TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is denouncing Excellon Resources for boasting of higher production in the wake of two fatalities at the company's La Platosa mine in Durango, Mexico.
"It is unconscionable that Excellon would issue a press release trumpeting how well the company is performing while families are still mourning the loss of two loved ones who were electrocuted last week in the company's mine," said Ken Neumann, USW Canadian Director.
"This lack of sensitivity is something we have never experienced before, even by companies with questionable labour and human rights records similar to Excellon's."
"While an investigation of the fatalities is underway, our own experience is that many companies, especially smaller and undercapitalized operators or those involved in alleged human rights abuses, are also prone to compromise on safety in favour of production," Neumann said.
The USW also questions whether an adequate investigation will occur given the existence of a "company union" at Excellon's mine and the role of Mexico's state and federal governments in supporting the company.
The USW has been a major critic of Excellon due to the belligerent attitude the company has taken against holding a fair election for a union and the attacks on a local landowners' group.
The union has been engaged in a three-year campaign to support small landowners and supporters of the National Union of Mine and Metal Workers, the only independent and democratic union representing miners in Mexico.
The Government of Canada, thorough its Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor, attempted in 2011 to create a dialogue between parties but Excellon withdrew from the process without explanation.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951; Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, [email protected]; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]