México: victory for NOTIMEX workers after 108 days of strike and camping

After 108 days of camping at the doors of the newsroom and fighting against systematic dismissals since last year, the workers of the Mexican state news agency managed to get the authorities of that entity to recognize that their strike is legitimate, to abide by the cessation of activities ordered by the Federal Board of Conciliation of the Ministry of Labor and committed to resolve the conflict.

Foto: Twitter SUTNOTIMEX

Given the decision of the Governing Board of the Mexican state news agency, NOTIMEX, to recognize the authenticity of the strike maintained by hundreds of workers who were demanding 200 layoffs, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses its support towards the journalists have been fighting against the emptying plan  the agency is going through -  they have been camping since march at the doors of the newsroom to demand the reinstatements.

As the National Sindocato Nacional de Redactores de la Prensa de México (SNRP), an affiliated organization of the IFJ in that country, points out: "We recognize the effort in the struggle of the workers of the Unique Union of Notimex Workers, who have shown cohesion union and solidarity for more than 110 days in its combative and just strike, for the good of the workers of this important news agency of the Mexican State".

In its statement the SNRP reported: "On June 8 Notimex Board had its first session of 2020; in which they accepted the authenticity and legality of the strike and declared the suspension of Notimex activities, which were defended by director Sanjuana Martínez and a small group of senior authorities who were boycotting the legitimate right to strike of more than 200 workers, mostly women. "

"The central point of the session was the labor strike and ended up with its recognition and the official and legal suspension of activities of the agency -a sensible path has been accepted and an important window is opened to solve the conflict".

As the Mexican Union points out, the resolution in favor of the workers comes "after 108 days of living and suffering the months of greatest risk of COVID19 exposing their health and their lives [in the camp]; being the target of calumnies and being intimidated by scabs and even uniformed men.

The decision of the NOTIMEX executives came after the Federal Board of Conciliation and Arbitration of the Ministry of Labor urged the agency's senior officials to recognize the strike and declared a cessation of activities in order to solve it. Although a sector of the media hierarchy tried to delay this order, the compliance was delivered last monday and gave institutional legitimacy to a strike never seen before in history of the Mexican agency, whose last strike had been in 1993 and had lasted just two hours symbolically.

Now, Notimex authorities must focus on solving a conflict under penalty of being fined. The next meeting on the subject is scheduled for next week.

With this scenario, as the SNRP recognizes the "authenticity, maturity and fairness" with which the Notimex workers carried out their successful claim, from IFJ we celebrate that the collective effort of the journalists and their sacrifice has not been conditioned by the attempts of some sectors within the Notimex Board. In this same site we had already reported this type of aggression.

We understand that this news, still in development, is one of the greatest achievements of the press workers  in the region since the start of the pandemic and we hope it will point the way and encourage all colleagues in Latin America who are seeing their work sources and years of effort endangered.

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