Organizing Support for Maquiladora Workers in Mexico

IN THIS MESSAGE:

1) Report on the July 13 Maquiladora Workers’ Support Meeting in San Francisco

2) Mexican Campaign to Repeal the USMCA and the « Pact on Migration »

3)  Appendix No. 1: Resolution in Support of Workers in the Maquiladora Factories in Mexico Fighting to Build Independent Trade Unions (adopted by San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO)

4) Appendix No. 2: List of Demands of the Rockwell Automation Workers in Tecate, Baja California

* * * * * * * * * *

1) REPORT ON THE MAQUILADORA WORKERS’ SUPPORT MEETING IN S.F. (ILWU Local 34 Hall — July 13, 2019)

Unionists and activists from across the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California gathered at the ILWU Local 34 hall in San Francisco on July 13 to hear a first-hand report on the strikes in the maquiladoras in Mexico’s border corridor. Maquiladoras are foreign-owned, export-only sweatshop factories. In January 2019, tens of thousands of maquiladora workers went on strike to demand a 20% wage increase and the payment of 32,000 pesos [US$1,600] end-of-year-bonus.

(8) Matamoros 1Featured speakers from Mexico were Susana Prieto Terrazas, a labor attorney based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, who was invited by the workers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, to provide legal assistance and guidance to their struggle; Joel Ramirez, a rank-and-file worker from Matamoros, who was on strike for more than three months; Gladys Lira, a rank-and-file worker at the Rockwell Automation plant in Tecate, Baja California, who was among the 17 workers fired for urging their co-workers to join the new independent union that was formed in Matamoros out of the 20/32 Movement; and Luis Carlos Haro Montoya, an organizer of the OPT (Workers and People’s Organization), which is leading the support work in Tijuana, Baja California, for the maquiladora workers and for the independent union of farmworkers in San Quintin, Baja California (SINDJA).

Leaders from SINDJA had prepared video-taped greetings for the Mexico panel, but because pf technical reasons the greetings could not be shown, and were relayed verbally instead to the participants in the gathering..

The panel on Mexico was sponsored by LaborFest; the Sacramento chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA, AFL-CIO); the Binational Conference Against « Free Trade, » Privatization/Outsourcing and the Wall the Shame; and UPWA.Info — with the support of the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO).

The Mexico panel on Mexico was part of a day-long conference against outsourcing and privatization that included speakers from Turkey and Puerto, among others. The many speakers denounced the attacks on working people by governments beholden to the IMF and World Bank policies. They also called for the labor movements to assert their independence in the fight against these anti-worker policies.

A Powerful Dialogue Between Clarence Thomas and Susana Prieto Terrazas

(2) Clarence Thomas and Susana Prieto
Clarence Thomas pledges support for Matamoros workers as Susana Prieto Terrazas listens on.

Prior to the formal report from Mexico — given that Clarence Thomas, past secretary-treasurer of ILWU Local 10, was not able to stay for the afternoon report on Mexico (he had been a speaker in the morning session of the conference, where he exposed the drive to privatize the Oakland waterfront and destroy longshore jobs) — the event organizers called upon Brother Thomas and Sister Prieto Terrazas to come to the podium for a brief dialogue about the situation in Matamoros and what we, as trade unionists, can do to support this extraordinary struggle for labor rights.

Sister Prieto Terrazas gave a short summary of the struggle [see below] and called upon Brother Thomas to assist in the effort to support the maquiladora workers in Matamoros (and throughout the border corridor) in their fight to build a truly independent and combative union. Brother Thomas recounted the exemplary record of ILWU Local 10 in building international labor solidarity, and he pledged to bring a resolution before Local 10, which could then go up to the Longshore Caucus, in support of the maquiladora workers. “It all starts with a simple resolution,” Brother Thomas remarked. The event organizers, in turn, offered to work with Brother Thomas to take the resolution adopted July 7 by the San Francisco Labor Council [see Appendix No. 1 below] and to work with Local 10 members to organize concrete support for these embattled workers.

Both speakers concluded by affirming that “we must act as one single fist” across borders in the struggle against the “free trade” agreements, union-busting, privatization and outsourcing.

(3) Erica Rubio and banner (1)
Erica Rubio, an organizer with Unión del Barrio in Los Angeles, stands alongside Sacramento LCLAA banner urging support for maquiladora workers across Mexico.

