Strike action in higher education

UCU donates £2,000 to Justice for Colombia

12 September 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU will this lunchtime donate £2,000 to Justice for Colombia. The money has been donated by Sussex University UCU member, Jim Guild.

Jim, a member of the union's national executive committee, has donated the money he receives as a member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension advisory committee.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, will present the cheque to Liam Craig-Best, director of Justice for Colombia, at the start of the Colombia fringe meeting in the Albert Room of the Grand Hotel, Brighton at TUC Congress at 12.45pm. The meeting is to promote the ongoing campaign to suspend British military aid to Colombia until the Colombian military ends its campaign against trade unions.

Figures from Colombia's National Trade Union School reveal that since 1991, 2,245 members of trade unions have been killed, 3,400 threatened and more than 130 have 'disappeared'. Amnesty International and the International Trade Union Confederation rank Colombia as the most dangerous place on earth to be a trade unionist.

Sally Hunt, said: 'This week in Brighton, British trade unionists are free to travel here, debate, form policy and plan campaigns. Doing the same in Colombia would put our lives at risk. The teachers' trade union is the most persecuted in the country with over 100 members assassinated in the last three years. The international community cannot continue to ignore what is happening over there.'

Jim Guild said: 'I can't think of a better organisation to receive this donation. I know Liam and his colleagues will use this money to continue the important work of highlighting the appalling conditions within Colombian civil society with respect to trade unionism, and the UK Government's role in supporting those policies which endanger the lives of my fellow trade unionists in that country.'

Liam Craig-Best said: 'The Colombian trade union movement has made it clear that without international solidarity they would find it difficult to survive the constant attacks against them. Support from around the world not only helps trade unions continue their struggle for basic trade union and human rights, but also shows the Colombian regime that the international community is well aware of what is happening in Colombia. This donation will help ensure that our work can continue and we would like to thank UCU, and Jim in particular, for this assistance.'

Sally Hunt will present the cheque before the campaign to end military aid to Colombia fringe meeting.

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