The official petroleum labor union and its leaders in Ciudad Madero, Taumalipas had gained power, both within the petroleum industry and within the official party, far beyond its real political importance. On January 10, 1989, incoming President Carlos Salinas de Gortari determined to remove the union's leaders. Through such action against one of the most powerful labor unions in Mexico, the government achieved a series of goals: it gained political legitimacy, it weakened the union's bureaucracy, and it introduced a new economic policy that established a different relationship between the state and organized labor. Because of the complexity of the issues involved, the article provides insight into the great changes currently taking place within the Mexican state.
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