Calderon Busts Mexican Electrical Workers Union

From Laura Carlsen on the Americas Program blog:

Calderon Government Sends in Police to Take Over Electrical Company and Bust Union

… What’s been dubbed the “Sabadazo” or Saturday Offensive took place when the union and the government were in the middle of talks, and awaiting a promised response from the Calderon administration on Monday. Once again showing a propensity for unilateral blows and the use of force over dialogue, the Saturday before scheduled Monday talks federal police were ordered to evict workers and take over more than 50 electrical installations just before midnight. The police assaulted the premises by jumping fences and using metal-cutters to break chains and locks.

In the middle of an economic crisis that has stripped a million people from jobs in the formal sector, some 44,000 families of electrical workers have been left without a breadwinner from one day to the next. The government has said it will pay more than $1.6 billion dollars in severance pay and benefits to the workers and over 22,000 retirees of the company. The union says members will not accept the buy-off package. …

The Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME, by its Spanish initials) is among the most active and independent unions in a country that has been dominated by government-affiliated unions. Its membership has led the many battles for defense of labor rights and standard of living in the country.

Read Carlsen’s full post here. And check out Reuters’ very objective take on the same situation, headlined “Mexico takes aim at capital’s bloated power company” here.

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