In both opening and closing this week’s Executive Committee, to resounding applause from the EC members, President Huber welcomed Napoleón Gómez Urrutia to address the EC in person. This was Napoleón's his first trip outside Canada since he was forced into exile in 2005.
Napoleón has been unable to take his seat as a titular member of the executive since sham charges against him from the Mexican authorities have kept him on the Interpol red alert list.
The emotive victory of achieving Napoleón’s participation in the meeting follows constant international solidarity and support. The role of the United Steelworkers (USW) and IndustriALL Global were particularly commended. Now focus continues to ensure Napoleón’s safe return to Mexico to lead his union Los Mineros from the headquarters in Mexico City.
To ensure Napoleón’s safe return to Canada earlier today, news of his presence was not publicised during the meeting.
The IndustriALL Executive Committee unanimously resolved to:
Reiterate its unequivocal support for the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic and its President and General Secretary, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. We thank the ILO and the Government of Switzerland for their assistance in making it possible for Napoleón to participate in our meeting in Geneva on 4-5 December 2013.
We demand that the Government of Mexico immediately cease its political persecution of Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, cancel the false charges against him that have already been repeatedly nullified by Mexican appellate courts, and guarantee the safe return of Napoleón and his family to Mexico.
We call on the Mexican Government to honor its commitment to allow the workers at the El Coronel mine in the State of Zacatecas, owned by Grupo Frisco, to have a free and fair vote on union representation, and we demand that the Federal and State governments refrain from any attacks or intimidation of the workers and their families.
IndustriALL and the entire global trade union movement will continue to monitor and denounce violations of freedom of association and trade union autonomy in Mexico.
The IndustriALL Executive Committee also resolved to nominate Napoleon to receive the annual Arthur Svensson award in 2014, named after a famous Norwegian trade unionist.
See further details of Napoleón’s struggle on the website of his book Collapse of Dignity.
This is an historic moment, for me to be present after eight years since I participated in the Executive Committee of the IMF, here in Geneva. It has been possible in spite of all the threats and attacks against our union to be here thanks to the international solidarity that we have received from all over the world and especially from IndustriALL Global Union.