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by James Parks, Mar 4, 2010

Photo credit: U.S. Navy Photo by Joshua Lee Kelsey  
  Fire Fighters members of Fairfax County (Va.) Urban Search and Rescue conduct a rescue operation at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince.  

The AFL-CIO Executive Councilattempts to break the union at Grupo Mexico mines. Executive Council members met March 1­-3 in Orlando. yesterday called on the world community to provide quick, no strings attached aid to Chile after the massive earthquake Feb. 27. The union leaders also reaffirmed strong support for the relief efforts in Haiti and condemned the Mexican government’s

In its statement on Chile, the council said aid should be provided without any requirements of repayment. The council also urged that all aid and reconstruction projects in Chile should respect living wage standards and fundamental labor and trade union rights. Click here to read the entire statement.

We must not forget that much still needs to be done in Haiti, where people are still recovering from the devastation of an earthquake and aftershocks nearly two months ago, the council said. The council statement on Haiti saluted all the union members who had made financial contributions and donations of essential supplies or are serving as active volunteers in the aid efforts.

But real change can only come if we dedicate ourselves to a long-term recovery in Haiti, the council added:

We urge the U.S. government and the international community to adopt a recovery and reconstruction strategy that strives to assist the Haitian people to attain sustainable long-term economic independence and ensure a commitment to economic development, with Haitian workers at the center.

The council condemned a ruling by a Mexican appeals court that allowed the Grupo Mexico mining company to fire 1,200 striking workers, members of the National Union of Mine and Metalworkers (SNTMMSRM), at its Cananea copper mine. In its statement, the council said:

This decision is only the latest in a series of actions intended to destroy the SNTMMSRM. These attacks are just part of a broader pattern of attacks on democratic union organizing in Mexico. The AFL-CIO calls on the Mexican government to end the repression of democratic unions, allow workers the right to organize and restore the right to strike. 

Check out all the approved statements from the council meeting here.

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