TORONTO –(Business Wire)– The United Steelworkers (USW) is calling on Mexican and Canadian authorities to guarantee the integrity of the union election scheduled for Sept. 17 at the San Rafael Mine in Cosalá, Sinaloa, Mexico, which is operated by the Canadian mining company Americas Gold and Silver.
“We demand a free and fair election with no threats or pressure from the company,” said USW Canadian National Director Ken Neumann.
Workers at the mine halted operations on Jan. 26, demanding health and safety improvements and a vote to replace the company-supported union with the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers (Los Mineros) led by Napoleón Gómez Urrutia.
After multiple delays, the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board in Mexico set the election for this Friday, Sept. 17. However, the Canadian company has accused the Los Mineros union of “extortion” and threatened to terminate its investment in the mine.
“Threatening to close the workplace if the workers choose a union you don’t like would clearly violate the labour provisions of CUSMA. We expect the Canadian government to act forcefully if any such violations occur,” Neumann said.
“We stand in solidarity with Mexican independent trade unionists,” he added.
“The CUSMA improves the prospects of free collective bargaining. As our union has stated repeatedly, the proof is in the enforcement. The union election on Friday is an opportunity to demonstrate that workers can now exercise their rights freely and fairly and without threats or intimidation from their employer.”