Labor unions will face change
Firefighters – Photo: Ricardo Lugo/EL GRÁFICO

Labor unions will face change

18/12/2018
09:28
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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The federal government has stated that the freedom of association is a right that will be fully supported by the authorities

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The mission of the workers' struggle during the 19th and 20th centuries was that the unions must work as an organization that defends that workers' right before their employers. On the contrary, when its leaders monopolize the causes, resources, and representation of union members, the unions aren't fulfilling their mission in order to turn into an interest group, at the service of one person or a particular group.

Some unions emerged during the last century, with the purpose to defend the workers' interests, but then became institutions at the service of the interests of the administration in power through the alliances with union leaders, either through economic or political means.

Even worse, in many cases, the internal democracy came to an end and made way for a space controlled by the leader for personal benefit.

The tension between union leaders and union members was common in Mexico during the last century, as well as the institutional relations with the governments. This mixture of interests persists until today. A clear example is the disagreement of some workers from Mexico City's Fire Department with the new provisions established by the current director and with the firefighters' union.

This situation inside Mexico City's Fire Department isn't new and has been present other times in several unions because of the presence of groups that take over the power inside the union.

The federal government, with whom Mexico City has an affinity, has stated that the freedom of association is a right that will be fully supported by the authorities.

Therefore, all the unions and its leaders have to reincorporate democratic practices in these organisms, in case they renounced them in the past.

It is necessary to amend the anti-democratic actions that could be registered, such as the control of job positions, the entrenchment of a leadership that focuses on personal interests, not on the group's, among other practices. The union tradition should move towards transparency and democracy, on the contrary, it will never serve their members.

Just as it has been said that there won't be a rich government with a poor society, the saying “there shouldn't be a rich union leader with poor union members” should be stated too.

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