U.S. steelworkers stand in solidarity with striking ArcelorMittal workers in Mexico
The union began a strike against ArcelorMittal in the Mexican city of Lázaro Cárdenas.
The strike began at noon Friday, March 4, despite the refusal of Mexico’s Federal Labor Board (JFCA) to process a legal strike demand presented by the union. The Labor Board’s inaction exposes the striking workers to the threat of repression.
Ten years ago on April 20, 2006, a police assault on striking members of Los Mineros killed two union members. Since then, USW members have joined the Miners every year in Mexico in a march to commemorate the victims.
In a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, USW President Leo W. Gerard wrote: "I respectfully ask you as the head of the Executive Branch to ensure that the right to strike is respected, that no acts of repression are committed against the workers, and that the JFCA makes every effort to establish a dialogue between the parties that will enable a just and peaceful resolution of this conflict.
"The USW, which has close relationships with both the union and the company, will do all that we can to support such a resolution."
The USW is currently in negotiations with ArcelorMittal over contracts covering 13,000 steelworkers in the United States. The union has offered measures to increase productivity, but the company has insisted on making its workers pay the cost of the global crisis in steel production. ■