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Labor Union Seizes Arbitrators’ Offices

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 17 November, 2010

(Acapulco, JG 17 November) In a classic case of lawlessness masquerading as free expression, members of the National Construction and Transportation Union of the CTM seized the offices of the Conciliation and Arbitration Board (JLCA) in Acapulco at 3:00 am yesterday, locking off access with chains, padlocks and dump trucks. Their grievance is that the Board has failed to enforce and restore the collective bargaining agreement dating back tgo 2006 between the union and a large employer, Farallón Mexican Mining (Farallón Minera Mexicana SA de CV), based in Campo Morado in the State of Guerrero. Union boss Benigno Salgado Román was interviewed by the press outside the Conciliation and Arbitration Board’s offices where some 160 union members had gathered. He said that the union would repeat the actions at board offices in four other cities of Guerrero if their demands are not met. As a last resort, they would strike the company. All Conciliation and Arbitration Board activities were rescheduled for the day.

According to the union, the employer wrongfully rescinded the labor contract after having refused to comply with some of its terms concerning workers’ benefits. The union affirmed that in the ensuing law suit the court held in favor of the union three times over the 15 months that the case was pending, ultimately referring the matter to the Conciliation and Arbitration Board, where it has remained stagnant, implying corruption and collusion between the employer and government officials.

In a second instance of labor strife, school teachers have once again marched on the capital in Chilpancingo to protest actions by the state Department of Education (SEG). The teachers union, known as CETEG, blocked the streets providing access to the state legislature, as they have done several times in the past, this time for more than two hours. The grievance is that the state has declined to “reclassify” more than 2,000 teachers so that they would receive increased pay and benefits. School children once again spent the day without school or classes. The Department of Education announced that they were docking the pay of protesting teachers, as they had not reported to work. SEG director Manuel Suárez Ríos responded that the reclassifications have been delayed for lack of authorization in SEG’s annual budget. A teacher is entitled to “reclassification” once he or she has met requirements of longevity in a position and certain academic standards. Other complaints relate to hours in the work day, travel expense reimbursement, and the use of law enforcement to repress protests by employees of the State Department of Education.

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