INTERVIEW-‘Adapt to new era’ – Mexico lawmaker seeks tougher rules for miners – by Noe Torres (CNBC/Reuters – January 15, 2019)

MEXICO CITY, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Mexico’s mining companies, including copper giant Grupo Mexico, should prepare for new labor rules and new regulations over their operations, including the prospect of higher taxes, a veteran labor leader now in the Senate told Reuters on Tuesday.

Senator Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, who heads the labor committee and sits on the mining committee, unleashed epic union battles a decade ago before he left Mexico to fight corruption charges he says were politically motivated.

Asked whether Grupo Mexico and other miners run by Mexican billionaires should be more tightly controlled, Gomez Urrutia said years of loose regulation by such companies had led to inequality and a severe concentration of wealth in Mexico.

“They are going to have to review the policies and practices they have had,” said senator, who as a union boss led multiple strikes over pay and conditions including at the nation’s largest copper mine, owned by tycoon German Larrea’s Grupo Mexico.

“We want them to do it in a voluntary and flexible manner, without conflicts. That’s the goal, but they have brutally resisted,” he said. “They have not wanted to change their practices. They have not adapted to the new era.”

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