Tag Archive | "Mexican Labor"

Election Landslide Raises Hopes for Mexican Labor


NOVANEWS

The landslide victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (“AMLO”) in the Mexican presidential election in July has raised workers’ hopes for a revitalized and democratized labor movement.

Independent unions have formed a new federation. They hope to win progressive labor law reform and finally end the reign of corrupt, pro-employer unions.

The coalition led by AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) won not only the presidency but also the majority in both houses of the Mexican congress. Till now, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had dominated Mexican politics for decades.

The pro-employer unions that make up Mexico’s main labor federation, the Congress of Labor (CT), especially the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), have historically been part of the PRI’s popular base. Top union leaders were nominated as the party’s senators and congresspersons.

“Protection Unions”

The CT unions are the largest in Mexico, representing around 10 percent of the formal workforce, though they have been in decline in recent years. These unions were enthusiastic cooperators in the low-wage neoliberal economic strategy adopted by the Mexican political and economic elite in the 1990s— including signing on to NAFTA. Their plan was to grow the Mexican economy by attracting US and Canadian investors with cheap labor.

The CT unions have supported the government’s low-wage development strategy by signing sweetheart “protection contracts” with employers before any workers are hired. They use their relationships with employers and with the Mexican federal and state governments to prevent any real negotiations or strikes.

The absence of authentic worker representation in most sectors has kept Mexican workers’ wages low and even declining in real terms over the past decade. Meanwhile CT union leaders have grown incredibly wealthy through their corrupt alliances with employers and government.


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