Image credits: Scott Graham
News Article

Napoleon Gómez Urrutia to File Complaint Under USCMA Mechanism

By Fernando Mares | Mon, 08/08/2022 - 14:47

Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, Senator for Morena and Head of the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Iron, Steel and Similar Worker of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMSSRM) said he would file a complaint under the USMCA to unblock negotiations regarding a labor dispute that has carried on for more than 15 years in Zacatecas.

Gómez said that due to the impossibility of reaching an agreement about the strike happening at the El Sombrerete mine, which is property of Grupo México, the conflict has lasted for over a decade. The union leader added he appealed to the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism in the US, where he filed a complaint that is being analyzed by USMCA authorities.

According to Gómez, the mechanism is reliable and has proven to be effective, as he highlighted the conflict surrounding iron parts producer Teksid. On July 2, 2022, SNTMMSSRM appealed to the USCMA, accusing the company to violate worker rights to free association and choosing the union that represents them. “The mechanism was of great help. We presented a complaint regarding a mine that has 15 years [with a labor dispute] in San Martin Sombrerete, Zacatecas. This will be followed by another mine in Taxco, Guerrero… these are probably the longest-standing labor conflicts in the country,” Gómez added. 

Gómez argued that those conflicts would not last that much if the law was followed strictly and the mining concession revoked.

Gómez is a controversial figure in Mexico’s mining industry. He inherited the union’s leadership from his father and was once ousted from the country,  returning when President López Obrador took office in 2018. As a notable union leader, he is also known as a person who jumpstarts labor disputes as well as their resolutions. On June 15, 2022 Gómez called for a strike at ArcelorMittal facilities, which ended after hours of negotiations. Other recent strikes where Gómez was involved include the Americas Gold & Silver mine on Jan. 28, 2022 and a Newmont unit, where the company reached an agreement with the union without stopping operations on July 21, 2022. 

Gómez has openly articulated an aggressive narrative regarding Grupo México, accusing the company of dabbling in corruption.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, El Economista
Photo by:   Scott Graham
Fernando Mares Fernando Mares Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst