17 January, 2013Preparations are continuing for actions around the world marking the 2013 Mexico Days of Action, 18-24 February.
In the Mexican capital, national unions will march with international and North American trade unionists on 19 February and further actions are planned throughout the country during the week.
During the Days of Action IndustriALL affiliated trade unions, together with transport workers and others, will revisit the Mexican Ambassador to their country and push for action on:
- The outstanding ILO complaint no. 2694 on Protection Contracts
- Pasta de Conchos justice
- Rejecting the recent regressive labour law reforms
One of the current key conflicts involving democratic trade unions in Mexico is at the Finnish-based auto parts multinational PKC in Ciudad Acuña, where eleven members of the national Mexican mining union Los Mineros Section 307 ended a six-day hunger strike on 14 January protesting the severe union-busting campaign against them.
The hunger strike was called off once Los Mineros achieved a new round of workplace voting to be held at PKC-Arneses next month. This follows an 18 October election marred by intimidation and threats from management leading to a tight defeat for Los Mineros to yellow union CTM. It is clear that the workplace would elect Los Mineros in a free and democratic election.
The hunger strikers were illegally dismissed between 14-20 December 2012, when PKC-Arneses management forced 122 workers involved in organizing the workplace to resign. These 122 workers must now be reinstated.
The new workplace representation election date will be fixed at a meeting on 31 January. International solidarity is now focussing on ensuring there is no repeat of the repression conducted before the October election by management, with full complicity of the local authorities and paid thugs. The company also financed a massive media campaign through local TV, radio and press in the lead-up to the October election discrediting the Mineros union.
The group of workers have struggled for four years to organize and officially form Section 307 of Los Mineros. The list of daily violations of workers’ rights at PKC-Arneses indicates what the management fear from a democratic representative trade union at the factory. Under the watch of the yellow CTM union management has got away with paying poverty wages of less than 100 Mexican pesos a day (6 Euros), running illegally long work shifts of 10 hours a day with 5 minutes break, and abuses of the workers’ leave and other benefits.