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Mexican miners’ union victory in dispute with Minera Frisco

20 August, 2013A dispute between Minera Frisco and the National Miners' Union (SNTMMSRM) ended on 14 August. Workers at the El Coronel mine in Zacatecas went on strike for more than two months to defend the union’s right to represent the workers for collective bargaining purposes.

Negotiations on the union side were led by Napoleon Gómez Urrutia, the union’s leader and a member of IndustriALL’s executive committee, and were mediated by the Minister for Labour and Social Welfare (STPS).

The most important aspect of the agreement was that the company accepted the union’s right to represent the workers for collective bargaining purposes. All workers at the mine have joined the SNTMMSRM. The company also agreed to pay 100% of the wages unpaid during the two-month strike. It was also agreed that, within 45 days, the Minister for Labour and Social Welfare should assess the amount of the profit-sharing bonus due to workers, which was one of the other main reasons for the dispute.

Minera Frisco and the STPS said they would comply with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 on the freedom of trade union organisation. The company also said it would respect the interests and rights of the workers.

Union members expressed their support for Napoleón Gómez Urrutia  and the other members of the national executive committee at a general meeting and the union welcomed the new members to the organisation.

According to the union, the company has absolved its members from any responsibility for the damage to mine installations caused by the CROC and the union led by “corrupt” Carlos Pavón on 29 May and has said it will carry out the relevant repairs. The company also withdrew all accusations against the striking workers who decided to join the SNTMMSRM and said it will make no claims against the union.

The union said it would implement the agreement reached with more than 50 mining companies in Vancouver last November to increase productivity and efficiency and promote decent work. It is hoped that this will enable Minera Frisco to improve its performance while advancing the interests of its workers. 

IndustriALL congratulates the union for this agreement, which benefits the workers and is relevant to IndustriALL’s trade union mission to the ITUC and TUCA due to take place in the next few days and which will seek to assess the current situation of the trade union movement and request practical measures to end violations of rights guaranteed by ILO conventions that Mexico has signed but does not comply with.