Silver Spot – Mexican president pressures Canadian miner over union dispute
MEXICO CITY, March 17 (Reuters) – Mexico could revoke a concession held by Canadian miner Americas Gold and Silver Corporation in northern Mexico if it does not accept its new trade union representation there, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a regular news conference, Lopez Obrador said he would direct Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to speak to the Canadian government about the dispute centering on Americas Gold and Silver’s San Rafael mine in Cosala in the state of Sinaloa.
Lopez Obrador, a leftist, noted that Americas Gold and Silver had rejected the outcome of a vote by workers at the mine to put labor representation under the control of trade union, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalurgicos, Siderurgicos y Similares de la Republica Mexicana.
The company needed to honor the result or it would be failing to uphold Mexico’s labor laws, Lopez Obrador said.
“This shouldn’t be understood as a threat or even a warning,” said the president, who has vowed to strengthen the rights of workers in Mexico. “But if they don’t respect the law, the government can revoke the concession.”
Lopez Obrador was responding to a question from a reporter about the dispute, and did not mention the Canadian company by name.
The victorious union is led by Senator Napoleon Gomez Urrutia. An ally of the president, Gomez is backed by activists challenging Mexico’s traditional labor bosses.
Lopez Obrador also urged, again without naming the company, Canada’s First Majestic Silver Corp to settle an ongoing tax dispute with his government. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo Additional reporting by Jeff Lewis in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)