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IndustriALL calls for legal and fair elections at PKC Mexico

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13 August, 2012Elections at PKC are due to be held in September, when workers will choose which union they want to represent them, the miners’ union or the CTM. The workers have accused the company of threatening them and putting pressure on them to go back to work.

IndustriALL Global Union has written to Matti Hyytiäinen, president of the PKC Group, about the dispute at its plant in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

The National Miners’ and Metalworkers’ Union (SNTMMSSRM), led by Napoleón Gómez, filed a legal action seeking the right to negotiate the collective agreement at Arneses y Accesorios de México, a PKC subsidiary in Ciudad Acuña, México. The Federal  Conciliation and Arbitration Board rejected this demand. However, on July 4 2012, the First  Circuit  Ninth Collegiate Labour Court accepted an appeal filed by the SNTMMSSRM and ordered the Conciliation and Arbitration Board  to make arrangements. The Board then requested an election to be held to determine which union should represent the workers.

The Conciliation and Arbitration Board scheduled a hearing for August 31 to set a date, time and place and establish a list of those eligible to vote. The elections may take place in September. IndustriALL is calling for free, fair and transparent elections and for the employer to maintain a neutral position as it is the workers alone who  have the right to elect their trade union representatives.

At meetings called by the company since July 16, workers have been told that an election will be held in September.  According to the workers, the company is saying that the Mexican Confederation of Workers (Confederación de Trabajadores de México, CTM) is now on the workers’ side and not there to  protect the company. The workers say they are increasingly being put under pressure and threatened by managers.

IndustriALL says that these actions clearly show the company is interfering in the electoral process and attempting to control it, in violation of ILO Conventions 87 and 98. It has called on the company to change its attitude and follow procedures that guarantee a legal and fair election.