Communiqué from the LTS, in view of the explosion in the Pemex offices
By LTS-CC, México
Mexico City, February 1, 2013
On the afternoon of January 31, we working men and women of Mexico dressed for mourning. Once again, the female and male Pemex workers have suffered the consequences of the negligence of the Pemex authorities. At least 32 people died, and in the media, there is talk of around 121 people injured and 30 people trapped. This extremely serious accident was caused by a lack of maintenance in the system of boilers of a building that houses around 20,000 female and male workers. Maintenance problems had already been reported by the National Union of Petroleum Technicians and Professionals. The accident that occurred today is added to a long list, that shows that, for the PEMEX authorities and the government, workers’ lives are worth nothing, that the thirst for capitalist profits is the only thing that moves them.
Pemex workers already experienced this tragedy on September 18, 2012, in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, where at least 26 people died in the explosion of a gas pipeline; that of September 7, 2010, in the refinery of Cadereyta, Nuevo León, where a worker died and two more were seriously injured after a gas leak and subsequent explosion in the 3800 hydrogen recirculation compressor of the plant for hydrodesulfurization of diesel oils; on June 17, 2009 in Villahermosa, Tabasco, when an explosion occurred in Cunduacán, that left five people injured. This, while many workers’ deaths are constantly happening in the mines (let us recall the explosion in Pasta de Conchos, Coahuila, in 2006).
These accidents have the complicity of the corrupt leadership of the oil workers’ union, that gets considerable sums from the authorities for covering up the authorities’ fraudulent maneuvers, funds that serve as petty cash for the election campaigns of the PRI.
Meanwhile, Peña Nieto’s government, next to its allies from the PAN, continues planning the privatization of Pemex, to sell the petroleum wealth of the country to big multinationals, and thus to go back to the period before the Cárdenas government, as regards the utilization of hydrocarbons by the nation.
It is more necessary than ever that the working men and women of Pemex say, “Enough,” that they get organized from the grassroots, in order to confront the attack of the government and the big transnational corporations, and to change the entire treacherous union bureaucracy, tied to the government, so that the union will be democratized and transformed into a tool of struggle, that will stop the deaths of workers and the privatization of the energy industry.
In order to guarantee safety at work, it is necessary that the organized workers themselves inspect the condition of the whole infrastructure, determine the needs for investment in maintenance, and, with struggle and mobilization, extract from the Pemex authorities and from the government, the funds needed to keep all their workplaces in good condition.
We, the entire Mexican working class, the young people, the poor peasants and the indigenous peoples, must surround the working women and men of Pemex with solidarity. The attack against them is a part of the bosses’ offensive, like the labor reform and the education reform. An injury to one is an injury to all.