Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico – October 19, 2013 – The Oaxacan Institute for Migrants (IOAM) and UFCW Local 5 have signed a Letter of Understanding aimed at protecting the rights of migrant workers and their families in the United States. This mutual cooperation agreement will benefit more than 800,000 Oaxacans who live in California.
UFCW Local 5, located in San Jose, California, represents more than 33,000 members, and is a leading and progressive voice in the labor movement and the community, with a strong tradition of member advocacy and involvement.
This 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 enhanced protection of the rights of migrants outside the country, but also to creating opportunities for workers who choose to stay in their own country. "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."