Combative Mexican union leader forms new labor federation

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A union leader known for his combativeness has formed a new labor federation in Mexico and says that 150 unions have joined.

The International Labor Confederation, known by its Spanish initials as the CIT, was founded by Miners' Union leader Napoleon Gomez Urrutia.

Gomez Urrutia said Wednesday that other unions have expressed interest in joining besides the 150.

It is the latest sign that Mexico's long-dormant labor movement is awakening. In January, massive walkouts began at border assembly plants in Matamoros, Mexico.

This week those strikes spread to wildcat walkouts at other plants in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.

Gomez Urrutia said those strikes could spread, and the CIT would support them.

Some accuse Gomez Urrutia of extortionate negotiating tactics and mismanaging union funds, charges he called "political persecution."