·  Media Release   ·  

USW Welcomes the Return of Napoleón Gómez to Mexico

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomes the return to Mexico of Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, the President and General Secretary of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic (Los Mineros) after more than 12 years of exile.

In a letter of congratulations, USW International President Leo W. Gerard said:

“With your swearing-in to the Senate, a new world of possibilities begins for Los Mineros and the working class of Mexico. For the first time in decades, there is a real opportunity to transform the structures of worker representation, industrial justice and economic decision-making to make democratic representation, real collective bargaining, decent wages and pro-worker policies available to Mexican workers. This transformation would benefit not only workers in Mexico, but also their sisters and brothers in Canada and the United States who have suffered the unfair competition resulting from wage suppression in Mexico.”

Gómez and his family were forced to leave Mexico and seek refuge in Canada in 2006 after the government of Mexican President Vicente Fox stripped him of his legal certification as leader of the union and filed bogus criminal charges when he protested the deaths of 65 workers in an explosion at Grupo Mexico’s Pasta de Conchos mine.

The Mexican Supreme Court ordered the certification to be restored in 2012, and all of the criminal charges were dismissed in 2014. In 2011, Gómez received the AFL-CIO’s George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award.

Gómez, who was elected to the Mexican Senate on the Morena party ticket headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, received his Senate credentials Aug. 27 and will take the oath of office Aug. 29. A USW delegation headed by Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, will be in attendance.

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For further information:

Benjamin Davis 412-562-2501, bdavis@usw.org

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