How many more pressures can the industrial activity of the country support? To the shortage of gasoline , which has hit hard states with high industrial activity such as Jalisco, Guanajuato and Michoacán, join the strikes of the workers of the maquiladoras in Matamoros and, since January 14, teachers of section 18 of the CNTE they block railroad tracks that connect Puerto Lázaro Cárdenas with the rest of the country.
Lázaro Cárdenas is one of the most important ports in Mexico since its conditions allow the navigation of high tonnage vessels, which makes it a strategic port for the movement of products within the continent and with Asia. Recently, the port had an investment of more than 900 mp for the modernization of its facilities; In addition, companies such as Maersk – the most important Danish shipping company worldwide – have allocated millionaire resources for the construction of infrastructure that will allow them to increase and speed up their operations in the port.
However, all these efforts to put the Lázaro Cárdenas port at the technological forefront in favor of Mexico’s trade with the rest of the world are overshadowed by social conflicts that seek to sabotage their operations as a means of pressure to negotiate with the government.
Teachers of the CNTE demand salary increases. However, it is not clear if the problem belongs to the federal or state government. President López Obrador recently authorized a fund to alleviate what he has called mismanagement of resources by the state government. For his part, the governor of Michoacán, Silvano Aureoles, went to the Supreme Court of Justice to decide at what level of government he must meet the demands of the teachers.
Audits will be conducted to check if there are differences between federal contributions and payroll to teachers by the state government. The Comptroller of Michoacán, however, considers that this process will take between two and five months, with which the end of the conflict between federal and state authorities is far away and, even farther, the end of conflict with the teachers to free the railways.
It is worth noting that the true intentions of the CNTE are not clear. If it is a strategy to determine the disposition of the federal government to negotiate with union actors, or if it is a rupture between the CNTE and the government of Aureoles.
Despite the fund of one billion pesos authorized by the federal government to alleviate the discontent of teachers, the CNTE announced that it will not withdraw the blockades. If that was not enough, they joined the blockades of other education unions in Michoacán and section 22 of the CNTE began a work stoppage in Oaxaca in support of the former.
Juan Pablo Castañón, president of the Business Coordinating Council, declared that the losses amount to 1,500 million pesos per day for the blockades to the railways. Representatives of the automotive sector pointed out that the lack of supplies threatens to stop their manufacturing processes. This could have, as a side effect, workers stop receiving their wages if production stops. Likewise, there will be damages to the production chain of automobiles that are manufactured not only in Mexico, but in all those countries that depend on Mexican manufacturing to produce auto parts.
Ferromex, the largest rail transport company in the country, reported that this blockade prevents the supply of flour, corn and wheat to its customers. Could we see the shortage of cereals so important for the Mexican’s diet?
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*Note. After having reached an agreement between authorities and the teachers during the early hours of January 31, 2019, at the time of publishing this entry is waiting for teachers to remove the blockades to the railroads.