Mexican Electrician Workers' four year struggle

Orgins of the dispute.

Saturday October 10 2009

In an attempt to crush the Mexican Electricians Union (SME), Mexico's oldest democratic Union, the federal government used more than 5,000 police and army to seize the generating plants and other installations of the state-owned Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LyFC) electrical power company. An hour later then President Felipe Calderón used an executive order to shut down the utility Company sacking the entire 44,000 workforce. The draconian measure also affected another 20,000 retired electrical workers. Since that day the Union's leaders have been imprisoned and electricity jobs have been outsourced to unskilled workers resulting
in record levels of accidents.

Latest developments

While just over half the workforce has taken settlements SME continues to seek reinstatement of 16,599 members who are standing strong, refusing to accept the legality of their sackings. The workers resistance and their Union's struggle for justice has become a symbol of hope for workers throughout the world as they fight back against privatisation and anti- union governments'. However in a blow to the campaign earlier this year the Mexican Supreme Court controversially stated that even though the workers were unfairly dismissed, because the company was "decentralised" it meant there was no obligation to reemploy them. Despite the setback the workers and their Union continue their struggle, and they need our help.



Identify how the individual National Electrical Unions organised on a Global basis can work together to combat exploitation in our industry.


Ascertain how working together and organising on a Global basis we can prevent exploitation in our Industry


Decide how we can influence the direction of employment standards and eliminate exploitation in our industry.

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