IMF expresses alarm and calls for urgent letters of condemnation in response to violent attacks on August 16 against union leaders and members at the Johnson Controls Interiors plant in Puebla, Mexico.
MEXICO: The International Metalworkers' Federation is calling on affiliates to urgently send letters to Johnson Controls and the Mexican Government demanding an end to the violence at the Johnson Controls Interiors plant (Resurrección) in Puebla, Mexico.
The IMF has received reports that early on August 16, unknown persons were allowed access to the Johnson Controls Interiors plant threatening workers on the first shift and assaulting them with sticks and stones, leaving many injured.
Two of the members of the Executive Committee of the newly formed Section 308 of IMF-affiliated the Mexican Miners' Union (SNTMMSRM), Cándido Barreucos and Vigilio Melendez, were beaten in a company office and reported that they were forced to sign letters of resignation under gunpoint. They are currently in the hospital with severe injuries.
The Mexican Miners' Union believes that the assailants were associated with the company-controlled "protection" union (the Confederacion de Organizaciones Sindicales, or COS) the union that was ejected after a three day strike by the workers in May of this year. Under the agreement ending the strike, signed on May 29 in the presence of Officials of the Puebla government, Johnson Controls agreed to recognize the Mexican Miners' Union as the workers' representative and to take no reprisals against the strikers. Nevertheless, we have received numerous reports indicating that in both JCI Plants in Puebla, (Resurrección and FINSA) intimidation, threats and violence against workers and their supporters has dramatically increased.
On August 9, 2010, Enrique Morales, Coral Juarez and María Luisa Rosina from the Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador A.C. (CAT), a worker center in the state of Puebla that has supported the Johnson Controls workers in their efforts to form a new section of the union, were threatened by four men while visiting workers from Johnson Controls to inform them about their human and labour rights.
At approximately 15:30 they were intercepted by a man (5'9", strong build and dark complexion) who stated that "they knew that they were CAT members and that they should tell Blanca (CAT´s Director) that she should stop messing with the CROM, and that if they kept seeing them at the plant or at the workers' homes they would face the consequences."
The CROM is the company-controlled union at another one of Johnson Controls' plants in Puebla. Previously, on April 28, 2010, Coral Juarez and Enrique Morales were assaulted by two people, one of who was the son of Magdaleno Texis Tecuapacho, a CROM leader.
The IMF joins a network of solidarity organisations supporting the workers and the Mexican Miners' Union at Johnson Controls in asking affiliates to send letters to Johnson Controls management in the U.S. and to the Mexican Government demanding they take steps to end the violence and protect the rights of the workers to be represented by a union of their choice.
Mr. Stephen A. Roell
CC.: Jerry Okarma
Please, send copies of your letters to:
Lic. Javier Lozano Alarcón
Secretario de Trabajo y Previsión Social
Periférico Sur No. 4271, Col. Fuentes del Pedregal, Tlalpan 14149, México D.F Conmutador 3000-2100
Lic. Mario Marín Torres
Gobernador del Estado de Puebla
Palacio de Gobierno, Av. Reforma 711 Altos Col. Centro Puebla 72009
Dr. Raúl Plasencia Villanueva
Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Fax +52 (55) 5681 7199,
as well as to:
Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador A.C.
Avenida Reforma 903 - 3 Centro Histórico, CP 72000, Puebla, Pue. México
Tel-fax: 01 (222) 2 46 05 98