14 April, 2015More than 80 delegates from 14 countries attended the second IndustriALL Global Union Latin America and Caribbean regional meeting on 9 April in Mexico. Participants agreed on a series of actions and strategies over the coming months to achieve their objectives.
Discussions at the meeting, which was hosted by the National Miners’ Union in Mexico City on 8-9 April, focused on the political and economic situation of the region’s countries, implementation of IndustriALL Global Union’s regional action plan and preparations for the next IndustriALL world congress in 2016.
With regard to the IndustriALL regional action plan, delegates discussed the importance of trade union power in defending labour rights, challenging global capital, combating precarious work (http://www.industriall-union.org/workers-mobilize-to-put-a-stop-to-precarious-work) and promoting sustainable industrial employment, while taking account of environmental factors and climate change.
The day before the regional meeting, delegates to meetings for women and young workers shared experiences and planned actions (http://www.industriall-union.org/women-show-the-way-in-mexico). These meetings provided delegates with the opportunity to develop proposals to encourage and facilitate the participation of women and young workers at regional and global levels.
Mexico was chosen as the venue for the meetings to show the solidarity with independent unions in Mexico, a country where freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining do not exist.
Delegates called on the Mexican government to guarantee the right to return of Napoleón Gómez Urrutia (http://www.industriall-union.org/mexican-appeals-court-cancels-last-charges-against-napoleon-gomez), General Secretary of the Miners’ Union, who used Skype to speak at the meeting from his exile in Canada. Delegates affirmed that they will not stop fighting until Napoleón Gómez Urrutia is able to return to lead the union in person.
They also called on the Mexican government to end pending trade union disputes and take action against harmful practices that leave workers at the mercy of employers and the government http://www.industriall-union.org/ctm-goons-viciously-assault-mexican-miners-organizer). They also discussed the use of protection contracts, the way in which corrupt trade unions and their leaders are granted official recognition and company use of elections to obstruct collective bargaining.
Delegates expressed their solidarity with the struggle of day labourers in the fields of San Quintin in Baja California. They listened to an emotional speech by a colleague from Ayotzinapa about the forced disappearance of students at the teacher training college in that town and expressed their solidarity with the students and their families. Other resolutions included repudiation of anti-union dismissals and persecution in Colombia.