Presentation by Israel Cervantes of Generando Movimiento - translation by Estrella Marina Cruz
Well before anything, I want to thank you for the invitation to this forum or this meeting. Well, I want to thank all the organizations for all the support and solidarity that the organizations have demonstrated, international or national, from when we were at the initial start to this change so that now workers at General Motors Silao can have an independent change, a national worker change. There had to pass a lapse of two years and struggle. As of now, in two years and six months we achieved what we thought was impossible, to win a union and economic power against a transnational, powerful company, even though there was unthinkable corruption that they have done in this country in questions of government. Well, it has been a struggle that in its moment lived in the struggle of May 5 because a small group repelled an external foreign force. That’s how we see our small group of insistent and fighting workers. Well first we created awareness for the active workers and conquered CTM [Confederation of Mexican Workers, the incumbent company-compliant union] on August 18, 2021. We conquered to create an independent labor union. Throughout the years, there had never been a registered labor union for industrial automotive. But the major part or the major strength for this labor union, is that we have as the first general secretary, a woman directing this labor union. She is fighting for a collective contract. So there comes the struggle for the representation of the workers, and we are concerned to overcome the political force to the corrupted force of the CTM. Three unions against us, corrupt unions, which were defeated by current active workers. We won a new battle in this important fight that we have had.
Today, though the laws have changed, and although supposedly the new labor reform offers new opportunities for the workers, well we see that little by little they were to stop us and to avoid SINTTIA [the new independent union] from achieving the signature for the cognitive contract. But this does not happen just because. They do it because if we bring a cognitive contract in General Motors, we can put a stop to all this corruption. Today we can tell you that SINTTIA is fighting for a cognitive contract to benefit all the workers and not only for the people that are in the committee. We now try to make sure that mates [at other factories] have better conditions than ours. Now after two years and eight months, I say my goodbyes, the company General Motors does not want to reinstall me. Definitely they tell me that they will not reinstall me. I feel like it’s because of fear, because from the outside we were going to do what we did from the inside and easily we were able to accomplish that by signing this cognitive contract. We can do it. So they are scared that we will accomplish what other labor unions have not done to General Motors. So I think that is their fear. Besides that, we continue to try to reinstate ourselves because it is our right. They violated our labor rights and we will keep on fighting until we accomplish the objective, which is to install the workers that have experienced unequal labor rights. Today, even though we have had lots of success, and personally I have taken them, I can worthily say that I have supported workers from other companies to help them organize to fight for their rights. And thanks to that, now as the coordinator, well it makes me happy that more people are looking for us to support them. We have limitations because we do not have the resources to help them move from one place to another but we have tried everything possible to continue helping the people. And well I want to say thank you again for inviting me to this meeting and thank you for all your solidarity that you have shown and for making a movement and long live the fight for workers.