UNI mourns Prosegur union member killed in Colombia
UNI Global Union is in mourning following the tragic death of a Prosegur guard killed during an armed robbery in Colombia.
Alcides de Jesus Cortes Jurdado, a member of the UNI-affiliated SINTRAVALORES union, died during a surprise attack on April 14 as he prepared to restock a Bancolumbia ATM in the city of Santa Marta.
According to his union, Alcides was working as part of a three man crew at time of his death but was the only member of Prosegur staff on duty. His two colleagues were outsourced employees, the union says. If proven, this constitutes a clear violation by the company of article 55 of its collective agreement.
Colombia is one of the world’s most dangerous countries in which to be a trade unionist, and Alcides' death came just weeks after he joined the union on 29 February. SINTRVALORES says Alcides had been subject to harassment and threats from his own manager who had told him to "take care on the streets" after he had refused to leave the union. SINTRAVALORES says it reported these threats to Prosegur management before Alcides was killed.
UNI and Prosegur reached a settlement in Colombia earlier this year following serious allegations of workers’ rights abuses by the company. However, the situation has deteriorated further since the settlement with the company having taken steps to de-register the industry union.
UNI Global Union has raised concerns on a number of occasions about the number of on-the-job deaths and injuries to Prosegur guards in Latin America. 18 Prosegur guards died at work in 2014 - almost twice the number of workers per capita that died at G4S during the same period, despite the fact that G4S operates in a higher number of insecure countries.