The La Loma coal mine owned by the Alabama based company, Drummond, is a major danger zone for workers. On October 30, 2009, yet another worker died on the job due to a work accident, the third death at a Drummmond owned-mine since March 2009. 16 workers producing for Drummond have died within the short period Drummond has maintained operations in Colombia.Luis Eduardo Manrriquez, a 37 years old father had worked for just 3 months as a welder for Drummond's contractor, H L Ingenieros before falling to his death. Drummond is yet again, refusing to claim responsibility for the worker's death under the grounds that Manrriquez was not a direct employee of Drummond. Drummond is clearly taking advantage of the Colombia's anti-worker climate where labor subcontracting is a pervasive way for corporations to evade accountability with regards to worker rights.
Additionally, Drummond is actively engaged in a battle against the union representing its' workers, Sintraminergetica. In March of 2009, 4000 workers peacefully protested poor and precarious working conditions at Drummond owned mines. The strike was called as a worker had just died on the job and Fenoco, Drummond's coal transport contractor, was refusing to negotiate a labor proposal (CBA) despite its' legal obligation to bargain with 600 union members. The strike was deemed illegal and Fenoco brought in the Colombian National Guard to violently attack workers. Drummond initially refused to move Fenoco towards negotiations. In addition, Drummond suspended and/or fired at least 9 workers in retaliation for the strike at its mines.For its part, Fenoco (which is partially owned by Drummond) illegally fired 25 workers, 8 of whom were union leaders. The U.S. based United Steel Workers union (USW) have
been informing Secretary of State Clinton of Drummond's actions against workers in hopes that the U.S. government will put pressure on both the Colombian Government and the profitable U.S. company, Drummond to end labor rights violations.