By KELIN DILLON
After striking union workers reached the front steps of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, Dec. 14, legislators suspended their in-progress session and fled the scene as the workers attempted to enter the plenary hall.
The dissenting laborers were acting in protest of the administration of the Chamber of Deputies’ Dec. 13 decision to remove income tax return (ISR) from unionized workers, a benefit still enjoyed by legislators.
Meanwhile, members of the Chamber of Deputies reportedly received a 71,000-peso ISR bonus for the end of the year, totaling to 35.5 million pesos in spending.
The union workers demanded to speak with National Action Party (PAN) member Armando Tejeda, the president of the Administration Committee, with the intention of forcing his hand to return their ISRs, eventually making their way into the plenary session with slight pushback from the building’s security.
As Tejeda had yet to arrive, National Regeneration Movement (Morena) member and the president of the Board of Directors Sergio Gutiérrez Luna met with the workers in an attempt to appeal to them, offering a meeting with Tejeda at a later time.
At the same time, General Secretary of the Union Jesús Salvador Aguilar was informed by Tejeda that the union’s request had already been rejected and signed into effect on Monday, Dec. 13, denying the ISR as an additional benefit due to austerity measures.
The workers then returned to the lobby demanding a solution, scaring the deputies inside the chamber and causing the chamber’s vice president, Marcela Guerra, to declare a recess, funneling all the legislators out through side doors and leaving the striking union members without resolution.