821.5045/11–1346: Telegram

The Ambassador in Colombia ( Wiley ) to the Secretary of State

781. Tropical oil strike settled tonight with additional cost to company of about 1,200,000 pesos yearly. Company agrees on salary increases of 18% on salaries up to 120 pesos monthly; 13% on 121 to 200; 8% on 201 to 300; 3% on all salaries over 300 pesos. Foregoing increases 2% below original syndicate demands. Building of hospital eliminated but company agrees on maximum payment 500 pesos monthly for medical services in each camp. Tropical strike being [Page 681] called off by radio tonight. President Ospina was attending Council of Ministers when he received word of settlement and when I saw him shortly thereafter he was greatly relieved. He expressed to me his deep appreciation for all assistance and close cooperation. Later he thanked Weidey for making settlement of strike possible at a very critical moment.

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I have just received document from confidential source dated November 4 signed by Pineda, President of Federation of Petroleum Workers of Colombia, calling for energetic movement on part of all labor for nationalization of petroleum industry. I am not confident that situation will long remain tranquil. I feel continued agitation will be order of day. While no evidence at hand, it seems notorious that syndicate had small funds at beginning of strike and that it now has adequate finances which clearly indicates outside aid and inspiration.

Wiley