U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is slated to attend Honduran president-select Juan Orlando Hernández's swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. Hernández won both his party's primary and the general elections through massive fraud and has overseen the total militarization of Honduran public space through his military police force and related initiatives. In the weeks leading up to the elections, the Honduran Congress has privatized the national energy and telecom companies—with devastating implications for labor—with Hernández's full support. Today, Honduran labor unions are calling on their members to picket Juan Orlando Hernández's inauguration. U.S. labor unions and the AFL-CIO have stood solidly by Honduran workers on numerous occasions since the coup. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka makes clear in his letter to Secretary Perez dated Friday, January 24th, that Honduran democracy and labor rights are a priority for the organization, as it is for the workers that comprise it.
We can add to this pressure by directly contacting the U.S. Department of Labor and letting them know that Secretary Perez's presence at the inauguration sends a very, very disturbing message about his commitment to workers' rights, and stressing the points made in President Trumka's letter.