A significant victory for the dismissed workers of the Nokia plant in Reynosa, Mexico. Court cases started by CEREAL and the Electronics Industry Workers Coalition against Nokia, Manpower and Adecco were settled to the advantage of the workers.
CEREAL and the Electronics Industry Workers Coalition (EIWC) have been fighting for justice for Nokia workers that were dismissed between November 2008 and January 2009. The workers who were employed through labour agencies Manpower and Adecco were made to sign ‘voluntarily’ resignation letters and were left without any severance pay.
CEREAL and the EIWC took up the case of the workers and confronted Nokia with a list of demands. Also, CEREAL and EIWC started several court-cases against Nokia, Manpower and Adecco, demanding, among other things, the reversal of the dismissal or at least the payment of the severance pay workers are entitled to according to Mexican labour law.
During the first hearing at the labour court in Reynosa, in June 2009, Manpower acceded to paying the full severance pay to the workers hired and fired by this employment agency. A second case, involving Adecco, this time an out-of-the-court deal, was won by the workers as well. Adecco will also pay full severance pay to the workers that were hired and fired by this employment agency. CEREAL and EIWC consider the outcomes of these cases a true victory. The labour union at the Nokia plant in Reynosa, a ‘yellow union’ or a union installed by the government, has reacted thinly to the outcomes of the court cases as these demonstrate that the union is incompetent in defending the rights of the workers.
However, other demands are still standing, and other court cases are still to be concluded. The original demands as formulated by CEREAL and EIWC on behalf of the workers:
- Full severance pay, as required by the Mexican Labour law, for the workers employed through Manpower;
- Full severance pay, as required by the Mexican Labour law, for workers employed through Adecco;
- Medical coverage for the dismissed pregnant women workers, 84 in total. So far, only one of the women workers concerned got full severance pay and due wages;
- Nokia to take responsibility for all its workers, hired directly or by an employment agency, as required by Mexican Labour Law (articles 12 to 15);
- Nokia to put through a number of structural changes in its labour policies and practices: no discrimination; equal treatment to workers hired directly and those employed through labour agencies; no sexual harassment; no use of toxic materials without adequate protection;
- A permanent job for all Nokia workers.
A video made by CEREAL clearly illustrates the stories and demands of the sacked Nokia workers.