Cananea Miners Meet With Interior MinisterBy Fernando Mares | Fri, 09/09/2022 - 12:45
To solve a labor conflict with Cananea miners that has extended for almost 15 years, President López Obrador instructed Minister of the Interior Adán Augusto López to meet with representatives of Section 65 of the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Sidelurgical and Similar Workers of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMSSRM). The meeting took place in Mexico City and seems to have led to an agreement.
During the meeting, Sonora Governor Alfonzo Durazo committed to being a mediator between mining workers and the federal government. Durazo acknowledged that the government listened to the miners’ petitions for the first time. “There are requests that have gone 15 years without a response. It is the first time that these resonate at the state and federal levels, where different dependencies work jointly to find a good solution for miners,” Durazo added.
Other attendants were Carlos Martínez, Director General, National Housing Fund Institute (INFONAVIT) and SNTMMSSRM representatives like Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, MORENA Senator and Head, SNTMMSSRM; Óscar Alzaga, Legal Advisor; Arturo Rocha Secretary of the Interior, Exterior and Minutes; Ramón Monsiváis, Secretary of Labor, and José Hernández, Treasurer.
Unionized workers asked the government to unfreeze workers’ bank accounts, resolve past-due INFONAVIT account issues and guarantee health rights via IMSS. Alzága pointed out that this is the first time the federal government proposes an agreement that actually takes into account the demands of the 657 workers and their families. He said that the agreement reached during the meeting was fairer than the one reached during the past encounter between the federal government and Grupo México representatives in November 2021, where he assured the union was excluded.
Alzága referred to the agreement as a “Justice Plan” to be launched in stages. He said that during the first stage, the government will work on restructuring the debts of workers’ INFONAVIT credits to prevent workers from losing their homes or from having their goods seized, since some of them stopped paying because of the strike. The workers’ bank accounts will be eventually unfrozen, a measure that is also intended to be applied to Sections 201 and 17 for Zacatecas and Guerrero, respectively, which also went on strike 15 years ago.
The federal government considered that the meeting represents an act of justice in favor not just of Cananea workers, but also of Sonora. “The meeting is proof of the federal government’s interest in working toward a solution for the historic mining conflict that persists in the state,” the Ministry of the Interior stated.