Trade Unions around the world call on the Mexican Government to ensure Mexican Workers their right to Freedom of Association

The International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), UNI Global Union (UNI) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) are calling on the Mexican government to restore justice for killed workers and to ensure freedom of association for workers in Mexico.

It is now five years since 65 miners were killed in the February 19, 2006 explosion at the Grupo México Pasta de Conchos coal mine. To this day, bereaved families await proper compensation and recovery of the bodies for funeral. Miners, the local community, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, and the investigatory committee of the Chamber of Deputies believe Grupo México’s illegal safety violations killed the 65 and note a pattern of labor inspectorate irregularities. In 2009, the United Nations’ ILO recommended that “adequate sanctions [be] imposed on those responsible” for the disaster. The total lack of progress to enable an independent investigation and prosecute the corporate and government officials responsible is cause for grave concern for the trade union movement.

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The international trade union movement launched a campaign (14 - 18 February) asking their affiliates from around the world to call on the Mexican Government to hold employer and government officials accountable for the Pasta de Conchos mine explosion that killed 65 miners on February 19, 2006; to abolish systemic violations of workers’ freedom of association, including employer-dominated “protection contracts” and interference in union elections; to end the use of force—by the state or private parties—to repress workers’ legitimate demands for democratic unions, better wages and working conditions, and good health and safety conditions and to end the campaign of political persecution against the Mexican Miners’ and Metalworkers’ Union (SNTMMSRM) and the Mexican Electrical Workers’ Union (SME).

Different activities, such as visits to embassies, demonstrations, press conferences are being organized throughout the world in the framework of this international campaign in support for Mexican workers’ rights.

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