Union organizing undermined by Excellon Resources


Threats against workers trying to join the National Miners' and Metalworkers' Union of Mexico at the La Platosa mine spark international outcry.

MEXICO: Workers trying to join the National Miners' and Metalworkers' Union of Mexico (SNTMMSRM) at the La Platosa mine in the state of Durango, Mexico have been subjected to threats and harassment by local management of Excellon Resources Inc.

On November 21, 2010 workers at the mine democratically decided to affiliate to the SNTMMSRM. Since then, members of the Local Committee and many other workers have been the target of threats and harassment from management and mine supervisors. Specifically, Ing Pablo Gurrola, the General Manager, pressured 65 workers to sign a document stating their disinterest in unionizing, and offered increases in wages and benefits if they would sign.

The SNTMMSRM is an affiliate of the International Metalworkers' Federation and sits on the IMF Executive Committee. The IMF has been informed by SNTMMSRM and the organization Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC) that Excellon Resources is not complying with health and safety standards established by Mexican Labor Law.

In a letter to Excellon, IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina urged the company to cease any further attacks, adding "the ongoing persecution of members of the SNTMMSRM is the subject of a much publicized complaint filed by the IMF with the International Labour Organisation's Committee on Freedom of Association.

"These actions, which are corroborated by a reputable human rights organization, constitute serious violations of Mexican and international labor law, including ILO Convention 87 to which Mexico is a signatory."

The IMF joined workers at the La Platosa mine in calling on Excellon Resources Inc., to:

  • Immediately cease threats or harassment of any kind towards workers who freely chose to join a union, and appropriately penalizing any staff member who engages in such conduct.
  • Recognize the will of the majority of workers who have freely and democratically chosen to affiliate themselves with the National Miners' and Metalworkers' Union of Mexico (SNTMMSRM).
  • Respect and uphold the workers' rights to integrity, security, and freedom of association in the La Platosa mine.