USW Demands Justice on Anniversary of Mexican Miners’ Deaths

USW Demands Justice on Anniversary of Mexican Miners’ Deaths

U.S. Congressional Members Send Letter to President Nieto on Worker Rights


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PITTSBURGH, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On the eighth
anniversary of a mine explosion that killed 65 workers in Mexico, the United
Steelworkers (USW) called on Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto to respect
the rights of workers.

 


“The leaders of the NAFTA countries are meeting today in Mexico on the
anniversary of a tragic and preventable accident that took the lives of 65
mineworkers,” said

USW President Leo
W. Gerard
.
“Eight years later, there has been no justice. Workers continue to die while the
government escalates its campaign of repression against the mineworkers’ union
and its leader,

Napoleón Gómez.”

 

The
union and the families of the workers killed in the explosion at Grupo Mexico’s
mine Feb. 19, 2006 at Pasta de Conchos demanded recovery of the bodies which
remain in the mine, punishment of company and government officials, and fair
compensation for the families.

 

But
the government responded by bringing criminal charges against Gómez, freezing
the union’s bank accounts, sending in troops to break strikes and installing
company-dominated unions.

 

Last week, five
workers died at another Grupo Mexico mine

with a company-controlled union, when the elevator they were riding fell 750
feet. Workers have told the Mexican media that their complaints about safety
hazards went unanswered.

 

In
a letter to Mexican President Nieto, seven members of the U.S. House of
Representatives also demanded justice for the union known as Los Mineros — the
National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican
Republic.

 

“We
urge you to end the persecution of Napoleón Gómez and Los Mineros, act swiftly
to resolve the outstanding conflicts, and provide justice for the families of
the mineworkers who died eight years ago at Pasta de Conchos,” they declared in
the letter. It was signed by U.S. Representatives George Miller (D-CA), Jan
Schakowsky (D-IL), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Joe Courtney (D-CT), James McGovern
(D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Sam Farr (D-CA).

 

The
congressional letter questioned the wisdom of extending additional trade
benefits to Mexico through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) while workers’
rights are being violated.

 


Steelworkers President Gerard said: “Mexico should improve mine and worker
safety standards, and stop persecuting innocent union leaders before we even
think about another trade deal.”

 

The
congressional letter is available at:

http://bit.ly/1bKLghF

 

The
full story of the Pasta de Conchos mining tragedy and the fight against greed
and corruption in Mexico is a book title: ‘Collapse of Dignity,’ by Napoleon
Gomez, at online websites where books are sold, or at:



http://www.CollapseOfDignity.com
 

 

The
USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that
include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, plus the service and
public sectors. For more information:

http://www.usw.org

 


Contact:


Ben Davis, 202-550-3729;


bdavis@usw.org

 


Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125; 

ghubbard@usw.org

 


(Logo:


http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080131/DC12982LOGO
)

 

SOURCE  United
Steelworkers (USW)

USW Demands Justice on Anniversary of Mexican Miners’ Deaths