TORONTO, March 14, 2012 /CNW/ - "The Mexican government must stop systemic violations of workers' freedom of association, the protection contracts system and its interference with union elections," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director, in a meeting with the Mexican Ambassador in Toronto.
Neumann, along with Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress and Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada are meeting with the Mexican Ambassador today.
"The Mexican government must stop the persecution against democratically elected union leaders and hold the people responsible for the deaths of 63 workers at Pasta de Conchos mine accountable for the accident," added Neumann.
During the week of February 19-25, 2012, in memory of the 63 Pasta de Conchos miners who died in a mine blast on February 19, 2006, members of the international labour movement took action to call on the Mexican government to stop its attack on workers' rights and implement steps to allow for workers to organize independent democratic trade unions.
Last year, more than 50,000 union members, students and human rights activists from some 40 countries participated in the Global Days of Action, launched on February 14. For six days union members came together in an unprecedented show of solidarity. Thousands of letters were sent to the Mexican government, more than 50 meetings were held at Mexican embassies throughout the world, and massive demonstrations were organized throughout the week, inside and outside of Mexico.
Despite an escalation in action and outcry from unions in Mexico and at the international level, workers continue to be denied fundamental rights, independent unions face violent and political attack and corporate impunity is at an all-time high.
Building on our 2011 actions, independent unions in Mexico, together with their respective global union partners, have come together as a movement of force, challenging regressive labour legislation, anti-union practices and corporate and political corruption.
For further information:
Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, United Steelworkers, firstname.lastname@example.org 416-434-2221