Spirit of solidarity lives on during Mineros anniversary


For the past 13 years, Steelworkers gathered in Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico, two Mineros killed by police during a 2006 strike. COVID-19 stopped travel this year, but not our solidarity.

"Because of the pandemic, the Steelworkers are not able to march with you physically this year, but we continue to march with you in spirit, as always," International President Tom Conway wrote in this letter

The USW entered into a strategic alliance with Los Mineros on April 13, 2005.

On Feb. 19, 2006, an early morning methane explosion rocked a Grupo Mexico-owned coal mine in the Mexican state of Coahuila, killing dozens of workers. There has never been a thorough investigation of the disaster, and only two bodies were recovered before the mine was sealed by the government.

Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president of Los Mineros, denounced the killings and the unsafe working conditions that caused them, calling for strikes across the country. He's now a senator in Mexico. Two months later, police and military fired on striking workers at the steel mill in Lázaro Cárdenas. Two members of Los Mineros, Hector Ấlvarez Gómez and Mario Alberto Castillo Rodríguez, died in the encounter on April 20, 2006.

Every year, thousands of Los Mineros members joined by their USW brothers and sisters march through the streets on the anniversary of the murders to commemorate the fallen workers and remind the world that the fight for safe and decent working conditions is not over.

Below is the entire text of President Conway's letter: 

April 20, 2020

Senator Napoleón Gómez Urrutia
President and General Secretary
National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic

Dear Napoleón,

On the 14th anniversary of the murder of our brothers Hector Alvarez Gómez and Mario Alberto Castillo during the Los Mineros strike at the steel mill in Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico, the United Steelworkers in the U.S. and Canada send condolences and solidarity to their families and to our Mineros sisters and brothers.

Hector and Mario live on in the fight for justice in Mexico and everywhere in the world.

Because of the pandemic, the Steelworkers are not able to march with you physically this year, but we continue to march with you in spirit, as always.

In solidarity

Thomas M. Conway International President

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222