MAC: Mines and Communities

Urgent Action: Threats and Harassment to Excellon Resources Workers

Published by MAC on 2010-12-27
Source: ProDESC

A Mexican organization, ProDESC, is demanding Canadian owned Excellon Resources  guarantee integrity, security and labor rights to its mining workers.


Urgent Action - Threats and Harassment faced by workers from the Excellon Resources Mine in La Sierrita, Durango

Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales

20 December 2010

Mexico City - Early in 2010 the Project for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ProDESC) started to document the labor conditions workers faced in the mine called “La Platosa”, property of the Canadian company Excellon Resouces Inc. For several months ProDESC gave various workshops and made outreach visits to the workers in order to accompany them with their labor rights training.

During the months of October and November, the workers had meetings in which they were informed about the National Mining, Metallurgical and Similar Workers Union of Mexico and collective bargaining. On November 21st, in both a collective and anonymous way, more than 100 workers, from a staff of 123, exercised their right to freedom of association and chose to join this union, thus forming Section 309.

That same day, as their statutes determine, they elected Jorge Mora as the General Secretary of the Local Executive Committee and the rest of corresponding portfolios. As a consequence of this occurrence, the members of the Local Committee and many other workers have been the target of threats and harassment from management and mine supervisors.

On December 13th of this year, the worker, Jorge Mora, was administratively sanctioned by the Assistant Manager, Abel Irrungarrai, who accused Mr. Mora of being asleep in office. It should be noted that Mr. Mora had worked the last shift on the previous day, getting out at 7 a.m. of the 13th and went back to work at 2 p.m. of the same day.

On December 14th, Jorge Mora continued his work in the usual manner however on the 15th they did not permit him to come down to the mine. Instead he was retained in the Office of Human Resource, where it was explained to him that because of the sanction he received on December 13 he was fired. That same day, the company’s legal representative, Irene Mendoza, offered him his settlement. Mr. Mora refused to sign any document, so the lawyer threatened to send the documentation of his dismissal to Local Conciliation and Arbitration Board if he did not sign. On the 15th, they changed Jose Castrejon’s, the substitute Local Secretary of Corporate Promotion and Social Action, day off without previous notice, thereby impeding him from traveling to visit his family. The next day, Mr. Castrejon was separated from his work crew and sent to the mine alone in order to perform a “special” task. The rest of the 26 workers were retained and taken to a talk with the General Manager, Pablo Gurrola, with the intention of having them sign a letter that stated their disinterest in unionizing. This was followed by Mr. Gurrola offering a wage increase and life insurance if the letter was signed.

On December 16th, four penalties were raised against Francisco Roman, a worker of the mine, and he was asked for his signature as a condition for him to enter the mine to work. Margarito Reyes Guillen, who works as a fireman of the mine, was pressured by the Mine’s Interior Supervisor into signing a letter stating his disinterest unrecognizing the Section Union, as well as the rest of the workers who work as firemen.

In the last week, Manager Pablo Gurrola has gone to the “towns” (meeting place for the workers) and made threats so that the workers sign the letter against the Mining Union, promising them wage increases and other benefits.

Given the seriousness of the facts and the constant violation of labor rights, specifically to freedom of association and collective bargaining;


1. That the company, Excellon Resources Inc., guarantee integrity, security and labor rights to its mining workers.

2. That the company and the State give recognition to the will of the majority of workers who freely and democratically have chosen to affiliate themselves with the National Mining, Metallurgical and Similar Workers Union of Mexico.

3. That the company, Excellon Resources Inc., commit itself to the highest labor rights standards and that it particularly permit all of its workers to freely and without threats or harassment to exercise their freedom of association.

4. That Jorge Mora, General Secretary of Section 309, be reinstalled immediately and that his labor rights be safeguarded.

5. That the Mexican state guarantee the right to freedom of association for workers of the “La Platosa” mine, as established by Agreement 87 of the ILO and the Freedom of Association Committee of the same organism. As well as articles 6 (freedom to work), article 7.d (satisfactory working conditions) and 8, 8.1, 8.1b (union rights) of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on the subject of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was signed and ratified by the Mexican state in 1996.

Write Urgently to:

Peter A. Crossgrove, Chairman Suite #900, 20 Victoria Street Toronto, Ontario M5C2N
Richard W. Birssenden, Director

Lic. Javier Lozano Alarcón Secretario de Trabajo y Prevención Social Periférico Sur No. 4217, Col. Fuentes del Pedregal, Tlalpan 14149, México D.F. Conmutador 3000-2100
Send copies to:

Marketa D. Evans, PhD Corporate Social Responsability Counsellos Government of Canada

Lynn Hartery, Seguna Asuntos Políticos Embassy of Canada in Mexico
No. 529 Col. Polanco 11560 México D.F. México
Tel: 52 55 5724-7900 Fax: 52-55-5724-7983

Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales A.C. Zamora 169 despacho B-2, Col. Condesa, C.P. 06140 México D.F. México Tel. 55 5212-2229 Tel y Fax 55 5212-2230

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