For worker voice to truly be heard and to make collective bargaining more effective in order to increase wages, obtain equal treatment, and improve working conditions, workers and worker organizations need to be able to freely meet and exchange ideas. All too often, workers have suffered threats and faced intimidation when trying to gather, chilling their exercise of the fundamental right of free association. Through an ILAB-funded project implemented by the Solidarity Center, the first worker center was opened in 2018 to help make these key and necessary exchanges happen.
The first Casa Obrera Potosina worker center opened in 2018, enabling the struggling workers of two important plants in the country to meet: the colleagues at Goodyear from San Luis Potosí and those who fought for the recognition of their union and their right to freedom of association in General Motors, Silao, Guanajuato. Both groups exchanged experiences, strategies and struggles.
Since opening, the Casa Obrera Potosina has given shelter to many worker organizations and improved their working experiences. The Potosino Trade Union Front meets there, made up of union organizations of teachers and government workers, with whom various mutual support activities are organized, including the marches to commemorate International Workers’ Day.
Casa Obrera Potosina is a project promoted by the National Union of General Tire Workers, which for 14 years has supported the struggles of workers in the city of San Luis Potosí and throughout Mexico. In 2007 they began their solidarity work with the movement of the workers of the Vidriera del Potosí, who sought to establish themselves as an independent union.
Thanks to the support of Unifor, the Solidarity Center, and Partners of the Americas, Casa Obrera Potosina keeps its doors open to this day for worker exchanges, workshops, and various trainings.
The objective is to reach the bases of the work centers and to ensure that the workers know their rights and free themselves from protection unions, which serve the interests of employers and not of workers. Now, with the tools provided by the labor reform and section 23 of the USMCA, the workers know that through the legitimization of the employment contract they can put aside corrupt union leaders, organize themselves, and create authentic organizations that truly defend the interests of the working class of the country.