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Dismissals continue at Honda Mexico as STUHM fights for workers’ rights

18 October, 2012The Sindicato de Trabajadores Unidos de Honda Mexico (STUHM) is claiming the right (known as titularidad) to negotiate a collective agreement with the company on the grounds that it represents a majority of Honda workers. It is also demanding an end to the persecution of its leaders and the reinstatement of dismissed workers.

STUHM has been calling for a vote to decide which union shall have the right to represent workers at Honda, Jalisco, since the union received official recognition from the authorities in 2009. Workers at the El Salto plant in Jalisco have denounced poor working conditions, harassment, low pay, intimidation towards union members and supporter and the lack of a genuine union to defend their rights.

In August 2011, the Labour and Social Welfare Department (STPS) issued STUHM with registration number 5964 STUHM and recognised the union (the procedure known as toma de nota) after the federal labour courts ruled the workers had the right to form a union.

STUHM is demanding the right (titularidad) to negotiate a collective agreement on the grounds that it is the majority union and is calling for the reinstatement of dismissed workers.

On 13 September this year, the courts held a hearing attended by representatives of Honda, SETEAMI, STUHM and another union that also claimed the right to negotiate a collective agreement. At the hearing, all three unions claimed they represented a majority of the workers and therefore had the right to negotiate a collective agreement on behalf of the workers. Despite repeated calls from IndustriALL and affiliates demanding that the company should remain neutral, the record of the hearing clearly shows that Honda supported the position of SETEAMI. Moreover, the company continues to intimidate and repress STUHM members and supporters and dismiss workers without justification. STUHM affirms that a vote should be held as soon as possible to establish which union has majority support.

The company continues to persecute and dismissal workers. Ricardo Chávez Álvarez, who was employed by the company for five years and was a quality control inspector on the assembly line, was sacked in September for being in possession of STUHM leaflets on company premises. Chávez was a STUHM member but the company forced him to resign from the union in July 2012.

IndustriALL Global Union is closely following Honda’s actions in Mexico and demands that Honda workers in Mexico are allowed to exercise their right to decide freely and democratically which union they want to represent them, without any interference from the company.