USW Congratulates Los Mineros on Victory at the El Boleo Mine

The United Steelworkers (USW) congratulated Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, President and General Secretary of the Mexican mining and steelworkers’ union Los Mineros, on their November 20 election victory at the El Boleo Mine in Santa Rosalia in the State of Baja California Sur.
By a vote of 280-238, the workers at El Boleo voted for Los Mineros over a company union that was installed by the labor contractor, Servicios y Desarrollos Meseta Central SA de CV, without consulting the workers. The mine is controlled by Korea Resources Corporation (KORES), which is owned by the government of South Korea.
“This victory shows that the workers’ courage and determination can overcome corporate repression and government collusion,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “But it also underscores the fundamental unfairness of Mexico’s repressive labor law system that condems its workers to poverty level wages while threatening the jobs of Canadian and U.S. workers. Mexico’s new government must move quickly to reform its labor laws and end the practice of company-dominated unions, and the proposed US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) must include effective enforcement provisions to prevent and punish violations of workers’ rights.”
On April 20, 2016, the workers went on strike to demand the removal of the company union and free elections.  The strike was broken by a large force of police on May 5, and a month later the company fired 130 Los Mineros supporters.  The federal labor authorities then blocked the Mineros’ demand for an election for 2 ½ years in an attempt to discourage the workers.

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