Close the Concentration Camps Now, No More Deportations!”

The formal portion of the panel was opened with presentations by Desirée Rojas, president of Sacramento LCLAA, and Erica Rubio, an organizer with Union del Barrio in Los Angeles, on the fight to close the concentration camps that warehouse immigrants seeking asylum, including in cages for children. Both speakers decried the inhumane conditions in the camps. They also highlighted the intense organizing efforts to assist immigrants threatened with deportations, and they denounced the vote in Congress on “border security” that included huge sums to fund for-profit “detention centers,” a component of the private “prison-industrial complex.”

Both speakers concluded by affirming that we must continue the mobilizations against the militarization of the borders and the mass incarceration of migrants who have been forced off their lands and face dire conditions due to the effects of NAFTA and CAFTA and to U.S. military intervention aimed at supporting corrupt, right-wing criminal governments — such as the one that overthrew, with the full U.S. backing of the Obama administration, the elected government in Honduras of Manuel Zelaya.

Highlights from Reports by Susana Prieto and Joel Ramirez

Poster Honoring Prieto Terrazas
Mural depicts Susana Prieto Terrazas leading workers’s strike.

– The strike of maquiladora workers in Matamoros was historic; nothing of this magnitude had ever occurred in the maquiladora border corridor, which was created in 1964;

– More than 36,000 workers were involved in the strikes in dozens of maquiladora plants throughout Matamoros, even extending to Coca-Cola bottling plant workers. The strike was so powerful that the companies — mainly U.S. transnational corporations producing for the U.S. market with near-slave-labor conditions — ultimately caved, granting the wage increase and the end-of-year bonus. The agreement — a complete victory — covers 100,000 workers in Matamoros.

– The strike victory culminated with the creation of a new independent union in Matamoros: the National Independent Union of Industries and Services, 20/32 Movement, or Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Industrias y de Servicios Movimiento 20/32, which was recognized by the Mexican government on June 27, 2019 — another major victory;

(7) Prieto Terrazas in Mexico City on June 27 with Official Government Registration of New Union
Susana Prieto Terrazas and two other strike leaders display the official Mexican government registration of new union in Matamoros at the Department of Labor in Mexico City on June 27, 2019.

– The Matamoros strike organizers — particularly Susana Prieto — received death threats throughout the strike, and the repression by the police, acting at the behest of the right-wing state government and the transnational corporations, was constant. This repression did not end with the victory of the strike. No sooner had the workers founded their new independent union, electing a leadership from the rank-and-file, than the corporations proceeded to fire the entire executive committee of the union. These unionists also have been black-listed throughout the entire border maquiladora industry, a major hardship for the workers and their families. A fight to reinstate all workers fired for joining the struggle needs to be waged across borders — targeting the U.S.-based companies that gave the orders to fire the new union leadership and dozens of rank-and-file organizers;

– While the fight for immediate demands was won, and while the new union has been recognized, the bigger fight still lies ahead: winning a strong collective-bargaining agreement with the transnational corporations located along the border corridor.

– Mexico’s newly enacted labor law — which includes adherence to ILO Convention 98 (granting workers the right to organize into unions of their choice, free from government or corporate intimidation) and an end to the “protection contracts” and the pro-business Conciliation and Arbitration Boards — will be put to the test. Unionists will need to call upon Mexico’s new Secretary of Labor, María Luisa Alcalde, and the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ensure full implementation of Mexico’s federal labor laws in the maquiladora industry. Maquiladora workers need to be able to break with the sweat-heart “collective-bargaining agreements” signed between the transnational corporations and the “charro” unions– that is, company unions, namely the CROC, CROM and CTM.

– A key objective in this effort is to extend the reach of the new independent union to maquiladoras across Mexico, beginning with the workers in Tecate, Baja California, who contacted Susana Prieto and the new union in Matamoros, seeking affiliation.

Highlights from Report by Gladys Lira from Tecate, Baja California

Rockwell Automation

Gladys Lira, a rank-and-file worker at the Rockwell Automation maquiladora plant in the border city of Tecate, Baja California, was fired after she began organizing. « In January 2019, » she said, « our helter-skelter group saw Matamoros and said that we weren’t the only ones; they are worse off than we are, and look at what they are doing.” Lira underscored the following points:

– Seventeen workers at their plant have been fired for protesting the abysmal working conditions and low wages, and for urging their co-workers to join the new independent union that was formed in Matamoros out of the 20/32 Movement. [Note: See Appendix 2 below for the Rockwell workers’ list of 20 demands.]

