Thanks to strong national and international opposition, proposed labour law reforms that would severely erode workers' rights in Mexico have been delayed. The independent trade union movement in Mexico has been denouncing proposed labour law reforms that would, amongst other things, encourage even more precarious work arrangements, uphold the use of "protection contracts" and enable further weakening of unions and denial of legal entitlements through the use of outsourcing, subcontracting, and temporary contracts for young workers.
A long and dramatic struggle at the Johnson Controls Interiors (JCI) factory in Puebla, Mexico, has finally resulted in the expulsion of a sham "protection union" and the signing of a real collective bargaining agreement with Mexico's mineworkers' union (SNTMMSSRM or Los Mineros). The new JCI agreement, signed April 8, 2011, includes a 7.5% wage increase and better benefits for the 800 workers at the factory
In recent years the few genuinely independent trade unions seeking to improve the lives of Mexican workers have found themselves increasingly under fire. This February, trade unions in Canada and around the world joined in actions to support the independent trade union movement in Mexico and the right of Mexican workers to be represented by the union of their free choice. MSN has supported the days of action, working with Canadian and international trade unions to draw attention to continuing violations of the right to freedom of association in Mexico.
MSN is pleased to announce that a collective bargaining agreement was signed on April 8, 2011 between factory management and the independent union. MSN would like to thank all of those who supported JCI workers by spreading this flyer.
The struggle at Johnson Controls factories in Puebla, Mexico, is a glaring example of the problems facing independent trade union organizers in Mexico. In preparation for the Global Days of Action for Trade Union Rights in Mexico, MSN has prepared a new printable flyer for use in workshops, teach-ins, or at rallies.
Over the last decade the garment industry in and around Tehuacan has gone through a dramatic transition. The combined effects of a variety of factors, including the 2009 global economic crisis, have severely weakened Tehucan's garment industry and made more precarious the living and working conditions in which workers and their families find themselves. In 2010, Rodrigo Santiago Hernandez produced an update to a 2003 report he worked on with MSN and the Human and Labour Rights Commission of Tehuacan on worker rights in the garment industry in Tehuacan. MSN has produced a summary and analysis of his research findings, now available for download.
A new report by MSN and Red Puentes Mexico examining Wal-Mart Mexico's (Walmex) CSR reporting, finds weaknesses in the company's reporting and practices, particularly in the areas of labour rights and the environment. "Walmex needs to better address underlying policy issues such as the presence of protection contracts in most of its retail outlets, its treatment of over 23,000 "volunteer" youth baggers and the lack of consultation with civil society stakeholders on social and environmental issues," says Beatriz Lujan, of the Authentic Labour Front, a member organization of Red Puentes Mexico.
The following is an edited version of an interview by US journalist David Bacon with Julia Quiñonez, the coordinator of the Border Committee of Women Workers. The CFO is a grassroots organization that's led by women and men who work in the maquiladoras. The CFO works in three Mexican states, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua. Its purpose is to educate and organize workers around their labor rights. The organization also focuses on discussing the impact of free trade on workers.
In response to a violent August 16 attack by thugs from a protection union, workers at the Johnson Controls Interiores plant in Puebla, Mexico walked off the job and remained on strike for several days. On August 19, the dispute was resolved when management signed an agreement recognizing the workers' independent union and severing its ties with the Confederación de Organizaciones Sindicales (COS), a company union that was ejected from the factory in May after a previous strike.
MSN is pleased to announce that an agreement was reached on August 19, 2010 between factory management and the independent union. MSN would like to thank those who responded to the action alert.
On August 16, 2010, thugs entered a plant owned by Johnson Controls in Puebla, Mexico, and assaulted them, according to reports, "with sticks and stones, leaving many injured." Two of the members of the Executive Committee of the newly formed union at the plant, Cándido Barreucos and Vigilio Melendez, were beaten in a company office and forced to sign letters of resignation, reportedly at gunpoint. They are currently in a hospital with severe injuries. Our allies the US Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP) have set up automatic email pages you can use to take two actions: contact Johnson Controls and contact the Mexican government.