Mexican Senate Approves Freedom Of Association Agreement

Senator Napoleon Gomez, the head of Mexico’s metals and mining union, Los Mineros

USW’s Ben Davis sent this news report to us on September 20th

The plenary session of the Mexican Senate unanimously ratified the Convention 98 of the International Labor Organization on freedom of association.

The document establishes that workers must be protected against any act that seeks to subject a person’s employment to the condition that he or she does not join a union or must cease to be a member of the union.

It also requires that workers ‘and employers’ organizations are protected against any act of interference from one another.

The Convention states that the State must create organisms to stimulate the development of negotiation procedures, as well as guaranteeing the right to organize.

From the rostrum, the mineworkers’ union leader and senator of Morena, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, argued that the approval is a victory for the working class.

After the approval, the legislators of Morena shouted in the Plenary of the Senate: “it is an honour to be with Obrador”.

The provision was discussed without the presence of the PAN senators.

In their absence, the PAN legislators (opposition) asked to register their interventions in the Journal of Debates to record their disagreement about the way in which the approval of the Agreement was processed, without having made a consultation with the sectors involved, including the private sector.

Senator Patricia Mercado, of Movimiento Ciudadano, spoke in favor, but regretted that the consultations with businessmen who have expressed concerns have not been carried out.

In his speech, the senator of the PRI and leader of the CTM, Carlos Aceves, spoke in favor of the Convention, whose ratification was requested by President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2015.

With the ratification of Convention 98 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the corrupt system of labour relations in Mexico will be destroyed, said NapoleĂłn GĂłmez Urrutia, senator from Morena.

“With this ratification we are breaking a system of corruption and employer protection treatments that were signed behind the workers’ backs, where they had no ability to elect their leaders, to determine their working conditions or to have a union that represented them, ” he said.

“Today we take a step forward in union democracy.”

In a press conference, he described the endorsement as an act of historical justice.

“It is an act of justice for the working class of Mexico, it is an act by which a historical debt that the Government of Mexico had with the working class of this country is fulfilled,” he said.

The mineworkers’ leader stressed that, as of today, Mexico will no longer be among the 22 countries that had not ratified ILO Convention 98.

The ratification, he said, marks the beginning of a new relationship between labor and capital, in which freedom of association is respected.

“The workers by a free and secret vote can choose the union they want to belong to, can choose the leaders they want to lead them and will also have collective bargaining that gives them security and protection in their jobs,” he said.

Napoleon GĂłmez Urrutia assured that workers’ wages and security policies will also change.

With information from Evlyn Cervantes

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