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Ken Georgetti flags abuses of trade union rights in Mexico

Posted: Wednesday, 14 March 2012

OTTAWA – CLC President Ken Georgetti met on March 14th with Francisco J. Barrio-Terrazas, Mexico’s ambassador to Canada. Georgetti and other Canadian union leaders expressed concern about the continuing abuse of trade union rights by the Mexican government.

Georgetti was accompanied by Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, John Gordon, President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and Ken Neumann, Canadian Director of the United Steelworkers.

Georgetti provided the ambassador with a letter that he has written to President Felipe Calderón, which points to systematic attacks on worker and trade union rights in Mexico. These include: a lack of recognition of independent and democratic unions and their democratically elected leaders, and mass firings of workers as a result of the illegal or fraudulent closure of unionized companies.

In his letter Georgetti pointed to the government’s treatment of the Electrical Workers’ Union (SME). Georgetti said that the Canadian and American governments have accepted for review a complaint against the Mexican government under the labour side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That complaint states that “the Mexican government using military force, unilaterally and without notice, removed 44,000 employees from their jobs without legal authority or due process.”

Georgetti wrote in his letter to the president: “I therefore join the global labour movement in calling upon the Government of Mexico once again to uphold internationally recognized fundamental labour rights and ensure that the rule of law exists for workers.”

The CLC President added that the first step toward doing this is to respect the International Labour Organization recommendations “to engage in good faith” with social partners and to “initiate real change for the advancement of trade union rights in Mexico.”