(en) Hyundai union denied certification

Shawn Ewald (shawn@wilshire.net)
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 01:02:13 -0700

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 19:34:57 -0800 (PST) To: CLR All Campaigns e-mail list <clr@igc.org> From: Mike Rhodes <clr2@igc.apc.org> Subject: Hyundai union denied certification

Labor Alerts a service of Campaign for Labor Rights [The following alert was written by the Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers. For more information on the Hyundai boycott or to receive a Hyundai action packet or our email labor alerts, contact Campaign for Labor Rights at CLR@igc.apc.org or (541) 344-5410. Note: The Han Young factory produces exclusively for Hyundai and hence, under Mexican law and in terms of real power, Hyundai is responsible for all labor law violations by Han Young managment. This is why Hyundai -- specifically, Hyundai Motors -- is the target of this boycott.] Labor Board Denies Union Certification need for solidarity continues In a decision November 10 by the Tijuana Labor Board, workers at the Han Young maquiladora (assembly factory for export) were denied certifciation of the October 6 election victory that has become an object of national media and congressional attention because it poses a potentially precedent-setting challenge to the protection contract system so prevalent in the Mexican maquiladora industry. An appeal of the decision will be filed November 12. Enrique Hernandez, coordinator of Union de Defensa Laboral Comunitaria, which has been assisting the workers, termed the considerations cited by the labor board as a "ridiculous explanation for a travesty of justice." The labor board's decision declares that the majority vote in favor of the independent Union of Metal, Steel, Iron and Allied Workers (STIMAHCS by its Spanish acronym) does not constitute sufficient proof to credential the unkion. The board claims that STIMAHCS does nto have the legal authority to provide affiliation to the Han Young workers. Han Young workers who weld and assemble steel chaassis for tractor trailers are making auto parts, according to the board's argument, and therefore cannot be represented by a union of metal, steel, oron and allied workers. Further, while STIMAHCS has been reistered as a national industrial union for many yrears in Mexico, the labor board says that it is not. The labor board claims that the vote only demonstrated the sentiment of the workers at the time of the elelction and does not necessarily indicate that a majority of workers continue to back the independent union. such a statement seems to further validate the allegations of the Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers, the International Labor Rights Fund, STIMAHCS and the National Association of Democratic Attorneys of Mexico who filed a complaint October 30 before the National Administrative Office (NAO) created under the NAFTA side accords. Their complaint alleges thaat the labor board does not function as an impartial aarbiter to hphold labor law, but violates its own country's labor law in order to keep indedendent organizing out of the maquilasdora sector. It aaffirms that, while the labor board routinely accepts new "protection contracts" with the government- affiliated unions which are paid by company maanagement, whenever an independent union tries to achieve recognition, decisions are delayed indefinitely and all sorts of pretexts are put forth in order to provide management time to fire and replace workers, thus avoiding the union drive. The petitioners call for urgent intervention by the NAO because Han Young management have stated their intention to replace all workers who voted for the independent union. The Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers in cooperation with Campaign for Labor Rights is coordinating a boycott of Hyundai Motors that has involved demonstrations in over 25 cities nation- wide.

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