Mexico: electrical workers plan hunger strike

On April 11 the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME) announced that some 2,300 members were planning to start a mass hunger strike in Mexico City’s central plaza, the Zócalo, as part of the union’s continuing protest against President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa’s sudden liquidation of the government-owned Central Light and Power Company (LFC) the night of Oct. 10. The union says 17,247 of the 44,000 LFC workers laid off in the liquidation have refused to accept the government’s severance package; they are demanding either the reopening of the LFC or jobs at the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which has taken over LFC’s operations. These workers have carried out a series of protests, often large and militant, over the last six months, but without success.

The SME leadership said some 5,000 workers volunteered for the hunger strike. A medical laboratory provided examinations and determined that 2,300 of the workers were healthy enough to undertake a hunger strike. “The strike will be open-ended,” SME labor secretary Eduardo Bobadilla said. The protest “isn’t an act of desperation, but a sign that we electrical workers will fight to the end.” (La Jornada, Mexico, April 4)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 11

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