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OECD complaint filed against Excellon Resources

30 May, 2012Mexican workers and landowners file an OECD complaint against Canadian mining company Excellon Resources.

MEXICO/CANADA:  Communal landowners from Ejido La Sierrita, municipality of Tlahualilo, in the state of Durango, and workers from La Platosa mine in the same state have jointly filed a complaint against Excellon Resources on May 29 with government offices in Ottawa and Mexico City under the Guidelines for Multinational Corporations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The complainants say the company violates labour rights and fails to comply with the land use contract which was signed with landowners of Ejido La Sierrita, on whose land the company operates. The complaint has been co-signed by the Canadian Labour Congress, MiningWatch Canada, IMF affiliates the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Mexican Miners' Union (SNTMMSRM) and the Project for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Mexico (ProDESC).

President of Ejido communal landowners group, David Espinoza, explained that the company since signature of the contract with the community in 2008 has not fulfilled many of its obligations under the mentioned contract, including construction of a water treatment plant, food services contracts or preferential hiring of Ejido members. In the same time the company has explored on lands not included in the contract and caused significant environmental damage.

Representative of the SNTMMSRM, Juan Rodriguez shared the frustration of the landowners with Excellon and explained that in 2010 mine workers formed a local union organization at Excellon due to the failure of the company to address workers health and safety concerns and lack of benefits. The company replied with intimidations and dismissals of union leaders and signed a protection contract with the employer controlled association to prevent formation of independent union at La Platosa.

A previous complaint on workers' rights violation submitted to the Canadian Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counselor in 2011 did not bring any result as the company refused to negotiate. Now the workers and landowners are back in Canada, hoping that National Contact Point under the OECD Guidelines will take serious steps to urge the company to the table of negotiations.

For more information, including a copy of the complaints, please go to: http://www.miningwatch.ca/news/mexican-workers-landowners-file-second-complaint-against-canadian-mining-company-excellon