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Hard-hitting WRC report uncovers abuses at PKC Mexico

19 June, 2013An independent investigation of the Finnish auto parts company PKC in Mexico found widespread violations of workers’ rights, including firing workers who tried to form an independent union and sexual harassment.

The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an independent labour monitoring group supported by U.S. universities, yesterday released its detailed investigation of violations committed by PKC at its plant in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. PKC is a global auto parts company whose clients include Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Reacting to the report, USW International President Leo Gerard stated:

The WRC report shows how multinational companies use Mexico’s weak labour laws to undermine workers’ human rights. PKC must immediately reinstate the fired union leaders and follow the report’s other recommendations.

The Mexican government must demonstrate that it can protect the rights of its workers before it is allowed greater access to U.S. markets.

The report found that PKC imposed a company union without the knowledge of its workers, harassed and threatened workers who attempted to join the independent Mexican Mine and Metalworkers’ union, manipulated an election to defeat the Mineworkers, and fired independent union supporters.  The WRC also documented sexual harassment at PKC facilities. 

Following the joint IndustriALL Global Union and LabourStart Campaign during the Global Days of action for Mexico in February 2013, which posted almost 10’000 letters to PKC’s CEO Matti Hyytiäinen, demanding respect for workers’ right to choose their own union and demanding reinstatement of the unfairly sacked workers, General Secretary Jyrki Raina calls on all IndustriALL affiliates to continue to put pressure on PKC Management to respect International Standards and ILO C87 for Freedom of Association:

PKC cannot continue to ignore the corrupt practices in Mexico by incentivizing the protection contract system which goes against all principles of Social Responsibility. The Auto companies who buy from PKC must be aware that they are undermining the GFA’s signed which commit them to protect workers’ rights worldwide. We will widely circulate the International Worker Rights Consortium, (WRC) Report and we strongly support their recommendations.

The WRC report is available at Workersrights.org.