by Duane E. Campbell
A delegation of Mexican labor organizers speak at CSU-Sacramento on April 3, as a part of a Labor Solidarity Tour. Humberto Montes de Oca, of the SME Electrical Workers union spoke on their struggle over the last two years since 44,000 workers were dismissed and the electrical company privatized under the order of Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Some 16,000 workers remain on strike. They occupied the Zocalo in Mexico City for over 6 months. Currently they are working to defeat the two conservative candidates for president, representing PAN and PRI. They are working for Manuel Obrador of the PRD who has supported their struggle. For more on this struggle see David Bacon http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/free-trade-agreements-killing-jobs-and-labor-rights/ .http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/free-trade-agreements-killing-jobs-and-labor-rights/ .
Fernando Mendoza of the Teachers Union and Ignatius Mercedes of the Mine workers in Canea, Sonora, explained the role of neo-liberalism in privatizing public industries including public schools. They urged the students at the university to unite with the faculty in their own struggle to renew their contract which has expired. The tour has traveled from Los Angeles, to San Diego and San Jose and plans on appeals to workers for international solidarity.
Pictured, Fernando Mendoza, Ignatius Mercedes, and Jose Humberto Montes de Oca and Gabriel Torres of the C.F.T. serving as a translator.