Vancouver – January 17, 2014 – The Supreme Court of British Columbia has denied a petition by Mexico to quash documentary evidence and testimony that corroborates that the Mexican government blacklisted Mexican migrant workers from returning to Canada because they were suspected of being union sympathizers. The evidence had been presented in 2012 to the BC Labour Relations Board by UFCW Canada Local 1518.
The BCLRB hearings were stopped in March 2013, awaiting the hearing of Mexico's petition. The petition argued that because Mexico has sovereign immunity, the BCLRB should not have been allowed to receive and consider testimony from former consular officials, along with leaked consular documents and other Mexico files and documentary evidence that overwhelmingly pointed to blacklisting activity.
By striking down the petition, the case and all the evidence now return to the BCLRB.
"Mexico may be immune from sanctions, but the BC Supreme Court decision makes it clear that Mexico can't use sovereign immunity to hide the facts from the labour board," says Ivan Limpright, president of UFCW Canada Local 1518. "The evidence presented to the labour board pointed to blacklisting and collusion between Mexico and the farm where our members work. We are encouraged that the ruling brings the workers closer to justice by opening the way for the labour board to judge what really happened."
Mexico has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the January 15th BC Supreme Court decision to a higher court, "but the legal stalling by Mexico and the employers will not change the evidence," says Paul Meinema, the National President of UFCW Canada. "The workers know the truth and so does Mexico. Stop the blacklisting and let the labour board finish its business and deliver its decision."