5 July, 2018Los Mineros of Mexico won a trade union election giving it the exclusive right to negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) at the Teksid company after a four-year struggle. This represents a real triumph for all those who defend freedom of association in the country.
IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, Los Mineros, defeated the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) led by the corrupt Tereso Medina, by 238 votes to 145, thereby winning the exclusive right to negotiate a CBA with Teksid Hierro based in Monclova in the state of Coahuila.
This is one of the most important victories achieved by Los Mineros because they won in spite of the fact that the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board tried to set a trap for the union which would have caused its election bid to fail. The Board announced that the elections would take place with just 24 hours' notice, thinking that this would lead to the defeat of Los Mineros just before the presidential elections were due to take place.
Moreover, the president of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board allowed in a list of members entitled to vote which had been altered. Instead of 703 workers from the Mineros union, the Board agreed to another list submitted by the company and CTM that contained the names of 401 trusted employees and contractors.
Workers at the Italian-owned company, which is part of the Fiat Chrysler Group, have been asking for los Mineros to represent them since 2014. Over the last four years, there have been many attacks perpetrated by thugs from the CTM against workers just because they expressed their preference for los Mineros. At the same time, it appears that many of the 100 workers who were laid off during this period lost their jobs because they organized strikes protesting the lack of democratic representation by CTM, which has a protection contract.
"Things were not easy. We were subjected to four years of repression, threats and suffering. Many workers were fired without just cause. Workers displayed bravery and dignity as they tried to assert their rights and continued the struggle that began in 2014 when they demanded to be allowed to join Los Mineros,”
said Mineros shop steward, Manuel Alfonso Prince, at a press conference.
Prince also added that now his union had won the representative elections, it would try to have the almost 100 workers who were fired for defending their rights reinstated, and that they would elect the new leadership of the local committee.
"We congratulate the workers at Teksid for their tenacity and their capacity to fight and stand firm. This victory in the auto parts industry represents new hope for thousands of other workers in the state of Coahuila who have demanded their right to be represented by the union headed by Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. IndustriALL will continue to support the just struggle of Mexican workers for their rights,"
said Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL.