Friday, February 8, 2013

60,000 workers march through Mexico City

The 31 January mass demonstration brought together working people and activists from many sectors including mining, energy, aviation, teaching, telephone and agriculture calling for a new economic and political direction for Mexico.

The 60,000-strong mobilization denounced the injustice handed down by the country’s Supreme Court on 30 January against Mexico’s oldest democratic union the Mexican Electrical Workers’ Union (SME). That decision overruled an appellate court ruling taken in line with national labour legislation that clearly passes employer responsibility to a company that takes over operations of another company, as occurred for SME members. There is no way to interpret this unjust Supreme Court ruling that runs contrary to Mexican law, other than as an effort by the ruling elite to crush the SME electrical workers’ union.

The SME General Secretary Martín Esparza in his address to the demonstration that climaxed in the national Zócalo plaza asked if marchers would accept the Supreme Court decision and give up their three-year struggle for reemployment. The loud, unified shout back was “NO!”
Pressure is building on the new President Enrique Peña Nieto that his PRI Party government cannot continue the repressive policies of the previous PAN Party government and must end the establishment’s repression of social movements.
A similar call for changes was made in a letter to the Mexican President sent by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and all Global Unions on 6 February 2013.
The ground is prepared for a strong Global Days of Action for workers’ rights in Mexico on 18-24 February. IndustriALL Global Union affiliates around the world are linking up with trade unionists from other sectors to demonstrate the international indignation at the concerted union-busting in Mexico.
Unified action in Mexico will be carried out by all democratic national unions, supported by international colleagues. Actions there will include a joint press conference, a public meeting, embassy visits, a solidarity caravan, a commemoration silent march in memory of the Pasta de Conchos victims, and a large-scale march through the capital.
The Tri-National Solidarity Alliance of unions in Canada, Mexico and the US are playing a leading role in planning activities in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, Ottawa, Portland, Raleigh, Seattle, Tucson, Vancouver, and Washington DC.
Unite the Union in the UK is hosting a public meeting on 20 February in partnership with the TUC and other groups.
See here the 6 February joint letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and all the Global Union Federations.
The four main demands of the Global Days of Action 2013 are:
  • Justice for the families of the 65 miners killed at Pasta de Conchos on 19 February 2006;
  • End the use of employer dominated protection contracts, which deny the worker the right to democratic representation and collective bargaining
  • Repeal of the Labour Law enacted on 1 December 2012 that encourage dismissal of union activists, increases subcontracting and lead to massive expansion of precarious employment
  • Reinstate unlawfully fired union activists from SME, PKC, Vidriera de Potosi/Grupo Modelo; Honda; Calzado Sandak /Bata and allow free and fair elections at PKC, Excellon, Honda, Atento.
Get involved, take action and follow the campaign on IndustriALL website here. Here you will find more material, new videos, and new ways to take action and support the campaign over the next few weeks.

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