Employees of home improvement retailer The Home Depot have threatened to strike in 13 states if the United States-based company doesn’t improve their salaries and benefits.
The workers are seeking a 20% pay rise as well as 20 days of paid vacation, assistance to cover transportation expenses, school supplies for their children, food vouchers and contributions to savings funds.
A spokesman for the Revolutionary Confederation of Laborers and Farmworkers (CROC), which represents the disgruntled Home Depot employees, told the newspaper Milenio that a strike would affect stores in Yucatán, Puebla, México state, Guerrero, Tabasco, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Colima, Michoacán, Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Mexico City and Guanajuato.
Eduardo Miranda said the company is not only refusing to review the collective contracts it has with workers but is also opposed to the CROC representing them.
However, International Labor Organization conventions and the USMCA, as the new North American free trade agreement is known, stipulate that workers have the right to freely choose their union representation and participate in the collective bargaining process, he said.
The CROC said it would initiate proceedings with state-based conciliation and arbitration boards to pressure Home Depot to review the collective contracts it has with about 6,200 workers.
In addition, the confederation is urging the company to put an end to alleged discrimination, sexual harassment and unjustified dismissals at its stores, all of which it says it has knowledge.
Miranda said Home Depot workers are in a similar situation to that in which Walmart employees found themselves early last year.
Employees at the big-box stores also threatened to strike if their demand for a 20% pay rise wasn’t met but the job action was averted after the CROC and Walmart reached an agreement for a 5.5% wage increase.
In response to the claims from Home Depot workers, public relations manager Roberto Riva Palacio said the company is committed to doing the right thing by its employees and complying with the law, “as we’ve done since our arrival in Mexico in 2001.”
He also said The Home Depot is proud of the employment opportunities it has created for thousands of workers in Mexico. The company has 123 stores across the country.
Source: Milenio (sp)