The Mexican Miners’ and Metalworkers’ Union (SNTMMSRM), affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union and better known as Los Mineros, has won a major victory. After a week on strike, it has reached an agreement with ArcelorMittal and found a solution to recent dismissals.
Workers at the ArcelorMittal plant in Michoacán went on strike for one week in response to violations of their collective agreement and unfair dismissals. The company finally agreed to negotiate with the union and an agreement was reached on ending the strike, renewing the employment contracts of contract workers and restructuring the plant to ensure the permanence of 125 jobs.
“Congratulations to all of you. Once again, unity, courage and discipline have managed to ensure respect for your rights,” said Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, union president, to the workers involved in the dispute.
The agreement represents a great success for the 3,500 workers that marched through the streets in defence of their right to strike, after the company and the Labour and Social Welfare Department (STPS) said the strike was illegal.
“One of the most problematic issues is when the labour authorities refuse to recognize the right to strike, which is a universally recognized right enshrined in International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 87 on freedom of association, which the Mexican government signed more than 60 years ago,” said Gómez Urrutia.
The company also agreed a redundancy package for 81 employees, including a 100,000 peso (US$5,600) tax-free lump sum. It also agreed to review violations of the collective agreement within the next two weeks and pay wages owed for the period from 4 March.
Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL general secretary, who is currently visiting affiliates in Chile, said:
“We congratulate the workers at our affiliate, Los Mineros in Mexico, who have again showed that through struggle, dialogue and solidarity, it is possible to win major victories that benefit all workers.”