On 14 November 2018, 30 representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Canada and the USA, the United Steelworkers (USW) in Canada and the USA, and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers in Canada and the USA, met with representatives from Los Mineros from Mexico in order to improve networking and coordination in multinational cement corporations.
The delegates met in Los Angeles in a USW Local 675 union building. IndustriALL Global Union worked in close cooperation with the Steelworkers who hosted the meeting.
The delegates had an open discussion on shared concerns, including union-busting in the USA and Latin America. During the meeting, they set up a conference call with Vincent Giard, global head of labour relations at LafargeHolcim. They raised several issues which Giard promised to look into and come back with proposals for solutions.
The North America cement network, now enriched by Los Mineros from Mexico, discussed joint future activities and organizing targets, as well as better inclusion of women workers in the sector and in trade union work.
They agreed to increase their exchange over bargaining results and organizing drives to avoid being played off one against the other. Finally, they decided to continue with this close cooperation in 2019 and agreed that the next meeting would take place early in 2019, hosted by the Boilermakers.
Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director for the mechanical engineering and materials industries, stated:
“I am very proud that we have this network – and that it is flourishing and growing. This will help all cement workers worldwide to find joint answers for the challenges in the cement sector and the aggregates and concrete industries. IndustriALL is happy to be part of this and will continue to support this network for North America.”