Canadians Rally in Support of Workers' Rights in Mexico

February 24, 2011, 3:20 PM EST

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Outside the Mexican embassy and consulates from Montreal to Vancouver, hundreds of Canadians demonstrated in support, from February 14-19. 

Delegations of senior union leaders and social organizations met with Mexican government officials at the embassy in Ottawa and the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver to demand respect for labour rights and independent, democratic unions in Mexico. 

"We were clear in the briefing that we were not here on a social call," said Peggy Nash, assistant to CAW National President. "The Mexican government needed to understand that this was not just our union but unions in Canada and around the world calling on them to have these demands met."  Nash spoke at the rally outside the Mexican embassy in Ottawa, following a meeting with Mexican embassy officials.

In Vancouver, the demonstration was highlighted by speeches from Mineros President Napoleon Gomez (who is living in exile in Canada), Mexican Electrical Workers President Martin Esparza and Mexican Telephone Workers Vice President Jorge Castillo Magaña.

Representatives from the CAW, Canadian Labour Congress, Federation de Travailleurs du Quebec, and other unions like USW, COPE, CEP, PSAC, UFCW and CUPE all expressed their concern of violation of rights in Mexico for workers and the lack of enforcement of the law by the government.
In addition to delivering a letter from the CLC to the Mexican Ambassador outlining key demands, delegations told the Mexican officials that the organizations they represent are part of a growing international campaign demanding the respect of labour rights, ready to continue to pressure the Mexican government until violations against workers stop. 

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