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PEMEX workers forced to resign from union

22 March, 2010IMF joins international call to action in defence of Freedom of Association in Mexico.

MEXICO: 30,000 technical and professional employees of PEMEX, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, who after a long and intense struggle won the right to belong to the newly registered union, Unión Nacional de Técnicos y Profesionistas Petroleros (UNTyPP), are now being forced to resign from the union or lose their job.

After two attempts by the government and company to deny workers the right to form their own independent union the UNTyPP was registered on December 16, 2009 and its leadership was officially recognized for the period  March 18, 2008 to March 17, 2012.

Following the successful court battle members of the new union were informed by company management that in order to retain their jobs, they would be required to sign two documents: one calling for the cancellation of the registration, the other a resignation from the union. Those who refused, along with organisers of the UNTyPP, were fired and violently removed from their workstations by paramilitaries, including the entire National Executive Committee of the union.

The workers' struggle for an independent union dating back to 1994 and the relentless intimidation, harassment, firings and threats against UNTyPP members and their families is all too common in Mexico and documented in detail in the International Metalworkers' Federation's complaint (case no. 2694) against Mexico submitted to the International Labour Organisation in February 2009. The complaint exposes how workers in Mexico are repeatedly denied their fundamental right to Freedom of Association, guaranteed under ILO Convention 87 and ratified by the Mexican government, through the widespread use of protection contracts.

UNTyPP workers have asked the International Metalworkers' Federation to join their struggle in calling for:

  • The immediate reinstatement of workers fired for their union membership and organising activity;
  • Worker rights, including Freedom of Association, must be respected under both Mexican and international law; and
  • PEMEX is urged to come to the bargaining table and establish a working relationship with the UNTyPP.

Join the effort to defend Freedom of Association in Mexico: Visit the Labourstart campaign website here to write to President Calderón and PEMEX management, condemning these violations of labour and human rights against the new UNTyPP trade union.

Click here for more information about the IMF complaint against Mexico regarding Protection Contracts.