11 March, 2015A union activist of the IndustriALL Mexican affiliate National Miners’ Union SNTMMSRM, also known as Los Mineros, has been severely beaten at the Gunderson railcar plant owned by the Greenbrier companies in Monclova, Coahuila state of Mexico.
On 7 March while he was distributing union leaflets Jesus Antonio Campos Valle, leader of the SNTMMSRM organizing campaign at the Gunderson railcar plant was viciously attacked by several thugs, two of whom were identified as Hermilo Falcón López and “El Grande” Lumbreras Piña, members of the non-independent Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), which holds a protection contract at the company and prevents other unions from democratic representation of workers’ interests.
The SNTMMSRM denounced this attack as well as other acts of intimidation and harassment by the local leaders of the CTM, Jorge Carlos Mata and Mario Dante Galindo, directed at workers from Gunderson, Teksid and Pytco.
Workers at these three plants launched strikes in April 2014 to protest the lack of democratic representation by the CTM, a “protection union” that colludes with the employers and does not allow the workers to see their collective bargaining agreements. To resolve the strikes, the three companies agreed to recognize SNTMMSRM, but later backtracked and fired union leaders, including Campos.
Campos won a lawsuit ordering his reinstatement for unjust dismissal, but the company has appealed.
SNTMMSRM is now fighting a protracted legal battle against the companies and the CTM, who are supported by Alonso Ancira, the head of the AHMSA steel company, which is the largest employer in Monclova.
“They beat and kicked me in my face, head, chest, ribs and shoulders, all the time threatening me and saying they were from the CTM and they knew me and my family,” Campos stated. After receiving medical treatment, Campos filed a criminal complaint against the CTM leaders.
Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL general secretary addressed to the President of Mexico and denounced this violent act of aggression as “part of systematic attacks organized by the company in collusion with CTM intended to undermine workers’ right to elect democratically their own representative to collective bargaining. This is an inalienable right of workers envisaged in the ILO Convention 87”.
An online petition in protest to this vicious attack can be sent from this page. Your messages of protest will be delivered to Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico; Ruben Moreira, Governor of Coahuila; and William Furman, CEO of the Greenbrier Companies.