United Steelworkers and Los Mineros Unite in a Joint Commission to Pursue Organizing Rights

The United Steelworkers (USW) share a common vision to promote fair labor rights with Los Mineros and have been supporting their strike over the years. “We call on the U.S. Congress to halt delivery of all funding to Mexican security forces so long as they are used to attack workers who are exercising their freedom of association,” Gerard declared. “Our American union members’ tax dollars can not be used to support a union busting government in Mexico.” USW and Los Mineros strengthened their alliance on June 21 in Toronto when they signed an agreement for a joint commission to create a union that represents 1 million workers in Mexico, the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. According to In These Times magazine “the USW represents 850,000 workers in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, while Los Mineros represents about 180,000 in Mexico.” The commission will consist of five members from each of the union’s executive boards and continue “a common commitment to democracy, equality, and solidarity for working men and women throughout North America and throughout the world” stated Gerard and Los Minero general Secretary Napoleón Gómez Urrutia in a joint declaration.

Mexico has ratified the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Conventions 87 and 98 which legally binds Mexican law to establish freedom of association and the protection of the right to organize as well as the right to bargain collectively. However Mexico has repeatedly violated these conventions of labor standards with federal police raids in the mines. The joint commission between the USW and Los Mineros is another step forward to expose Mexico’s noncompliance in the international labor movement.

For more information about how unions protect the right to freedom of association, take a look at the ILRF’s Freedom @ Work Toolkit.