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LafargeHolcim fires workers for organizing union in Mexico


Last week 28 and 29 March LafargeHolcim subsidiary Apasco fired other six workers in Hermosillo, Mexico for their affiliation to Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros Metalúrgicos, Siderúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana, Los Mineros, an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union. They were all permanent workers.

A total of 12 workers at LafargeHolcim Apasco cement plant in Hermosillo paid with their jobs for executing their right to organize and join a union of their choice.

Earlier, at the end of 2016 another group of six workers at the same plant decided to join Los Mineros. By then out of 600 direct and indirect workers of Apasco plant about 70 were members of the management-controlled union, member of the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).

For long the CTM has been known for its notorious practice of concluding protection contracts with employers which block other unions from organizing workers at the factory, and while in the same time preventing them from proper participation in collective bargaining and expressing their demands. In the same time many workers are employed through external contractors, who are allegedly companies owned by managers and directors of the company.

Unhappy about their working conditions and rights ignored, workers saw their affiliation to Los Mineros as the only way to improve their situation. However, when they collected about 50 membership cards from other workers, the CTM knew about these organizing efforts and informed the company which then sacked six activists in February 2017. They were experienced workers with 7 to 10 years’ tenure.

The activists have audio records of the procedure of dismissal during which they were told that that was their last day of work because of the affiliation cards they collected.

Workers tried to sue the company in court for violation of their rights and illegal dismissals, but the company replied that the only reason for dismissals was absenteeism since workers stopped attending the work. Workers are also blaming the local government and court relations with the CTM which traditionally enjoyed the strong support of previous ruling party PRI.

At the factory reportedly, the situation has got even worse after these dismissals. According to audio records, workers are complaining about constant dismissals’ threats on the side of the CTM saying they would share the fate of the six fired if they oppose to the CTM. In the same time workers are also reporting about safety regulation violations leading to different accidents including loss of fingers.

Workers supposedly are not allowed to report these accidents to insurance services in order to keep their workplace “free of accidents”. They are then instructed to continue attending the work, but instead they are instructed to do some paperwork the office.


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