International trade union leaders held constructive talks with senior Labour Ministry officials at the Mexican Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, on 19 February. The meeting achieved the opening of a new channel of dialogue with the international trade unions, dealing with labour issues.
The tone and content of the positions taken by the Mexican government representatives were significantly more positive than those of a similar meeting a year ago. Commitments were made by the Mexican representatives for action on a number of key issues including safety and health in mines, labour legislation, transparency and accountability.
IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan, along with UNI General Secretary Phillip Jennings, and ITUC’s Esther Busser condemned the inaction at Pasta de Conchos, the labour legislation especially allowing for the Protection Contract system and barriers to trade union recognition, the anti-union judiciary, and the climate of pressure and intimidation against democratic trade unions in Mexico.
Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Labour Ignacio Rubi, Head of the Ministry of Labour’s International Department Dr. Jose Luis Stein, the new Labour Attaché to the Geneva Mission Luis Morales, and the Legal Advisor to the Mission Salvador Tinajero all joined Ambassador Mr. Juan José Gómez Camacho in meeting the trade union delegation. The trade union delegation was supported by a demonstration outside the Mission.
The commitments made by Deputy Minister of Labour Ignacio Rubi will be followed up on, as the changes were promised to be enacted within a maximum of eight months. The dubious claim made by the Deputy Minister that new president Enrique Peña Nieto is a “friend of the workers” will be reexamined.