– When the fired workers challenged the bosses as to the reasons for their firings, they were told it had to do with “company reorganization.” The fired workers insisted this was in violation of Mexico’s federal labor laws; they had the right to organize collectively to secure improvements in their wages and working conditions — they did not feel represented by the pro-company “union” in Tecate. Corporate spokespersons denied that this had anything to do with their union activity; it had to do with the “reorganization plan” announced by the parent company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

– The 17 firings had everything to do with the workers’ contact with Susana Prieto and the new union in Matamoros, Gladys Lira insisted. In fact, 15 of the workers were fired the very day Sister Lira from Tecate was meeting in San Francisco (on July 12) with Susana Prieto (in the framework of the Labor Conference Against Outsourcing and Privatizations).

– The first Rockwell Automation worker to be fired (in October 2018) was Miguel Ramirez, who, despite an exemplary work-performance record, was told by HR that his work was “sub-par” — a charge that was not backed by any proof — and that he was “making too much noise around the plant.” Ramirez has refused to accept the company’s severance packet — despite the extreme hardship to his family — and he has sued the company for wrongful firing and “moral and psychological damages.” Ramirez is demanding his reinstatement and has pledged to continue the fight for an independent 20/32 Movement trade union in Tecate, as have all the other fired workers.

– The Rockwell Automation workers are urging labor-rights supporters internationally to call on Mexico’s new Labor secretary and on the Rockwell Automation Corp. to ensure (1) the reinstatement of all the workers fired at the Rockwell plant, beginning with Miguel Ramirez, and (2) full respect for these workers’ right to join the trade union of their choice, free from all threats, harassment, and other forms of retaliation.

Unionists and labor rights activists are urged to contact the following people to urge them to take action on these two demands:

Luisa María Alcalde Luján, Secretary of Labor of Mexico atencion_ciudadana@stps.gob.mx luisa.alcalde@congreso.gob.mx — Tel.: (55) 2000 5300

and

Blake Moret, President, Rockwell Automation, Inc. 1201 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee, WI 53204 Tel. 414-382-2000

[There is also a Rockwell Automation office in San Jose, Calif., to which Bay Area unions and labor councils can organize a delegation, with press conference, to insist on compliance with these two demands.]

Mexican Campaign to Repeal the USMCA and the « Pact on Migration »

(2) Conference BannerLuis Carlos Haro Montoya of the OPT (Organization of the Workers and Peoples) in Tijuana and an organizer in that city of the Driscoll’s Boycott Campaign, underscored the main points contained in the Open Letter to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Mexican Congress that was issued only a few days earlier by the Mexican Committee of the Binational Conference Against “Free Trade,” Privatization/Outsourcing, and the Wall of Shame. Haro Montoya is a co-chair of this committee in Mexico. Following are some of the main points in the Open Letter [see full text below and the Spanish version of the Open Letter attached].

– The signatories of the Open Letter call for the repeal of NAFTA 2.0, better known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, and they reject the “Pact on Migration” approved by the Mexican government that militarizes the northern and southern borders of Mexico with a massive deployment of repressive forces, including the new National Guard.

– Under USMCA, Mexico’s food sovereignty will continue to disappear. All the pro-corporate “structural reforms” implemented under the aegis of NAFTA, will continue unabated under the USMCA. The “energy reform” will deepen the capitalists’ drive to privatize Mexico’s oil. The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision has been included in NAFTA , and now in the USMCA, precisely to prevent Mexico from regaining its energy sovereignty, reversing the privatizations, and repealing all the “structural reforms.” The highly vaunted « firm enforcement provisions” with regard to labor and environmental protections are nowhere to be found in the USMCA.

– Meanwhile, U.S. President Trump announced gleefully that Mexico is doing “a great job” militarizing its northern and southern borders. With this recent deployment, there are now 15,000 Mexican soldiers on the northern border and 11,000 soldiers in the south. Mexico should not submit to the dictates of the United States. AMLO has “no mandate to humiliate our Central American sisters and brothers; they are not our enemies. We are running the risk of spreading racist and inhumane sentiments, and ending our historic solidarity with the peoples at the international level.”

