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Tell AB InBev to respect ruling for reinstatement of dismissed workers in Mexico

30 April, 2014Despite a court ruling, InBev refuses to reinstate 33 workers who were unfairly dismissed in 2008. Join IndustriALL's and IUF's campaign for the workers' right to return to the workplace and the payment of outstanding wages.

On 26 January 2008, Industria Vidriera del Potosí, a subsidiary of Grupo Modelo-AB InBev, sacked 220 workers including the entire executive committee of the IndustriALL-affiliated glass workers' union SUTEIVP. They did so following the negotiated agreement of a 19 per cent wage increase by the independent union.

This success infuriated the local authorities and employers in San Luis Potosi industrial areas who joined forces to get rid of SUTEIVP and to send a signal that no democratic union would be tolerated in the area. Because of the sacking of the 220, the union filed a strike notice with the local labour authorities to protest against the dismissals, which were a violation of the collective agreement. The authorities declared that the union demand was not valid, and prevented the union acting in defense of the sacked workers.

Since June 2013, AB InBev owns 100 per cent of Grupo Modelo and is responsible for the actions of Grupo Modelo's management. These actions are a clear attack on ABInBev/Grupo Modelo workers' fundamental rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; rights recognized in a number of international standards that AB InBev claims to subscribe to.

Workers currently face huge hardship as a result of the company's actions. This hardship is compounded by "company blacklisting" and by complicit local labour authorities making it practically impossible for the dismissed workers and their families to find work locally and in other regions of Mexico. Despite this substantial hardship, and having refused a financial settlement blatantly aimed at persuading the workers to give up their fundamental rights, 33 workers continue to insist on reinstatement to their former jobs and their rights fully restored.

These 33 workers who have been fighting for justice since 2008 won reinstatement at Vidriera de San Luis Potosí as a result of the ruling of Conciliation and Arbitration Board at the beginning of April 2014.

In addition to ordering the reinstatement of members of the independent trade union, the Board ordered the defendant company VIDRIERA to reinstate workers to their posts under the same terms and conditions of employment that existed prior to their dismissal, and to pay them an amount corresponding to outstanding unpaid wages which will continue to accumulate until they are reinstated in accordance with this ruling.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Fernando Lopes says:

"For more than six years, our affiliate has been dedicated to defend all the Grupo Modelo workers' right to freedom of association. IndustriALL fully backs their struggle in reclaiming a decent job for all.”

Act now to tell AB INBEV to respect the ruling for the reinstatement of the dismissed workers in Mexico!