IndustriALL affiliates in Mexico are protesting against rising petrol prices, announced on 1 January. Action started the following day around the country, and unions say they will continue until the government backtracks.
Since early January, trade unions, student and farmers’ organizations and cooperatives have organized widespread protests against the government’s decision to increase the petrol price by 20 per cent in six of the country’s 31 states.
Demonstrators have blocked roads, set fire to service stations, held marches and occupied business premises. Further action is planned and there is a call for president Peña Nieto to stand down.
Democratic unions, including IndustriALL Global Union affiliates the National Tyre Workers’ Union (SNTGTM), the Electrical Workers’ Union (SME) and Los Mineros (SNTMMSRM) have been participating in the protests.
Unions are calling on workers and the general public to protest on 26 January in Mexico City:
We must build a massive national movement to reverse this policy and we will start with a national day of action.
The government claims the increases are due to global price rises and are not an increase in taxes. The measure forms part of the government’s reform of the energy sector, which introduced price liberalization and ended the state-owned oil company PEMEX’s monopoly at service stations in 2017.
Companies can now set their own prices, but the government will apply the new price system gradually. Each month will see greater scope for price increases until all subsidies are removed by the end of 2017.
The Mexican people and workers no longer accept Enrique Peña Nieto’s government and are in the streets to win. IndustriALL is shoulder to shoulder with our Mexican colleagues in this fight and calls on all Mexican trade unionists to show their solidarity,
says Fernando Lopes, director at IndustriALL.