Haro Montoya concluded by reiterating the call to support the independent unions arising in Mexico, especially the Independent 20/32 Union in Matamoros and the SINDJA farmworkers’ union in San Quintin, Baja California. “As we support these twin efforts — hoping that they could unite into one big union down the road, perhaps under the umbrella of a major national union federation like the independent Nueva Central de Trabajadores (NCT) — let us not relent in the campaign in support of the San Quintin campaign. Boycott Driscoll’s!; Repeal the USMCA!; No to the Pact on Migration!; No to the Militarization of Mexico’s Northern and Southern Borders! Repeal the Structural Reforms!”

« The U.S. Labor Movement Should Be Touring Workers from Matamoros, Tecate and San Quintin! »

(6) Mexico Maquila ForumAl Rojas, vice president of Sacramento LCLAA (AFL-CIO), noted that the USMCA is scheduled to come to a vote in the U.S. Congress in September or October of this year. He added that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has criticized the USMCA for not having any enforceable labor or environmental rights. Criticism by Trumka is good, said Rojas, but criticism needs to be backed by action.

Rojas called upon the U.S. labor movement to organize a U.S. tour of the unionists in Matamoros, Tecate and San Quintin who have been fired from their jobs for protesting the wages and working conditions along the maquiladora border corridor and for organizing independent unions in their cities. « Let these workers’ voices be heard widely. And while they’re on U.S. tour, » Rojas added, « these Mexican unionists should be brought to Washington, DC, by the AFL-CIO leadership to testify in Congressional hearings that need to be organized on UMSCA. »

« We need to stop this corporate agreement, » Rojas continued. « Only then can we open new negotiations — with the full input of trade unions, environmental groups and other community organizations in all the USMCA signatory countries — that could lead to a trade deal that actually benefits working people in all three countries. »

Action Proposals Adopted at the Conclusion of the Day-Long Conference

The conference calls for an international education and action campaign of workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada to the oppose the USMCA corporate trade agreement and to work to unite workers in all three countries to stop this agreement. We also support direct unity and solidarity between U.S., Mexican and Canadian workers who are struggling against union-busting, privatization and outsourcing. We oppose the pitting of workers in the United States against workers in Mexico or Canada. Our enemies are not our fellow workers but the multinational corporations and billionaires who have used these trade agreements to destroy labor conditions and undermine all working people.

We oppose the militarization of the border and the mass incarceration of migrants who have been forced off their lands and face dire conditions due to the effects of NAFTA and CAFTA and to U.S. intervention in Central America aimed at supporting corrupt, right-wing criminal governments.

We call for support to the maquiladora workers in Matamoros, in Baja California and in the rest of the border corridor. These workers, just as their sister and brother farmworkers in San Quintin, are rising up against the U.S. transnational corporations that are hell-bent on fighting unionization and supporting company unions to prevent the workers from defending their jobs, families and communities. We will promote in our unions and community organizations a campaign to reinstate all workers who were fired in Matamoros and Tecate for organizing the new independent union of maquiladora workers. We need to be at their side in their fight to obtain a collective-bargaining for maquiladora workers that meets the needs of the workers and their families.

At the same time, on the domestic front, we oppose the outsourcing of public jobs to non-profits, which has been used as a tool to privatize and outsource public work. We also call for an international political education campaign against this outsourcing of public jobs to private and non-profit agencies.

* * * * * * * * * *

2) MEXICAN CAMPAIGN TO REPEAL THE USMCA & THE « PACT ON MIGRATION »

(presented to July 13 meeting in S.F. by Luis Carlos Haro Montoya from Tijuana, Mexico)

Open Letter to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Legislators of the Congress of the Union, and the Trade Unions and Political Organizations in Defense of Labor and Human Rights and National Sovereignty

To Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico
To the Congress of the Union
To Trade Union, Social and Political Organizations

We, the undersigned, hereby express our profound rejection of the ratification by the Mexican Congress of NAFTA 2.0, better known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. We also reject the Pact on Migration approved by the Mexican government that militarizes the northern and southern borders of Mexico with a massive deployment of repressive forces, including the new National Guard. The Mexican nation, youth, and working class must not serve as relays for Donald Trump and his re-election campaign.

