How aggressive are Mexican unions in advancing worker health and safety issues in the maquilas and elsewhere?

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How aggressive are Mexican unions in advancing worker health and safety issues in the maquilas and elsewhere?

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Brown: There are no independent unions in any of the plants on the U.S.-Mexican border except in three cases, and it is really unclear whether these unions are going to be allowed to exist. The unions that do exist on the U.S.-Mexican border are government-controlled unions. They are unions that were controlled by the PRI, the long-time ruling party, which just lost a presidential election in July, and it will be interesting to see what happens to these unions. These are CTM unions or CROM unions or CROC unions. They don’t defend workers in the plants on any issues. Many times, before a plant is built, U.S. corporate management will sign an agreement with one of these unions, known as a protection contract. Under Mexican law, if there is a union existing in the plant, you can’t organize a second union. So even before the plant is built in one of these Mexican government-subsidized industrial parks for a Fortune 500 company, the union “contract” will have already been signed. The plant

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