The company Enertem SAS, known by its employees in Puerto Gaitan as Bristol, oversees electrical supplies needed to extract oil from Rubiales, Colombia’s largest petroleum reserve. However, the company refused to recognize the union membership of approximately 40 workers this year, alleging their activities are not specific to the oil industry.
Colombia’s industrial petroleum sector union USO filed a grievance with the Labor Ministry in April but has yet to receive any type of response.
In addition, Enertem/Bristol has pressured employees to distance themselves from USO, in what would seem to be a clear violation of workers’ freedom of association.
PASO, USO and their international partners UNITE, UNISON, and the United Steelworkers will continue to monitor this situation closely and work with the appropriate authorities to remedy any illegal behavior or violations of labor rights on the part of subcontracting companies in Colombia’s oil sector.