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Finnish company PKC ignores court ruling and fails to reinstate workers in Mexico

14 July, 2016“We give our complete support to the workers at Arneses y Accesorios,” announced IndustriALL Mexican affiliate Los Mineros in solidarity with workers fired by Finish-based electronics company PKC.

Alejandro Ojeda Ramírez, Ana María Méndez, Javier Díaz and María de la Paz Calvillo were dismissed in 2012, along with 118 other colleagues, because of their support for Los Mineros and as a reprisal for their attempts to organize the workforce at the company, which produces cable systems for the automobile industry. After a long legal battle in the federal courts in Mexico City and an international campaign, the authorities ruled in favour of the workers and scheduled their reinstatement for 8 July.

The workers’ lawyer and the professional adjudicator responsible for providing special services on legal matters at the Labour Conciliation and Arbitration Board went to the company on that date but the company’s lawyer did not appear. Instead, a person who preferred not to identify himself prevented the workers’ entering the plant.

This was an illegal act by PKC, which failed to recognize the court ruling. The company is well-known for its anti-union practices and for violating the rights of workers, who are working in precarious conditions, earn the minimum wage and work long hours. The company also works with a protection union.

Los Mineros and its president Napoleón Gómez Urrutia support the workers and has demanded, for a second time, the right to represent the workers for collective bargaining purposes at PKC Arneses y Accesorios. It expects to win the election that is due to be held in the next few weeks to decide which union will represent the workers.

Los Mineros are confident as the union recently won the election at section 265 at the Hercules mine. This result endorsed its position as the union representing workers for the purposes of collective bargaining with the Minera del Norte company.

Meanwhile, the three Finnish unions affiliated to IndustriALL sent a letter to the CEO of PKC Group, Matti Hyytiäinen, asking to reinstate the four workers from Los Mineros who were illegally fired. Furthermore, they demanded PKC to not intervene in the coming election, neither in favour nor against the trade unions involved, and they requested that Hyytiäinen should publicly announce that PKC respects the right to freedom of association.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Fernando Lopes, says on PKC’s anti-union and illegal behaviour:

“I would like to know what would happen to a company in Finland if it did not comply with a court ruling. So why can a Finnish company ignore the law in Mexico? IndustriALL Global Union will support the struggle of Los Mineros until it wins.”