11 October, 2012Court rules that the termination of electricity workers’ employment contracts was invalid and that the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) is their new employer.
11 October marks three years since the government tried to break the Mexican Union of Electricity Workers (Sindicato de Electricistas de México, SME) by liquidating Mexico City’s state-owned electricity supply company Luz y Fuerza, transferring its functions to the CFE and making the workforce redundant. On behalf of its members, the SME applied to the courts for protection (amparo directo 1337/2010) against the termination of employment contracts by the government's Administration and Transfer of Goods Service (Servicio de Administración y Enajenación de Bienes, SAE).
The first circuit’s second collegiate labour court granted the application and ruled that the termination of electricity workers’ employment contracts was invalid and that the CFE is their new employer.
“We will celebrate at the general meeting,” said Martín Esparza Flores, SME General Secretary, as he left the Ministry of the Interior after a meeting with Obdulio Ávila and SAE officials.
“We carried on this fight to defend trade union organisation, to defend the terms of our collective agreement, to continue defending the electricity industry and to recover our jobs,” said the electricity workers’ leader.
Carlos de Buen, the lawyer representing SME, explained that the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board (JFCA) should now issue a new ruling in line with the court’s judgement, reversing its earlier judgement that the workers’ employment contracts had been terminated.
He added that the CFE must reinstate the 16,599 workers who have not been paid off, pay wages in arrears to all workers and pay pension benefits to employees who have reached retirement age during the three years of this dispute.
Lawyers and legal officials will explain the judgement to workers at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the union to be held at the Monument of the Revolution on Thursday October 11.
SME said that the outcome was “recompense for defending workers’ rights”.