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MEXICO - Agriculture

Alejandro Martínez

General Secretary, National Food and Commerce Union (SNAC)


Alejandro Martínez is General Secretary of SNAC since 2019. He leads the most important union in the commerce and food industry in Mexico and is actively present in more than 460 workplaces nationwide in companies like Grupo Bimbo, PepsiCo, Mondelez, Mars, Hersheys, Rich´s, Sigma, PPG Comex, B-Connect, Monte Xanic and Fisher and Paykel. Martínez started his career as a salesperson in Barcel, studied programming and has three master’s degrees: in music from HMDK Stuttgart; an MBA from IPADE; and another in governance and public management from UPF Barcelona.

"We find ourselves in a re-evolution of unions, in which all of us employers, leaders, and workers are forced to adapt and discover new forms of representation and participation in the workplaces."

Alejandro Martínez, General Secretary of the National Food and Commerce Union (SNAC), talks to TBY about the perception of unions in Mexico and goals and priorities for 2024.

What were SNAC’s greatest achievements in Mexico in 2023?

I would highlight the unity, resilience, and collective effort in our union which lead to a double-digit organic growth and historical milestones. We continue to reinvent ourselves and adapt to the new realities in the labor market, achieving significant improvements in working conditions, including the highest wage increases in any industry (13.5% including benefits), a safer work environment, and more opportunities for education and training. We also played a significant role in the enactment of laws and policies that protect working families. SNAC has also actively promoted protection against any kind of violence or discrimination in the workplace, implementing inclusive policies and new clauses in our collective agreements, for example, with Mondelez Mexico. Another highlight was the creation of PLIIS, a suit to fit platform that offers benefits for the nuclear family like free remote medical consultations, psychologists, nutritionists, gynecologists, as well as discounts on laboratory studies. PLIIS also provides a wide range of home assistance services, funeral support, educational scholarships, free movie theater tickets, and thousands of hours of free courses. In addition, we launched el SNAC te hace el paro, an app through which our affiliates have direct and immediate access to the union’s financial resources by means of a self-sustaining fund. This application is designed to help our members address economic problems without risking their income or jobs. We are already working on our next platform which will use AI to educate in labor and human rights, as well as help to organize, denounce and act against violations of workers’ rights. In our pursuit of transparency and practicality, we made our global debut with active union participation through digital platforms. Over 250 work centers and 7,000 affiliates joined live sessions via Zoom and voted live through an app during the negotiation of the collective agreements with companies such as Barcel and Ricolino within Grupo Bimbo. This approach significantly impacted the consultation process and helped reach a 98% support from our affiliates in certification. We also partnered with the Youth Integration Center to raise awareness, diagnose, and support SNAC families on issues related to violence, addictions, and mental health. In summary, we have promoted freedom, democracy, health, development, growth, and sustainability both within and beyond the workplace for all our members, and we have had a positive impact on the hardworking families we represent, the companies theywork for, and the economy as a whole.

How are unions perceived in Mexico, and how does this impact SNAC’s projects in Mexico?

We find ourselves in a re-evolution of unions, in which all of us employers, leaders, and workers are forced to adapt and discover new forms of representation and participation in the workplaces. Some view unions as champions of labor rights, while others may harbor more critical sentiments based on past negative experiences. Nevertheless, SNAC’s work is guided by a mission of transforming lives for the common good and being and agent of change in society.

What are your main goals and priorities for 2024?

Our goals and priorities for 2024 are ambitious but attainable. First, we are working on new processes and tools to improve the quality of our service, at the same time we’re creating more effective ways to be close to our members and to be more effective and efficient in what we do. We will continue to be disruptive, irreverent and a catalyst for change, fostering collaboration and forging alliances with other organizations and movements who want to create new alternatives to the Mexican labor system, which hasn’t been working properly for decades. We stand at the dawn of new interconnected forms of organizing, free networks emerging from courageous, organized, digitized, and free minded individuals. We are committed to the development and implementation of innovative solutions and technology that drive change for the benefit of our affiliates and society. We will lead the new era of unionism.



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