The Cyberunions Podcast Episode 62: The Growth Industry: Exporting Labo(u)r ‘Reforms’

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You don’t wave to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing
1:40 Updates
  • 14 November – General Strike and Day of Action against austerity in Europe
  • Stephen manages to prevent a Romneyshambles
  • Stephen embarks on a drinking and bug squashing campaign. Eww!
  • Last show before Stephen goes to Brazil – we hope to report from there
7:45 Tech news
  • Walton discovers Cyanogenmod - roots his phone, installs new software and satisfies his need for novelty
  • Déjà Dup is a great way to backup a system
15:45 Main section: Labo(u)r law reform in Mexico
  • Transparency clause was taken out so the PRI is happy with the reform.
  • In July, PAN defeated PRI in the elections
  • Background on the Mexican labo(u)r movement – in the 1920s, the radical CTM union was formed, influenced by the IWW and Third International (Communists)
  • Nationalists in the state seized control and purged anarchist and communist influences
  • The electrical union, formed in 1913, managed to maintain its independence
  • Influence of anarchists in Mexican politics – Ricardo Flores Magnon, Tierra y Libertad and the Zapatistas
  • The state undermined the electrical workers’ union by shutting down electrical utilities – so the union became a social movement as its members were unemployed
  • In the 1970s, the UNT was formed as an alternative, left wing alternative confederation to the CTM, which was dominated by the PRI
  • However, the UNT became bureaucratised, centrist and corrupt – much like the CTM
  • What will the labo(u)r law reform mean?
  • Outsourcing is legalised, making it easy to replace unionised workers with part time and agency workers with few rights
  • Allows employers to hire people by the hour, instead of by the day – so you can work anything from a half hour to a 12 hour shift, depending on what suits your boss
  • Mexico has three different minimum wages, based on geographic regions from A to C
  • PRI are against the reform, but mostly for the wrong reasons – because the transparency clauses and secret ballot will undermine their power
  • There is a real problem with corruption among top union leaders in the CTM
  • Introduction of individual contracts and erosion of the right to strike
  • Bad news for workers :-(

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