The presidents of the United States and Canada celebrated in the White House the « advances » contained in the USMCA. Trump stated that what’s involved with this agreement is not a competition between Mexico, Canada and the United States, but rather a competition between this trading bloc and the rest of the world. This means that if the U.S. Congress were to ratify this treaty, Mexico and Canada would be enjoined to participate in a commercial war against our sister nations at the international level.

The NAFTA agreement enacted by the “Mafia Powers” [a term popularized by Andrés Manuel López Obrador — Tr. note] in 1994 is not essentially different from the USMCA. The new version has been updated with provisions aimed at furthering the interests of the transnational corporations of the United States and Canada. Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, in keeping with these aims, declared that, « Mexico’s support for USMCA sends a clear message in favor of an open economy and deepening economic integration in the region, » adding that the USMCA « provides confidence to investors, consumers and producers.”

How is it possible to provide “confidence” to producers and consumers if the agrarian clauses are not modified — that is, if our food sovereignty continues to disappear, first with NAFTA and now with the USMCA? And what about all the pro-corporate “structural reforms” that have been implemented under the aegis of NAFTA, beginning with the so-called “energy reform” under which Mexico’s oil is being privatized step by step, handed over to foreign companies. The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision has been included in NAFTA and now in the USMCA precisely to prevent Mexico from regaining its energy sovereignty, reversing the privatizations, and repealing all the “structural reforms.”

What about the « firm » enforcement provisions with regard to labor and environmental protections? Not there. Having said that, on the labor front we support the positive provisions in the recent labor-reform law that expand trade union freedoms, especially collective bargaining, and that curtail the powers of the conciliation and arbitration boards. These steps forward are the product of the mandate given to López Obrador last July 1 — a mandate that was reinforced by the mobilizations of workers and their organizations.

It also should be noted that the USMCA was negotiated without the consent of the Mexican nation. The negotiations were all held behind closed doors, even though its provisions affect all the Mexican people. To date, the approved document is unknown to the Mexican nation as a whole. In the Congress, the new treaty was approved behind the backs of the Mexican people. Only a few sections are known through the media. We are more than willing to fight the « Power Mafias, » but we cannot do so if our government implements the same policies that have been pursued over the last 30 years. It is just and necessary to break with these polices once and for all!

But that is not all: U.S. President Trump announced gleefully that Mexico is doing “a great job” militarizing its northern and southern borders. With this recent deployment, there are now 15,000 Mexican soldiers on the northern border and 11,000 soldiers in the south. The president of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies [House of Representatives — Tr. Note] declared: « With the National Guard, we are putting up our own wall on the southern border.” This is unacceptable! We are a sovereign nation and as such we should not submit to the dictates of the United States.

As we address the legislative and executive branches of our government, we also address the trade union, social and political leaderships — notably the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME), Nueva Central de Trabajadores (NCT), Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), Sindicato Independiente de Industrias y Servicios / Movimiento 20/32, Sindicato Nacional Democrático de Jornaleros Agrícolas (SINDJA), Sindicato Independiente de Trabajadores de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (SITUAM), and others —  whom we call upon to convene a national mobilization. It is vital that the trade unions and political organizations representing working people exert their sovereignty and independence in relation to the government.

Mr. President, the working people of Mexico are willing to mobilize and organize to repeal the USMCA and rescue our national sovereignty, beginning with the repeal of the “structural reforms” initiated with the “energy reform.”

Mr. President, the people did NOT give you a mandate to humiliate our Central American sisters and brothers; they are not our enemies. We are running the risk of spreading racist and inhumane sentiments, and ending our historic solidarity with the peoples at the international level.

Mr. President, we hereby demand an immediate halt to all measures that undermine our sovereignty and place us in a position of submission to the U.S. government, on the one hand, and in a position of abusing the Central American peoples, on the other.

We are still in time to reverse course.

• Repeal the USMCA!
• No to the Pact on Migration!
• No to the Militarization of Mexico’s Northern and Southern Borders!
• Repeal the Structural Reforms!

— July 13, 2019

[Open Letter initiated by Boletín Transición and the Mexican Committee of the Binational Conference Against Free Trade, Privatizations/Outsourcing, and the Wall of Shame. List of endorsers in formation.]

