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Canadian unions in action on Mexico

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7 February, 2013Unions and worker rights supporters took action across Canada as part of the Mexico Days of Action 18 to 24 February 2013.

Canadian unions, led by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), met with the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa, on February 14, 2013, to express grave concerns about Mexico’s ongoing and flagrant violations of international labour rights and standards.  The delegation presented Embassy Officials with the ITUC 2012 report on Mexican trade union rights violations and a letter to the Mexican President, calling on the Mexican Government to deliver on the common demands of the international days of action.

In addition, the delegation raised the failure of the Mexican Government to properly investigate the CLC complaint against Canadian-based Excellon Resources under the OECD corporate responsibility guidelines.

On 22 February a USW delegation met authorities at the Mexican Consulate in Toronto as part of the Days of Action. They met Mauricio Toussaint, Consul General; Maria Fernanda Suarez, Director of Economic Affairs, and Santiago Mateos, Deputy Consul General. The USW described their view and that of the Canadian labour movement concerning the repression in Mexico of democratic trade union rights and the particular attacks on Los Mineros. 

Trade unions in Vancouver, including Los Mineros, USW, COPE 378, CUPE and CEP, held an action on 21 February at the Mexican Consulate in the city. A high level trade union delegation met Mexico's Consul General in Vancouver, Angel Villalobos, and a rally was held infront of the Consulate which was addressed by exiled Los Mineros General Secretary Napoleon Gomez. See photos attached.

In Quebec, the Centre Internationational de Solidarité Ouvrière (CISO) organized a dinner conference with the participation of Napoleón Gomez over teleconference. Napoleón spoke in French which was greatly appreciated and seen as a sign of respect and solidarity with the Quebec union movement. CISO is a coalition effort of Quebecois trade unions in international solidarity efforts.

Quebecois trade unions also conducted a visit to the Consul General of Mexico in Montréal, Mr Porfirio Martínez Morales on 19 February. Representing 1,150,000 workers in Quebec, the delegation of CISO, CSN, CSQ, FIQ and FTQ delivered the grave concerns of the international days of action.

Actions in Canada are varying from protests to delivering letters to the Mexican government consulate offices. Actions are being organized by the Tri-National Solidarity Alliance (TNSA) with labor groups including the AFL-CIO, United Electrical Workers (UE), United Steelworkers, the United Auto Workers, CSN, CEP, CAW, UNT, SME, FAT, Mineros, ASPA, STRM, STUNAM and other unions, as well as NGOs, including Austin Tan Cerca, the Cross-Border Network, National Guestworker Alliance, and the National Lawyers Guild.

See the schedule of events and contact information (which downloads as a word document and will be periodically updated) and join in an action if there is one in your city.