Garment workers in Nazareno Mexico vote for independent union

Photos: DemocraciaSindical.Mx

On January 23, workers at the Delta Staff Manufacturing (Apparel International) garment factory in the community of Nazareno, Mexico participated in a union representation election to determine which of two unions would represent them in collective bargaining. They voted overwhelmingly in favour of an independent union.

Of the workers who were able to participate in the election, 563 voted for the Mexican Workers’ League (La Liga) and only 79 voted for a union affiliated with the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).

As a result of the vote, La Liga is now mandated to negotiate on the workers’ behalf for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The victory of La Liga builds on a July 20, 2023 vote on whether to legitimize an existing collective bargaining agreement, a one-time-only voting event that was required under Mexico’s labour justice reform. In that event, 762 workers voted to reject the CBA and 133 endorsed it. That CBA, which had been signed by the CTM without the workers’ knowledge or consent, was therefore terminated.

In a statement released on January 27, the Delta Staff Nazareno section of La Liga stated: "This victory is not only for workers, it is for our families and our communities. Every step we take in our struggle is to achieve wages and benefits that ensure a dignified life for all of us."

An important contributor to the workers’ January 23 victory was the Border Committee of Workers (CFO), MSN’s long-term partner. For the past two years, CFO has provided training, advice and support to Delta Staff Manufacturing workers, which helped increase awareness of their rights under Mexico’s labour justice reform, and their confidence in their ability to organize for better wages and working conditions.

According to Julia Quiñonez of CFO, "we are proud and excited that the women leaders at the Nazareno factory have taken this next step to achieve a real union that can negotiate a CBA that will improve the lives of the people of Nazareno and the surrounding communities."

Prior to the vote, MSN facilitated dialogue between CFO and three international brands sourcing from the factory, calling on them to communicate to their supplier the need to remain neutral throughout the voting process between the two unions and refrain from interfering. 

MSN is now urging those same brands to call on the employer to negotiate in good faith with La Liga for a new collective bargaining agreement that seriously addresses the workers’ demands.