Petro Introduces Proyecto de Ley, Trabajo por el Cambio, a Labor Law Reform Project to promote job stability and dignity of Colombian workers.
Bogota, March 16, 2023.
During the symbolic act of establishing the Work for Change Bill, President Gustavo Petro affirmed this Thursday that this initiative should allow job stability, dignify Colombian workers and make society happier.
“This bill should allow, if it is approved by the Congress of the Republic —it begins its process there— to stop sexual and labor harassment in the country. It must allow real wages to grow in Colombia so that this country can industrialize; it must allow people to be happier in this society, precisely, so that they can enjoy more free time,” highlighted the Head of State.
In the act, which took place in the Plaza de Armas of the Casa de Nariño, the Head of State stressed that this reform project is adjusted to the changes in the world, manifested in a “resurgence of the struggles for the dignity of work and even of the struggles for more free time” to mark a greater productivity.
In the same sense, he added that the project “should allow the body of workers to be able to organize themselves to be able to discuss face to face with the business world.”
President Petro stated: “This is a government for work, this is a government for the people, Colombians are a people worthy of opportunities. This is a government that seeks a social pact, that recovers the thesis that dialogue is possible in the midst of difference and diversity.”
"El Gobierno Nacional, en cabeza del Presidente @petrogustavo, radica la Reforma Laboral #TrabajoPorElCambio, un proyecto de Ley que permite dignificar el trabajo de todos los colombianos y colombianas", @infopresidencia pic.twitter.com/d7YfV1WILH
— Resistencia en Colombia (@ColResistiendo) March 17, 2023
Gustavo Petro’s Speech Excerpts
“Although I believe that today there has been discussion, there has been a lot of dialogue about this project, I have heard various criticisms in the press, generally articulated around the issue that, when labor costs rise, as they call it – we call it the income of working families – a loss of employment will happen or that it will generate restrictions for employment growth in Colombia, based on moving from what they call the informal economy to the formal economy,” said Gustavo Petro.
In Colombia, “you get up early…. first of all, because the journey [to work ] is the longest in general, and because the anachronistic means of transport lengthen that journey even more, sometimes with two hours one way, two hours back, through, for example, in the city of Bogotá, the sad TransMilenio buses. Transportation time is also a working time,” states the Colombian president.
#TrabajoPorElCambio l Con la Reforma Laboral el #GobiernoDelCambio busca ajustar las jornadas laborales, promover la estabilidad laboral e incentivar los contratos a término indefinido.
¡Somos el Gobierno que te protege! pic.twitter.com/B1QSrjceOV
— USPEC (@USPEC_Colombia) March 17, 2023
“This extended working day has not brought more wealth, it has not brought more profit,” he adds.
Petro pointed to a regional struggle to amplify worker rights, “If we look at Colombia, and at Latin America, there is a resurgence of the struggles for the dignity of work, even of the struggles for more free time, which is from where one can build the wealth of the spirit, the quality of life.”
The new law would present a new chapter in Colombia to expand the dignity of work, says Petro.
“Here in Colombia, since Law 50, and the other laws that have been created in recent years, we end up not only with the highest working hours in the OECD, not only with the lowest productivity of all OECD countries, not only with a people that has to get up early because if not, they die of hunger, but rather we ended up in a system where sexual harassment, where workplace harassment, became an everyday issue,” the president detailed.
“That, at the end of the instability, and having to sign contracts every two months in order to survive, they have condemned the woman to sexual harassment from employers,” he continues.
“Instability at work brings mental problems, destroys quality of life, and lowers productivity. Short gains occur when societies and the economy have low productivity. Profits can increase when societies are more productive,” says Petro.
“And productivity is not simply that companies can compete. In Colombia there is little competition, because we are plagued by oligopolies and monopolies and rents that are sucked from the State to transform them into profits without working,” asserts the Colombian president.
Finalmente, el Jefe de Estado @PetroGustavo aseguró: “este proyecto de Ley debe permitir que cese el acoso laboral y sexual en el país, debe permitir que la gente sea más feliz, debe permitir que se pueda organizar el cuerpo de trabajadores y trabajadoras”. pic.twitter.com/zTCUEjNufE
— Presidencia Colombia ?? (@infopresidencia) March 17, 2023
Petro continues, “What we have in Colombia is that productivity does not increase because knowledge has not spread throughout society; knowledge, public education systems, the general intellect of society.
This bill should allow – if it is approved by the Congress of the Republic and begins its process there – to stop sexual and labor harassment in the country. It must allow real wages to grow in Colombia so that this country can industrialize.
It must allow people to be happier in this society, precisely because they can enjoy more free time. The law must watch over the worker and the small business owner, which in the end is where a good part of the employment in Colombia is unleashed.
It must ensure that the countryside can modernize and develop and produce food, precisely so that real wages can increase.
This is a government for work. This is a government for the people,” Gustavo Petro.
To learn more visit:
ABC of the Project, Trabajo por el Cambio.
Ley de Trabajo por el Cambio Speech
Dr. Soledad Quartucci | Founder
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