22 September, 2022Workers at Teksid Hierro in Mexico have re-elected the Los Mineros union as the holder of the collective bargaining agreement at the company, ending an eight-year long conflict over union representation.
Los Mineros, affiliated to IndustriALL Global union, won a resounding victory when almost 80 per cent of Teksid Hierro workers voted in favour of it being the sole legal representative of the collective bargaining agreement at the company.
The results of the vote were published on 20 September, Mexico's National Day of Trade Union Democracy. The day before, workers had been able to exercise their right to freedom of association and vote freely, secretly and directly on which union to represent them.
642 votes were in favour of Los Mineros, with only 172 in favour of the CTM union and two invalid votes. The counting of votes was carried out in the presence of representatives of the two participating unions, the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board (JFCA) and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.
“This manifestation of the comrades at the ballot box is a conclusive and definitive proof of the firm conviction that the Mineros (Section 327) is the holder of the collective bargaining agreement.
“This vote and the results obtained put an end to a long struggle of uncertainty, violations of trade union freedom (...) A further step towards the transformation of the trade union world is guaranteed, the company and employers' structure that prevented and limited trade union action has been dismantled,"
Los Mineros said in a statement.
Since 2014, Los Mineros' attempts to establish a democratic workplace union have been met with unionbusting.
A first ballot was held in 2018, where workers elected Los Mineros as their sole legal representative of the workers' collective bargaining agreement at Teksid. However, it was only in July 2022 that the company signed an agreement recognizing the victory of Los Mineros. This agreement was made possible by invoking the Rapid Response Labour Mechanism (RRM) of the Mexico-United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (T-MEC).
And yet, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Metal-Mecánica del Estado (STIMME, of the Confederación de Trabajadores de México, CTM) ignored the agreement and asked the JFCA for a new vote to decide which union would represent workers at the Teksid plant.
"This vote for freedom of association not only concludes an eight-year long struggle, but is also a good example of international cooperation and solidarity,"
says IndustriALL automotive sector director Georg Leutert.