Mexico City metro workers in work stoppages

The Mexico City metro has approximately 4 million users a day, is dangerously overcrowded during peak rush hours

Workers in the Sistema de Transporte Colectivo (STC) in Mexico City - the underground train service - have announced a series of 10 and 15 minute service stoppages in response to government stalling on a list of demands submitted way back in November.

The stoppages will start next Wednesday (12th), with the majority of the 12,000 employees of the service expected to observe it. The list of demands submitted to the STC by the metro union, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Sistema de Transporte Colectivo Metro (SNTSTC) calls for - amongst other things - improved security on the metro, training in line with technological advances, an end to the practice of employing workers on non-permanent contacts and a 15% payrise.

However, doubts persist surrounding the integrity of the SNTSTC and especially its leader, Fernando Espiro Arévalo. The union - like almost all officially recognised unions in Mexico - is affiliated to the Confederación de Trabajadores de México - the mainstream union confederation established by the then ruling party PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) in the 1950s, and monopolised by priístas ever since.

Espino, himself a member of Parliament for the PRI, was named among 10 SNTSTC members accused of assaulting a female STC employee at the union's Christmas party in 2001. The woman in question - called Xóchitl García Nieto - was injured on her arms, legs and in her stomach. She had also received threats following her involvement in work towards forming an independent union for STC workers and produced evidence of sexual harassment of women workers on the Metro by the STNSTC leadership. Activists within the independent union movement on the metro also had their workplaces changed "arbitrarily" as a means of splitting up core groups within individual stations. In 1999 another woman worker on the STC in Mexico City was raped, apparently on the orders of the SNTSTC leadership.

Posted By

Caiman del Barrio
Mar 6 2008 00:56

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