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Reprisals and dismissals at Honda Mexico

9 May, 2013Honda Mexico has breached a workplace agreement and dismissed five workers in a complicit campaign by the company and local protection union, SETEAMI, to intimidate the workforce.

Honda dismissed the five workers on 7 May. All of them were members of the committee that negotiated a settlement after 90 per cent of the workers showed their dissatisfaction with the company's refusal to share its profits in a work-stoppage on 16-18 April.

Tripartite negotiations resulted in an agreement that included the following points:

  • A quick return to work.
  • No pay deductions for absence from work on 16, 17 and 18 April 2013.
  • No reprisals against striking workers who comply with this agreement.
  • Maintain relations between the company and workers.
  • Both sides agree not to divulge the agreement’s terms to third parties.

The Honda Mexico workers’ union (STUHM) said: “It is clear that the company has acted dishonestly by dismissing workers who were directly involved in the demonstrations. It has done this in order to discourage workers from seeking union representation that defends their interests and to intimidate all Honda workers who are trying to organize to improve working conditions”.

The STUHM called on the federal and local authorities that participated in drawing up the agreement to intervene and insist that the company comply with its commitment to not dismiss workers in reprisal for action taken in response to the company's refusal to make a fair profit-sharing payment to workers in accordance with the profits it made in 2012.

At a press conference on 8 May, STUHM representatives described what was happening at the company, including the dismissal of the five workers who remain determined not to accept the unjust termination of their employment contracts, and instead declared themselves ready to return to work.

IndustriALL believes it is clear that Honda wants to punish the workers who demonstrated in support of their legitimate rights and, in this way, discourage workers from organizing to obtain decent working conditions and genuine trade union representation.

IndustriALL has written to express its solidarity with Honda workers and to demand that the company complies fully with the agreement signed after tripartite negotiations. The letter sets out IndustriALL's support for the union's demands, calls for the company to comply with its commitment to not take reprisals against workers who participated in the strike and urges Honda to immediately reinstate the five dismissed workers.