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We demand clean elections!

29 July, 2015Legal action concerning the four-year old dispute over collective bargaining rights at Honda’s plant in Mexico has still not been resolved and the company continues with its anti-trade union policy, which includes victimizing union members.

IndustriALL is calling for a speedy resolution of the legal proceedings and a date to be set for a ballot in accordance with national and international legislation on freedom of association.

Honda Mexico continues to implement a vicious anti-trade union policy at its factory in El Salto, Jalisco and is prolonging the legal battle over freedom of association. The workers are fighting for the right to join a union of their choice.

“Four years ago, the Honda workers’ independent trade union, STUHM, requested collective bargaining rights. However, the legal proceedings that should have culminated in a workplace vote to allow workers to freely express which union they want to represent them continues to be bogged down by a whole range of obstacles,” explained Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary.

The fight for freedom of association

In an interview published in La Jornada, Mexico, STUHM’S general secretary, José Luis Solorio and the union treasurer, Luis Gerardo Rodríguez, denounced the fact that only two of the country’s 29 auto industry assembly plants have independent trade unions and decent pay levels. All the others are controlled by “protection” unions that do not allow freedom of association for workers.

Solorio and Rodriguez also revealed that the fight to ensure that workers can decide which union should have collective bargaining rights at the Honda plant has been hampered by repression, violence and unfair dismissals. Their greatest fear at the moment is that arrangements for the ballot will not be fair and will favour the company’s accomplice, the “protection” union.

STUHM’s leaders told La Jornada that the Social Security Department gave them a register of workers at the plant that does not bear any resemblance to reality and includes Japanese administrative workers employed by the company, managers, people who are no longer alive and people who left the plant ten years ago. Moreover, the department intends to give voting rights to a further 600 workers who are not relevant current employees, which they say would completely invalidate the process, said Solorio.

Jyrki Raina has written to the president of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board, Alberto Zorrilla, asking him to expedite a speedy resolution of the legal process, set a date for the ballot and guarantee a reliable voter register, in accordance with national and international legislation on freedom of association. At his last meeting with STUHM, Zorrilla assured the union that a completely reliable register will be used.

The case of Honda Mexico was put on the agenda of the last ILO Assembly in Geneva and the situation of STUHM members was used as an example of serious violations of freedom of association.

During the third regional automotive sector meeting, held in Mexico DF, IndustriALL and its affiliates in the industry signed a declaration supporting STUHM’s fight, reiterated their solidarity with independent trade unions in Mexico, rejected the use of “protection” contracts and demanded compliance with ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association.