Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bleak 75-year birthday of Confederación de Trabajadores de México

The PRI-aligned Mexican confederation of labor, CTM (Confederación de Trabajadores de México), is turning 75 years today, yet it is hardly a happy celebration. The organization, though still the largest labor confederation in Mexico, has in terms of membership decline been on decline since the 1980s. Founded during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas, CTM was for the longest a key source of PRI votes, though this corrupt and charro organization functioned more as a pillar of the regime than as an advocate for workers's rights.

Its membership is reportedly down to around 400,000 workers, down from a million workers. This is also reflected in its quota of federal deputies - down to 10 from a height of 40.

In the priísta tradition of "lifelong" leaders who literally lead these charro organizations until their last breath, its current leader, Joaquín Gamboa Pascoe, 83 years old, was just reelected last year as the CTM's general secretary.

Quite symbolical of its decline and loss of influence: There won't even be a a grand ceremony or assembly celebrating its three-quarter-of-a-hundred history.

Here is a recent collaborative academic investigation of CTM, edited by UNAM researcher Javier Aguilar García, entitled Historia de la CTM 1936-2006. El movimiento obrero y el estado mexicano.

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