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IndustriALL's Executive Committee calls for an end to protection contracts and stands up for union democracy

03.12.2018

At its meeting in Mexico City on 29 and 30 November, IndustriALL Global Union's Executive Committee called for an end to protection contracts in Mexico, took steps to protect union democracy against the growing number of neoliberal governments around the world, and undertook to continue to combat gender-based violence.

It was no coincidence that the Executive Committee held its meeting in Mexico City just 48 hours before president-elect, Andrés Manuel Lopes Obrador, was sworn into office.

"This new government will bring a breath of fresh air, given the growing number of oppressive neoliberal governments that violate the rights of workers around the world," said IndustriALL's general secretary, Valter Sanches, in his opening remarks to the 200 union leaders from all corners of the globe.

Both Sanches and IndustriALL's president, Jörg Hofmann, welcomed Mexico's new government and the progress made in advancing union democracy. They also congratulated the president of Los Mineros and Executive Committee member, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, on his return to Mexico after 12 years in exile.

The delegates set up a campaign calling on Mexico’s new progressive government to work towards bringing an end to protection contracts, which stifle freedom of association in the country.

Committee members expressed their support for the workers at the Goodyear plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, who were dismissed for creating a free and independent union. They also agreed to run a worldwide campaign in support of Goodyear workers.

Those present also adopted a number of recommendations on women’s inclusion, calling on sectors and networks to come up with strategies to analyse the issues facing women in the workplace and in unions and to develop campaigns to address these issues.

In addition, Committee members endorsed IndustriALL's campaigns against Shell and Glencore, demanding that both multinationals respect the rights of all their workers around the world.

Information was also provided on the violations of workers' rights by other multinationals, such as Gold Fields and Stillwater in South Africa and Volkswagen (VW) in the United States.

The Global Framework Agreements were recognized as an important tool for protecting the rights and interests of workers at all stages of the manufacturing process within signatory companies. However, it was agreed that steps would be taken to monitor how the agreements are implemented within companies, given the diverse experiences reported by affiliates in different countries.

The Executive Committee also adopted an Action Plan on fair international trade and manufacturing policies to help affiliates to become more involved in talks concerning multilateral trade agreements and treaties. It also endorsed the statements made by IndustriALL Global Union and IndustriALL Europe on the need for a Just Transition in the face of climate change in order to ensure the creation of sustainable jobs.

Finally, the Executive Committee adopted a series of resolutions:

  • They condemned the violent disruption by CTM of the union representation election at the Arneses y Accesorios de México plants of PKC Group in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, where Los Mineros were challenging CTM for control of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • They called upon the Government of Bangladesh to guarantee that the Bangladesh Accord will remain in place until such time as there is a competent national regulatory body with the capacity to take over its functions
  • They called on the Government of Hungary to act in strict accord with national and international core labour standards.
  • They notified VW management of IndustriALL’s intention to suspend the Global Framework Agreement unless VW withdraws its litigation challenging the National Labour Relations Board’s decisions. 

The full text of the resolutions is available in the right-hand column.