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

Posted by americasprogram on October 12, 2009

Sunday’s march in Mexico City drew of thousands of demonstrators

Sunday’s march in Mexico City drew of thousands of demonstrators

Laura Carlsen

Last Saturday, before scheduled Monday talks between the Central Light and Energy Company (LFC) and the government, federal police were ordered to 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. Just moments after the security forces occupied the premises, President Felipe Calderon issued an executive decree to liquidate the company. The move seeks to open the state-owned utility up for privatization and eliminate one of the nation’s most active independent unions.
The decree follows a union conflict that the government fueled and then took advantage of to eliminate the company and its union. The union elections last June were contested by the losing group amid rumors that the federal government was actively fomenting division. In a warning sign, on Oct. 5 the Secretary of Labor, Javier Lozano, rejected registration of the new union leadership without waiting for a decision from the Labor Tribunal.
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. Once again, the Mexican government showed a propensity for unilateral blows and the use of force over dialogue. Although it had previously taken aggressive stands against unions, this is by far the biggest union-busting measure yet and has sparked widespread indignation among workers and the public. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Labor, Mexico | 1 Comment »