The Mexican labor environment fluctuates dramatically depending on current issues in labor and political stability


While the CTM related cooperationist unions have the largest membership



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While the CTM related cooperationist unions have the largest membership the most visible unions are those that fall under the Authentic Labor Front (FAT) umbrella. These unions are generally opposed to the widespread privatization of industry and the general reform of labor laws that give Mexico a free market economic system.  The FAT is a strong supporter of Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD) and is directly opposed to the incoming president of the PAN Felipe Calderon. The FAT supported the populist left-wing candidacy of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in the most recent 2006 Mexican presidential election. The FAT in particular has a radical agenda and does not hesitate to disrupt business operations to get the way of their political goals. The FAT is comprised of utility, state and production workers. Obrador called for boycotts of foreign business and  for protests at  foreign owned  stores. Specifically the PRD targeted U.S. based Wal-Mart for its so called ties to the PAN. After the election several PRD blogs organized dates to picket Wal-Mart doors or block the registers with carts full of products that they would dump on the floor.

Independent unions are most often found in the northern Maquiladora towns. They lack the organizing power of the large  unions because they are newer and  were create in a region not particularly favorable towards unions. Governments and industries in the Maquiladora sector heavily crack down on incipient unions and try to keep most workers employed through temporary work agencies preventing unions from growing in membership and funds. However, due to this constraints independent unions are becoming increasingly radicalized and anti-business.



NGO’s
International and community based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are at the forefront of Mexican labor, public health and environmental policy campaigning. International organizations , including Greenpeace and Oxfam campaign on issues such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), human rights and the environment. The groups do not have, nor do they need, a particularly strong grassroots presence since they easily coordinate with grassroots movements and similar local organizations.
Although Greenpeace Mexico is active on a variety of campaigns, environmental issues in general are not very developed in Mexico because most NGO and local activist efforts concentrate on working conditions, labor standards, poverty and  more basic political issues political disconnect. Wealthy international organizations  such as  Greenpeace  International, invest significant sums in environmental  campaigns in Mexico  and through these investments win exposure  and political support that grassroots organizations could not.



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