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Honda Mexico – reinstated worker fired again

5 December, 2014Honda Mexico has again shown its anti-union policies and readiness to violate the freedom of association and labour rights by dismissing for a second time Raúl Celestino Pallares Cardoza, Records Secretary of the Honda Mexico workers’ democratic trade union, STUHM.

After being unjustly dismissed in April 2010 and in resistance for the last four years, Pallares Cardoza returned to his job at the Honda plant in the El Salto industrial corridor, on 26 November. Four days later he claims to have been unfairly dismissed again.

The Second Collegiate Labour Court had ordered and implemented his legal reinstatement (case 1160/2010) but on 1 December, Alejandro Salaiza Rubio, Governmental Relations Manager, barred Pallares Cardoza from entering the company, saying he had “broken company rules” and added that he would be informed of the reasons for his dismissal through legal channels.

Although the court ruled that the company must reinstate the union official to the job from which he was unfairly dismissed, Pallares Cardoza says:

“I was practically isolated for four days in the administration offices.”

Honda Mexico also imposed an 8.20am to 5.40pm shift (hours usually worked by “protected/ managerial” white collar workers) and he had travel to work on the buses allocated for administrative staff and was kept isolated from his colleagues in the company’s offices. His lunch hour was also changed to 2.10pm to 2.40pm, a period reserved for only for suppliers. In other words, the company took every step to ensure that he had no contact at all with his co-workers.

It is useful to know that, despite its overt complicity with the “yellow” CTM union at the plant (SETEAMI), Honda Mexico has a “Code of Ethics”, in which the company says it will respect the law and a global framework for workers’ rights . However, Honda Mexico proves once more that the company has no desire or intention to observe this code or put it into practice.

IndustriALL Global Union and STUHM also denounce the anti-union and discriminatory stance of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board, which, in complicity with the company, is taking an unreasonable amount of time to process the union’s application to represent the workers for collective bargaining purposes. Over a year has gone by since the union submitted an application but the board has not managed to reach an agreement with the company about the register of workers eligible to vote in the ballot. It has also failed to set a date for the ballot.

IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary, Fernando Lopes, says: “IndustriALL supports STUHM’s application for a union election at Honda Mexico and strongly denounces the continuing and unfair dismissals of workers who dare to stand up for freedom of association. We call on Honda Mexico to observe Mexican law and stop using obstructive tactics to delay the judicial process.”