* * * * * * * * * *

3) Appendix No. 1:

Resolution in Support of Workers in the Maquiladora Factories in Mexico Fighting to Build Independent Trade Unions (adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO)

Whereas, the San Francisco Labor Council is on record in support of the right of the workers in Mexico to form the independent trade unions of their choice, a right recently affirmed by the new Mexican government under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) with the adoption of ILO Convention No. 89; and

Whereas, in Mexico — under the NAFTA « free trade » agreement signed in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico — the 1,500-plus maquiladoras (export-oriented sweatshops) along the U.S. border corridor have been used to outsource jobs from the United States to near-slave-labor wages and working conditions; and

Whereas, more than 40,000 workers in the maquiladoras of Matamoros, Tamaulipas (across from Brownsville, Texas) — taking advantage of the election of AMLO and his pledge to raise wages along the maquiladora border corridor by 20% — went out on strike in mid-January 2019 to demand a 20% wage increase and the promised 32,000 pesos [US$1,600] end-of-year bonus, thereby creating the Movimiento 20/32; and

Whereas, dozens of workers in Matamoros have since been fired for their activism in this movement;

Whereas, on June 27, 2019, strike organizer and attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas traveled to Mexico City, where she obtained the legal registration of the new independent union formed out of the strike — the Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Industrias y de Servicios Movimiento 20/32, or National Independent Union of Industries and Services, 20/32 Movement — which represents a historic victory for workers in the maquiladora industry; and

Whereas, unionists in other border cities in Mexico have joined the effort to build local affiliates of the new independent union in their cities, most notably at the Rockwell Automation maquiladora in Tecate, Baja California; and

Whereas, four workers — including Gladys Lira from Tecate — were fired for organizing for better wages and working conditions at the Rockwell Automation plant in Tecate, and for organizing to build an affiliate of the new independent union in their city, and, finally;

Whereas, Susana Prieto Terrazas and Gladys Lira will be speaking on a panel in San Francisco on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 1 pm (at the hall of ILWU Local 34 — 801 – 2nd St. (next to Giants’ Ballpark), to present a “First-Hand Report on the Historic Massive Strike Wave in the Maquiladoras of Northern Mexico.”

Therefore be it resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council supports the effort of the maquiladora workers along the Mexico-U.S. border to form the trade unions of their choice, and in particular the newly formed National Independent Union of Industries and Services, 20/32 Movement; and

Be it further resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council supports the fight for the reinstatement of all workers fired for their participation in the strike movement and in the effort to improve wages and working conditions in their plants; and

Therefore be it finally resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council will publicize the conference with Susana Prieto Terrazas and Gladys Lira on Saturday, July 13 in San Francisco.

[The resolution above was adopted unanimously by the July 8, 2019, Delegates Assembly of the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO). It was submitted by Alan Benjamin (OPEIU Local 29), Olga Miranda (SEIU Local 87), Conny Ford (OPEIU 29), and Mike Casey (Unite-HERE Local 2).]

* * * * * * * * * *

4) APPENDIX No. 2:
List of Demands of the Rockwell Automation Workers in Tecate, Baja California

1) A wage increase of 30% for all workers with seniority, with corresponding increases for workers in each department according to number of years worked.
2) Extra pay for Saturday work.
3) Time off for funerals and support fund for workers who lost a loved one.
4) Additional contribution to the Savings Fund, as this benefit, which used to exist, was withdrawn.
5) Make public the wage scale based on job classifications.
6) Yearly annual wage increases in accordance with Mexican law, as the company distributes increases based on favoritism.
7) Increases in food vouchers, punctuality and attendance bonuses, as there has been no increase for at least 17 years.
8) Rotate supervisors every six months; keeping them on one team year after year does not allow correct evaluations and tends to favor favoritism.
9) Open the company’s books. We want to see the company’s real profits, as our wages have been kept low while we are certain that profits have soared.
10) If there are real business-plan changes, let the workers know what they are.
11) Stop the abuses by foremen and supervisors, return the right to use cell phones during the rest hours to communicate with our families.
12) Stop the abusive plant-gate security searches; they check us as if we were prisoners, they violate our rights because they ask us to lift up our shirts, we feel harassed, they violate our integrity.
13) Better workstations
14) Publish the upward mobility charts.
15) Improve safety for workers on the shop floor.
16) Ensure that the workers are listened to, which is not happening with Human Resources.
17) Set up an internal committee elected by the workers themselves.
18) Provide childcare.
19) Provide adequate rest areas for the more than 800 workers in the plant.
20) Perform an audit as to why worker turnover is so high, and do something about it.

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