MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A group representing some of Mexico’s biggest companies told left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday that politicians should resist “extortion” by labour unions after strikes and blockades in recent weeks.
Alejandro Ramirez, president of the Mexican Business Council, said strikes at factories in the northern state of Tamaulipas and blockades of railways by a teachers union had caused more than a billion dollars in losses and could cause businesses to close.
Members of the group, including Mexico’s second-richest man, German Larrea, who controls mining and transport conglomerate Grupo Mexico, were critics of Lopez Obrador before his July 1 election, warning voters should be wary of populism.
“In labour matters, we look favourably on Mexicans starting a new era of union freedom that will allow the end of old protectionist practices for a few unions and companies,” said Ramirez, chief executive of cinema chain Cineopolis.
“Freedom of association and respect of the rule of law should be the axis of this new labour reform. For that reason, we make a respectful call to lawmakers of all parties that it doesn’t just guarantee union freedom but also avoids union extortion.”