21 February, 2013This week the attention of trade unions around the world is focused on Mexico. 10,000 activists from different regions, cultures, industrial sectors and backgrounds, are speaking in different languages through different actions. Their message is clear and united: “We will not give up until Mexican workers get full trade union rights”.
The days of action are encompassing the struggles of a range of different groups of workers in Mexico. Their stories are all inspiring for trade unionists throughout the world. This stirring video message sent by IndustriALL Executive Committee member Michele O’Neil, TCFUA National Secretary, to the locked-out shoe workers at Bata Sandak well reflects the sentiment of the global campaign.
The grand, historic Mexican union Los Mineros has been attacked in vicious persecution by Mexican authorities and employers over a period of six years. Their fight is always central to the international campaign for trade union rights in Mexico. The global days of action are held in the week of 19 February to mark the industrial homicide of 65 mineworkers at the Pasta de Conchos mine six years ago, and justice at Pasta de Conchos is a central demand of the campaign.
The Mexican days of action started solemnly in Mexico City on 18 February with a silent march from the Monumento da la Revolucion to the Angel de la Independencia mourning those 65 miners. Mineros carried 65 symbolic coffins and placed them at the monument where mineworkers from all sections and locals held an overnight vigil. SME, UNTTYP, Continental Tires Workers, FAT, CAW, USW, UE and IndustriALL Global Union participated in solidarity with Los Mineros.
Other gross injustices facing Los Mineros include the conflicts in Ciudad Acuña, Cananea, Taxco and Zacatecas, and of course the false criminal charges keeping General Secretary Napoleón Gomez Urrutia in exile in Canada. Napoleon will be participating in a demonstration at the Mexican Consulate in Vancouver today, 21 February.
Other main struggles include those of the SME, SUTEIVP, and Bata. The Bata Sandak workers received several hundred solidarity messages through IndustriALL’s online petition, as well as video messages from overseas trade unions representing shoe workers. PKC workers in Ciudad Acuña have been supported by 9,000 messages to the Finnish-based management through Labourstart.
Affiliates of UNI Global Union will take actions marking the global days on 22 February at Mexican Embassies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and USA.