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It is urgent to support the workers of the coal zones: Gómez Urrutia

jared laurels

Newspaper La Jornada
Friday, August 5, 2022, p. 4

The leader of the mining union, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, demanded that the owners of the concessions of the coal mine in Sabinas, Coahuila, which collapsed on Wednesday and where 10 workers continue to be trapped, be thoroughly investigated, since -he indicated- local authorities would be involved.

He reported that there are versions that the owners of the mine are former municipal presidents of Sabinas, from a couple with names. It is said that she is the Undersecretary of Labor of the government from Coahuila. These are things that should be investigated; if it is found that one of the owners of the concession is the Undersecretary of Labor of the state government, it is something that still demands a greater investigation and of course an obligation to enforce the law and that everyone respect it, they should be the firsthe underlined.

Interviewed after participating in the 16th Latin American Meeting of Labor Lawyers and the Trade Union Movement, convened by the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD), the senator from Morena indicated that it is estimated that there are around 5,000 mining workers in the coal region of Coahuila , in mines under unsafe conditions and in many places, truly inhumane.

He reiterated that the workers are not unionized, they don’t let us add them to the guild, because every time we get close, they immediately change the mines, close them, fire them and there is no authority that obliges the owners of the deposits to respect the law.

They are almost like overexploited temporary workers, with very low wages and in unworthy conditions, they are almost coal pits, they cannot even be considered mines properly speaking because they do not have any adequate safety conditions to protect the lives of the workers.commented.

Gómez Urrutia spoke out for investigating who or who has the concession for these wells and stated that greater control and review of working conditions in the mining sector is required.

He pointed out that greater intervention is required from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) to frequently inspect the mines. But also, he pointed out, the law establishes that companies are responsible for taking care of the safety and protection of workers. There should be a very strict work and it remains relaxed, that’s why tragedies happen every timehe stressed.

The national mining leader indicated that the government of Coahuila must collaborate with the STPS, since the coal region of this place is the richest in the exploitation of the mineral, and it has the obligation to comply with the law and carry out the appropriate inspections closely. collaboration with federal labor authorities.

irresponsibility of the owners

The secretary of the Mining and Regional Development Commission of the Senate, the Morenista Armando Guadiana, asserted that the collapse of the coal pit in Sabinas due to the irresponsibility of the owners, the need of the workers and the lack of supervision of the Federal and local Secretary of Labor.

Also, he added in an interview, the accident was due “undoubtedly to corruption, to the Moche, to the lack of adequate application of the law and the security measures that must be applied by the owners in the mines. The inspectors of the Ministry of Labor, the federal and the local, have to be stricter and not allow work to be done in the so-called ‘pocitos’ and in mines without adequate security”.

Guadiana, senator and mining businessman, insisted that what happened in Sabinas It is the product of irresponsibility and lack of supervision, since in the coal region there are many wells to extract coal, even clandestinely, and I do not believe that the Ministry of Labor has enough inspectors to monitor these extraction centers. work in the country and in Coahuila.

–Is a new law required or amending the existing one to guarantee worker safety?

-No, a new law is not necessary, the one that is in force is very clear. What is missing is that it be applied and that it be complied with, that the Secretary of Labor does the supervision well, but I don’t even think that it has a sufficient number of inspectors and the adequate conditions for them to carry out their work.

The legislator and mining businessman, in Coahuila, and other states, even in other countries, Guadiana, who is originally from the coal region of Coahuila, precisely because of the area where the accident occurred, maintains that “there used to be some large mines there. that belonged to an American company, American Smelting and Refining Company, now defunct, which became Asarco, which later belonged to Jorge Larrea, who has since passed away, and is now Grupo México.

With information from Victor Ballinas

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