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Mexican Corona beer bottlers’ mobilization attacked

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7 February, 2013The 26 January demonstration by IndustriALL Global Union’s Mexican glass worker affiliate SUTEIVP, in front of the Corona beer bottle manufacturing plant that sacked them for union activities five years ago, was physically attacked by representatives of the local yellow union.

The manifestation marked the five-year anniversary of the mass sacking of all 220 workers connected with the efforts of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Empresa Vidriera del Potosí (SUTEIVP) in organizing and collective bargaining. IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina was one of many international trade unionists to send support messages to the demo.

Thugs from the corporatist protection union installed at the plant by local management forced workers from inside the plant to aggressively provoke and then attack the SUTEIVP demonstration on the outer side of the perimeter fence. Management also directly gave the instruction to dozens of the current workers to suspend work and attack the SUTEIVP demonstration.

The aggressive group of around 100 workers were led by Alberto Martínez Sandoval and other members of the yellow union committee at the plant, assembling on the inner side of the perimeter fence with provocative banners. The aggressors then threw eggs, rocks and other projectiles at the demonstration outside.

The SUTEIVP representatives were joined and supported by other democratic trade unions, including the local section of Los Mineros.

The plant that produces five million bottles per day for the famous Corona beer brand is one of four Corona bottling plants. The multinational company that produces Corona, Grupo Modelo, is in the process of being sold to Belgian-based market leader AB-InBev. AB-InBev has placed a condition on the purchase that there must not be any on-going labour conflicts. The deal has been challenged by US authorities on competition grounds, which may cause a delay but is not expected to block the purchase entirely.