Oaxaca De Juarez, Mexico—The Oaxacan
Institute for Migrants (IOAM) and the United Food and Commercial Workers Inter- national Union Local 5 have signed a Letter of Understanding aimed at protecting the rights of migrant workers and their families while in the United States.
The mutual cooperation agreement will benefit more than 800,000 Oaxacans who live in California, and is the first agreement of its kind between the American labor movement and an Oaxacan state-level institution.
“This groundbreaking agreement reflects a new initiative in the struggle for migrant workers’ rights— a strengthened collaboration between diverse stakeholders within a transnational context,” said Gerardo Dominguez, Organizing Department Director for UFCW Local 5.
“The primary goals of this new agreement are to guarantee the rights of migrants within and outside the country, as well as to improve their quality of life,” said Rufino Domínguez Santos, Director of the IOAM.
On behalf of the Oaxacan Secretariat of Government, Dr. Rubén Vasconcelos said the authorities are committed to enhancing protection of the rights of migrants outside the country, but also to creating opportunities for workers.
“For those who do go as migrant workers, it is important to strike alliances with organizations that have the same purpose as in this new agreement: to protect the human and labor rights of migrant workers.”
UFCW Local 5, located in San Jose, California, represents more than 33,000 unionzed members. UFCW Local 5 is a leading and progressive voice in the labor movement and the community, with a strong tradition of member advocacy and involvement. UFCW
Local 5 is also part of the United Food and Commercial Workers International union, which represents more than 1.3 million members working in the private sector.
In January 2012, a migrant workers agreement was signed between the UFCW Canada and the Instituto Oaxaqueno de Atencion a Migrantes (IOAM) to protect migrant workers traveling to Canada.