Authentic Labour Front is an autonomous and democratic national organization of workers, whose foundations are contained in the commitment to defend the immediate and historical interests of the working class, in the struggle for better living and working conditions, and in the drive for a process of transformation of Mexican society towards democracy and self-managed socialism.
The purpose of the Authentic Labour Front is, within the social and political movement that moves in this direction, the construction of a SELF-MANAGED SOCIETY with the direct participation of workers and civil society. A system of political and economic democracy that starts at the grassroots, from the factory, the cooperative, the farmers' organization, and social organizations in general, to reach decision making at local, regional and national levels.
Many of the organizations attending the seminar are active in pushing national and local governments to improve labour regulations and their enforcement in order to protect worker rights. In recent years, there have been a number of initiatives both from the grassroots and from the international community to enhance labour ministries and their capacity to act on labour rights violations, many funded by US AID and linked to the DR-CAFTA trade agreement.
Last month, MSN received the sad news of the death of our friend Antonio Villalba. Antonio was a union organizer, an important leader of Mexico's Authentic Labour Front (FAT), and a life-long fighter for the rights of workers in Mexico and internationally. Until the very end of his long struggle against cancer, Antonio continued to offer thoughtful strategic advice to his union membership, never losing his wonderful wry sense of humour.
On November 23, workers at the Vaqueros Navarra jean factory in Tehuacan, Mexico stood up to their employer and voted to be represented by an independent union.
Early this year, the Human and Labour Rights Commission of the Tehuacan Valley contacted MSN about troubling events taking place at the Vaqueros Navarra facility. A series of dismissals had raised alarm amongst workers of a looming closure – just as workers were organizing to demand proper payment of the annual profit-sharing benefit mandated by Mexican law.