Mexico and Excellon Resources, Inc: Stop harassment and threats against mineworkers

In response to reports of threats to and harassment of workers by Excellon authorities regarding the workers’ right to unionize, ESCR-Net addressed an Urgent Action Appeal on December 20, 2010. The complete letter can be downloaded below.

On November 8, 2007, ESCR-Net urged the Mexican government and representatives of Excellon--a Canadian mining company operating in the area to ensure an honest, transparent, and participatory negotiation process with the ejido co-owners of La Sierrita, a communal land in Durango, Mexico. The new urgent action letter is in response to the harassment and threats that the workers have been facing with regards to unionizing. 

According to reports, almost all of the workers at the mine decided to unionize on November 21, 2010, the same day that Mr. Jorge Mora was elected the General Secretary of the particular section. Two weeks later, Mr. Mora was sanctioned by the Assistant Manager of the site due to allegations of being asleep in his office. Two days later, he was suspended from working in the mine and consequently fired.

In addition to the case of Mr. Mora, there have been more reports of intimidation and bribery aimed at the workers.

ESCR-Net urges Excellon to ensure the human rights of its workers by: 

1. Immediately ceasing threats or harassment of any kind of workers who freely chose to join their union, and appropriately penalizing any staff who engage in such conduct.

2. Immediately reinstalling Mr. Jorge Mora, General Secretary of Section 309, and safeguarding his labor rights.

3. Recognizing the will of the majority of workers who have freely and democratically chose to affiliate themselves with the National Mining, Metallurgical and Similar Workers Union of Mexico. 

4. Pledging to respect and uphold the workers’ human rights to integrity, to security, and to; freedom of association in the La Platosa mine, as established by Agreement 87 of the ILO and its Freedom of Association Committee as well as articles 6 (freedom to work), article 7(satisfactory working conditions) and 8, 8.1, 8.1b (union rights) of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on the subject of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

5. Guaranteeing your workers’ freedom of association and other labor rights unconditionally.

See the complete letter here.