MAC: Mines and Communities

Miners unite in protest at threat to Mexican mineworkers' leader

Published by MAC on 2009-03-11

Threats by the Mexican government, to extradite a mineworker's leader from the US, have been met with an undertaking by mining trade unions to mount global protests . See:

Unions to Demonstrate Globally Against Mexican Shipments

Miners, Dockworkers Censure Mexican Government over Grupo Mexico Attack



3rd March 2009

SAN FRANCISCO -- Unions representing workers around the globe in the mining and maritime industries announced last week that they will protest shipment of goods to and from Mexico to pressure the Mexican government to end its support of corporate attempts to destroy the National Miners' and Metalworkers' Union of Mexico known as Los Mineros.

The unions, representing hundreds of thousands of dockworkers and miners in North America, South Africa, Australia and the UK, plan to conduct demonstrations in countries as diverse as the U.S. and New Zealand.

The Mexican government is backing Grupo Mexico, that nation's largest mining corporation and the third largest copper producer in the world, in its long-running campaign to destroy Los Mineros and its leader, Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, who has been forced to live in exile because of persecution by Mexican government officials.

"The Government of Mexico is backing Grupo Mexico in its vicious campaign, and dockworkers and miners around the globe will protest Mexican shipments to get the government to back off," said Steve Hunt, director of United Steelworkers (USW) District 3 (Western Canada).

Meeting in San Francisco, the unions resolved to: "support this struggle of the National Miners' and Metalworkers' Union of Mexico on behalf of free and independent trade unionism in our respective countries and regions by protesting the shipments of goods to or from Mexico, from the mines to the ports and across the oceans around the globe."

Mining unions signing the resolution included NUM (South Africa), CFMEU (Australia), NUM (UK) and USW (North America). Maritime unions signing the resolution included ILWU (North America), MUA (Australia) and MUNZ (New Zealand).

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America, including some 30,000 in the mining industry.

CONTACTS: Steve Hunt: 604-683-1117 Jerry Fernandez: 412-562-2611

For further information: Steve Hunt, +1-604-683-1117, or Jerry Fernandez, +1-412-562-2611, both of USW Web Site:

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