CHICAGO – Last week, thousands of workers around the world protested the Mexican government’s attack on unions, especially Los Mineros (the Mexican Miners Union). These demonstrations were coordinated by labor federations and unions from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America, and took place in 35 countries, including cities across the US. (See video below from the Chicago action sponsored by the United Steelworkers.) Thousands of letters were delivered to Mexican Embassies and consulates demanding that the government of President Felipe Calderon end violations of union freedom, stop repression of workers, prosecute those responsible for the Pasta de Conchos mine disaster that killed 65 miners and stop the persecution of the Los Mineros union.

Many also took note of the developing actions in the US against union busting in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

Also in Mexico City last week, the SME (Mexican Electricians Union), the CNTE (the education workers union) joined Los Mineros in a whole day of demonstrations that tied up traffic throughout the city. Los Mineros also marched on the headquarters of Grupo Mexico, the mining transnational and the teachers marched on the Department of Public Education.

Los Minores demo Feb 19 2011 from Scott Marshall on Vimeo.


Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott Marshall is a vice chair of the Communist Party and chair of its Labor Commission. Scott grew up in Virginia where he first became active in the civil rights movement in high school, working on voter registration and anti-Klan projects in rural Southern Virginia and Tennessee. He was also active against the war in Vietnam.

Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s.

Scott has worked for the Communist Party since 1987 when he became the district organizer for the party in Illinois, a post he held until he was elected chair of the National Labor Commission in 1997. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.

Emile Schepers
Emile Schepers

Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.