July 7, 2007

drummond.gifAP Via Yahoo:

The bus had just left Drummond Co. Inc.'s coal mine carrying about 50 workers when gunmen halted it and forced two union leaders off. They shot one on the spot, pumping four bullets into his head, and dragged the other one off to be tortured and killed.

In a civil trial set to begin Monday before a federal jury in Birmingham, Ala., union lawyers have presented affidavits from two people who allege that Drummond ordered those killings, a charge the company denies.

Multinationals operating in Colombia have admitted paying right-wing militias known as paramilitaries to protect their operations. But human rights activists claim the companies went further, using the fighters to violently keep their labor costs down.

Union leaders, former army soldiers and ex-paramilitary fighters also allege that family-owned Drummond, which shifted most of its operations to northern Colombia in the 1990s as its Alabama veins gave out, paid and provisioned the paramilitaries as a matter of policy. Read more...

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