mexlabor
Electrical Workers On Hunger Strike To Fight For Their Jobs
And The Future Of Labor In Mexico

Supported by UPTE-CWA Peace and Justice Committee
The Mexican government summarily fired 44,000 electrical workers on October 10, 2009 to bust the union and privatize the public utility. The government liquidated the electrical utility Luz y Fuerza and have had the Federal Electrical Commission take over the provision of power to the Mexico City region. The new company has hired scabs to replace the union workers.

The government has offered a severance pay and retraining to the workers in return for their forfeiting all legal rights to challenge this gross violation of Mexican labor law. The majority of the workers have declined the severance to continue the struggle for their jobs and rights. They have filed complaints in Mexican court, under the labor side agreements of NAFTA and with the International Labor Organization in Geneva.

The Mexican government has brought in the military and police to break up demonstrations at company facilities.

The Mexican Electrical Workers Union (Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas) has been one of the historically strong and democratic unions in Mexico that has consistently fought for their rights independently of government collusion and corruption. This union was born out of the Mexican revolution in the beginning of the 20th century.

This is an attack on the fundamental rights of unions by the right-wing government of Felipe Calderon. If the government succeeds in breaking the Mexican Electrical Workers Union, all pretense of lawfulness will be obliterated and any other union in Mexico who stands up for their rights and needs will be subject to elimination.

Here is what you can do
At noon on Friday, May 14 take some sisters and brothers with you to a Mexican consulate near you. 
(Choose another time if necessary, just let us know so we can tell others.)

  • Deliver a letter demanding that all electrical workers be returned to work with full indemnification and that labor law and the labor movement be respected in Mexico.

  • Let the press know you will be there. We can send out the press release to your local media, just
    let us know.

  • Take pictures and send a report so we can send let the Mexican Electrical Workers know about
    the action.

  • All the materials you need will be on the Mexican Electrical Workers Protest tool kit website by Sunday, May 9 at 10PM:
    1. Demands
    2. Press Release
    3. Fact Sheet: English | Spanish
Why it is critical to take action now
Doing these protests at consulates all across the state on the same day will send a clear message to the Mexican government that we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. There has been almost no media coverage of this and another major labor strife at the Cananea copper mine in Mexico. Publicity will help the unions, especially because many Mexicans living in the US can vote in Mexican elections.

On August 24, the Electrical Workers started a massive hunger strike.  Stay in touch with daily events at: http://www.sme1914.org/noticia/ (the website has a translation option).
News links
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upte
UPTE-CWA 9119  |  P.O. Box 4443, Berkeley, CA 94704 | 510.704.8783  |  info@upte-cwa.org