Mexico’s independent unions, which are facing ongoing repression from authorities and corporations while the working people they represent are being driven deeper into poverty through the erosion of their wages and human rights, today took their plight to the U.S. Congress.
The briefing was sponsored by Representative Mike Michaud on behalf of the Congressional Labor Caucus and International Worker Rights Caucus.
“More than 15 years ago, we were told that NAFTA would create a thriving middle class in Mexico,” said Michaud. “Economists and government officials said that the agreement would lead to growing trade surpluses and that hundreds of thousands of jobs would be gained. As our friends from Mexico can attest, NAFTA did not bring these benefits. Instead, workers’ rights are being violated on a regular basis, and both the U.S. and Mexico are worse off for it.”
Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers (USW), agreed. “It is clear that the agenda of the Mexican government is to keep workers’ wages low and use that as an economic tool, and we are here today so that representatives and their staff have the opportunity to hear the facts. The Fox and Calderón administrations in Mexico have done everything they could to repress the independent unions that were actually raising the standard of living for Mexican workers ... more