26 February, 2014Miners at the El Coronel mine, Zacatecas, will now be represented by the National Miner’s Union (SNTMMSRM), led by Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, in their relations with the authorities and for collective bargaining purposes with the Minera Frisco mining company.
This was the decisive verdict of the election held on 21 February, which represented a real and rather rare victory for democratic trade unionism.
Voting began at 7am and closed at 5.30pm and was conducted in an absolutely orderly and respectful way according to international observers. Workers were allowed to vote freely in the presence representatives of three levels of government, the Ministry for Labour and Social Welfare and Minera Frisco, controlled by Carlos Slim. The company is the country’s second biggest gold producer. The terms of the agreement to hold these elections were respected.
The union, which is affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, said that “the SNTMMSRM won a clear victory, despite the cart-loads of money spent by the few supporters of Carlos Pavón, “la Marrana”, the threats and lies they were guilty of in the election campaign and their last-minute attempt to increase their support by forming an alliance with the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CROC) and the CTM”.
The SNTMMSRM received 57% of votes against the 43% received by the other two trade unions in the election and therefore displaced the CROC, which is a “protection union”, as the official representative of the workers. The SNTMMSRM received support from representatives of its other branches. The election was monitored by a neutral group of international observers which included representatives from United Steelworkers, Solidarity Center, PODER, ProDESC and CFO.
The election was held to determine which union should represent the workers, following a long struggle by the miners’ union to defend the interests of workers at Zacatecas.
On behalf of IndustriALL, Jyrki Raina warmly congratulated Napoleón Gómez Urrutia for this marvellous and fully-deserved victory by the miners:
This victory for the workers’ absolute right to freely choose the union they want to represent them is a massive step in the fight of all Mexican workers and fills us with happiness and hope!