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Key to Mexican labor terms & expressions:

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The Mexican Labor Calendar

 

January 1 – New Year’s Day, official holiday

February 5 – Day of the Constitution, and beginning of Carnaval – Official holiday

March 8 – International Women’s Day

March 18 – Anniversary of the Nationalization of the Mexican Petroleum Industry in 1938 by President Lázaro Cárdenas, a day of petroleum workers’ mobilizations.

March 21 – Birthday of President Benito Juárez – official holiday and frequently a day for protests over issues of democracy.

April 10 – Anniversary of the Assassination of Emiliano Zapata, a day of national peasant mobilizations.

April – Semana Santa, Holy Week of the Roman Catholic Calendar – Most important vacation period in Mexico; most workers are gone from work for 10 days.

May 1 – Primero de Mayo, International Labor Day – the annual mobilization of labor unions. In the past, Mexican labor unions saluted the president; today they challenge him.

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo, celebration of Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862. Cinco de May is not as important a holiday in Mexico as it is in the U.S. among Mexican Americans.

May 10 – Mothers’ Day – day of recognition of mothers. The President usually dines with a group of mothers. Day of debate on the status of women.

May 15 – Day of the Teacher – The weeks preceding this day usually involve teachers’ union mobilizations and protests, and culminate in the announcement of the terms of the contract between the Mexican Teachers Union (El SNTE) and the Department of Pubic Education (SEP). The government presents awards to outstanding teachers.

July – Month of National Elections.

September 1 – President’s Annual State of the Union Message – a day of evaluation and criticism of the government and its policies.

September 16 – National Independence Day – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called for Independence, in 1810.

October 12 – Día de la Raza celebrates the arrival of Columbus and the birth of Mexican people out of European and Indigenous groups. An ambivalent holiday, it is also a day of protest of indigenous peoples since the 500th anniversary in 1992.

November 1 & 2 – Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, a day of national remembrance of the deceased.

November 20 – Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

December 12 – Día de la Vírgen de Guadalupe – celebration of Mexico’s patron saint. This is also Mexican flag day.

December 16 – Las Posadas – remembers Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter in Bethlehem, begins the Christmas season ending on January 6.

December – Companies should pay their “Aguinaldo” or Christmas Bonus, but many do not, so there are always protests between November and into the new year over bonuses.

December 25 – Christmas

December 28 – Día de los Inocentes – Day of the Innocents – like April Fool’s Day, some newspaper run false stories or satires.

 

Arturo Silva Doray

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"The relationship that we've had with international organizations
— thanks to ties with UE — is hugely important.

"After each international meeting, we feel more and more encouraged by the knowledge that we're backed by outside organizations as strong as the UE."

Arturo Silva Doray
General Secretary of municipal workers union in Juárez, Mexico

 
For more Information

Organizing in Mexico:
Tough, often brutal

The UE alliance with FAT

Pancho villa on horseback
Short history of Mexican labor

Key to Mexican labor terms & expressions:
From English to Spanish

From Spanish to English

Bibliography

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Mexican Labor
News & Analysis

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