the Petro Government: “listen to the people, listen to our labor union, what are the proposals we have. We are not pro-government, we have our own autonomy (…). Fortunately, democracy is still in force in this country, it is not a socialist country where a president orders what has to be done”.

“We are not going to go out on that march”

This vision was also shared by Alejandro Ospina Angarita, president of the Union of Workers of the Oil and Energy Industry of Colombia (Utipec). According to him, President Petro's intentions to take advantage of the workers' march have been “the cover.”

“We, the workers of the oil and energy industry of Colombia We have been critical of this government, in the face of its policy of destruction of our sectorwhich is not only our source of employment, but also the heritage of all Colombians,” said Ospina in the space of

Next, he rejected the president's intentions with the workers' march, “the day that cannot be co-opted by any ideology, much less by a government.” “Now he puts on the shirt and says that he is the one who is going to march and speak in the public square,” he criticized.

“We have said that we are not going to walk into that game. We workers are independent and autonomous, we will continue to defend our industry and our country. That's why we're not going to stay silent on May 1st, but we're not going to go out on that march.”, added Ospina Angarita.

“From the beginning we have said: what the president does well we will recognize, and what the president does badly we will criticize.”. We are going to protest and we do not agree with the reforms as they are being proposed“, and we do not agree to support other union leaders who are the applause committee, who were co-opted by the government, but who, in addition, – we do not know – are seeking personal benefits,” Espinosa noted.


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