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IndustriALL calls on Mexican government to restore workers’ rights at Goodyear

23 April, 2020Two years ago, US-based tyre multinational Goodyear sacked over 50 workers for speaking out about their unjust working conditions. Seven of them are still actively struggling to get their jobs back, with back pay since their dismissals were unfair.

The plant in the industrial Mexican city of San Luís Potosí has a bogus labour representation with the employer-aligned Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).

The sham union was not elected by the workforce to represent them, and workers have no way of raising issues or setting priorities to be raised with management.

The CTM signed a protection contract, fake collective bargaining agreement, with Goodyear for the site in 2015, two years before the plant began operating.

Addressing Mexico’s labour secretary Alcalde, IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Valter Sanches calls for government intervention to uphold the law. Specifically, the company continues to deny its employees important worker protections provided for under the newly enacted labour law reform.

The mass dismissals of around 50 people, made on 9 July 2018, were heavily condemned by IndustriALL at the time. Goodyear unions from around the world took solidarity actions in support of the Mexican workers’ demand for reinstatement and the right to choose how to organize themselves.

The lead union in that effort is the USW in North America, which represents a significant number of Goodyear employees in the company’s home country, USA.

Addressing the Labour Secretary, Valter Sanches says:

“I am troubled that Goodyear has not reinstated any of the workers who have protested their firings. I urge you to closely monitor the progression of the legal cases regarding the reinstatement of and full back pay for the workers who were wrongly fired for protesting representation by the CTM and unsafe working conditions."

The Goodyear facility in San Luis Potosí has been closed since 18 March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Workers have been told they will continue to receive 75 per cent of their wages while the factory is shut down. However, the Mexican Government has repeatedly stated that workers should be paid 100 per cent of their wages during this period.

The Mexican government has declared a health emergency through the month of April, and Goodyear is forcing workers to use their vacation pay and threatening to dock future vacation accrual to compensate workers now, in contravention of official orders.

“When the workers return to work, it is critical that they are able to exercise their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. It is also essential that the company not use this pandemic to remove workplace activists from their payroll. The new Mexican labour law will not benefit workers if employers are permitted to violate it with impunity,”

says Valter Sanches.