TORONTO, Jan. 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Unifor is outraged at the murder of a third worker striking against Canadian owned Torex Gold Resources in Mexico.
"Workers are being murdered for opposing Torex Gold and nothing is being done about it," said National President Jerry Dias. "How many must die before corporations and corrupt Mexican unions are held accountable?"
Unifor demands that Mexican labour standards be immediately addressed at the current round of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal. The union also calls for Torex Gold to be among the first Canadian companies to be examined by the newly announced Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, responsible for investigating human rights abuses by Canadian corporations operating abroad.
According to the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic (Los Mineros), last week labour activist Quintin Salgado was on his way to meet strikers from Torex Gold's Media Luna mine when he was intercepted and pulled from his vehicle. Salgado was beaten, his cell phone was destroyed and he was threatened with further violence if he kept advocating for a change of unions and a new contract. Yesterday that threat was realized when Salgado was brutally murdered.
Salgado's death is the latest violence related to the strike at the Media Luna mine, where approximately 600 workers have been on strike since November 3, 2017 after they were prevented from leaving the corrupt Confederación de Trabajadores de México (CTM) union to join Los Mineros. In November, 2017, Dias visited the picketed barricade where brothers Víctor and Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña were also murdered by an armed group allegedly affiliated with the CTM union.
On January 15, 2018 Torex Gold announced a re-start of the Media Luna mine with the full cooperation of the CTM and Mexican police from the Federal Gendarmerie.
"International corporations have abused Mexican workers with impunity for far too long," said Dias. "NAFTA has to contain protections to stop human rights violations and raise living standards in Mexico."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at [email protected] or 416-896-3303 (cell).