Mineros sign first contract at Johnson Controls in Puebla
Workers at the company Johnson Controls plant in Puebla, successfully renegotiated the Collective Bargaining Agreement on April 9 with an overall wage increase of 7.5 per cent and other benefits that were accepted unanimously by the members of the new section of the Mexican Miners’ and Metalworkers’ Union.
MEXICO: For the first time since its recognition last year the new Section 308 of the IMF affiliate National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMSSRM or Los Mineros) managed to reach a collective bargaining agreement with Johnson Controls Interiores y Servicios (Resurección) in Puebla, Puebla.
The agreement stipulates a 4.9 per cent wage increase plus a lump sum 2.6 per cent direct payment to each worker. Other benefits include school aid payments ranging from 600 to 650 pesos (US$50 to US$55) per child, an additional day of bereavement leave, and increases in life insurance benefits for natural death from 12,000 to 35,000 pesos, (US$1,000 to US$3,000) and for death in an accident at work, from 12,000 to 45,000 pesos (US$1,000 to US$3,800).
Significantly, 60 per cent out of 800 workers in the new union Section are women, many of them married with children and will get henceforth better and stable job protection in comparison to the earlier situation when their interests were neglected by the company favoured yellow union.
In the general assembly of members of Section 308 where the Negotiating Committee reported the results of the negotiations, several colleagues took the floor to say that progress achieved is much higher than in previous years, when under a company union they got a laughable annual increase of one or two per cent and, when they asked why, were told to be quiet because "this is a government matter."
In this situation for the last four years the JC workers in Puebla sought for support in their attempts to organize an effective union, for which they suffered attacks, harassment and threats from the Puebla and federal labour authorities and from groups of thugs hired by the protection contract union with apparent complicity of the local management. In the course of their struggle, workers found strong support from both Los Mineros and international organizations of workers, such as the International Metalworkers' Federation and its other affiliate the United Steelworkers (USW) in the U.S. and Canada. Los Mineros is also an affiliate of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).
The IMF celebrates the importance of this first victory for the workers and will continue reporting on the developments in Mexico including the situation at the other plant in Puebla where a protection contract with a different union (CROM) exists and workers fight for recognition of their real representative trade union.Apr 14, 2011 – Alex Ivanou