Mexico union says thugs broke up vote despite new trade pact

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican union says thugs broke up an attempt to certify a new, more independent union at a Finnish-owned automotive wiring plant a day before leaders of the U.S., Mexico and Canada signed a new trade pact requiring Mexico to better protect workers' rights.

The National Miners Union is trying to wrest the contract for the PKC Group plant in Ciudad Acuna from the Mexican Workers Confederation. The confederation often acted as a wing of Mexico's outgoing governing party and frequently signs contracts without consulting workers.

The Miners Union said Friday that people allied with the confederation disrupted the vote and beat the union's representatives.

Ougoing Labor Secretary Roberto Campa confirmed Thursday's vote was cancelled, but he said officials decided "conditions did not ensure" a free and secret ballot.