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Hunger strike launched at PKC in Mexico

10 January, 2013Eleven members of the Mexican national union of mineworkers, Los Mineros, sacked by Finnish-based PKC before Christmas started a hunger strike on 8 January in protest of the union-busting.

As reported by IndustriALL on 20 December 2012, Finnish-based auto parts multinational PKC sacked the entire Executive Committee of Section 307 of Los Mineros in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila state, in the week before Christmas. The aggressive union-busting move included the dismissal of 122 workers seen to support the union in retaliation for their organizing efforts.

Section 307 of Los Mineros has been battling to organize the PKC plant; on 18 October a workplace election was narrowly won by the yellow union CTM by 2,509 to 2,311 votes after three months of strong intimidation, threats and persecution by management and the CTM against voting for Los Mineros. This anti-union persecution was carried out with the support of local state government headed by Rubén Moreira.

All workers who served as union observers on 18 October were dismissed in December, as well as other workers listed as potential observers. These names were transmitted to the Mexican labour authorities by the union, and were clearly then passed to the company in a serious breach of law and trust.

The Federal Labour Board was present in the office of the PKC human resources as each of the 122 workers was summoned individually and pressured into signing a voluntary resignation letter. There is no question that the mass sacking was in direct retaliation for trade union activities, and for no other reason.

Workers on hunger strike since 8 January are: Jesús Rogaciano Ibarra Quintero, Encarnación Escobedo Muñoz, Gerardo Hinojosa Morales, Ana María Méndez Pacheco, Josefina Martínez Hernández, Alejandro Ojeda Ramírez, Rodolfo Luna Martínez, Javier Díaz Gómez, Sergio Hernández García, María de la Paz Calvillo Solano and Juan Carlos Palomino Cansino.

IndustriALL Global Union demands that PKC management immediately reinstate all unfairly dismissed workers, members of Los Mineros, and call for a fair workplace trade union election, to be monitored by an international observer committee.

This latest scandalous union-busting is an example of the abuse of workers’ rights in Mexico that will unite trade unions around the world during the week of 18-24 February marking the “Mexico Days of Action”. Follow the IndustriALL website in the coming weeks to join the global action.

During the Days of Action trade unionists will revisit the Mexican Ambassador to their country and push for action on:

  • The outstanding ILO complaint no. 2694 on Protection Contracts
  • Pasta de Conchos justice
  • Rejecting the recent regressive labour law reforms

Actions will also include mobilizations, awareness raising activities, and letter writing to the new Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Expectations are heightened inside Mexico of positive changes that the new Peña Nieto government can bring for workers and trade unions in the country. The international call in February will echo this call.