A union declared complete victory in a mass strike by about 25,000 employees at 48 meeting vegetation in a Mexican border metropolis, however the motion spawned a storm of wildcat walkouts Monday at different companies.
The Industrial Staff and Laborers’ Union received 20 % wage will increase in any respect 48 “maquiladora” factories in Matamoros, throughout the border from Brownsville, Texas. It additionally received a one-time bonus of about 32,000 pesos, about $1,685 at present change charges.
Now employees at a couple of dozen non-union companies in addition to factories organized by different unions have began wildcat walkouts to demand the identical will increase, identified colloquially as “20/32.”
The Tridonex auto components firm mentioned in posts on its Fb web page Monday that pickets had prevented staff from coming into its Matamoros plant and it cancelled some shifts. Video confirmed employees outdoors the plant chanting “20/32!”
The native maquiladora affiliation, referred to as Index, mentioned that every one the vegetation within the affiliation had signed labor contracts as of final week and that not one of the companies affected by the wildcat strikes are members.
Javier Guerrero, a Matamoros public relations specialist who has been energetic in strike help work, mentioned the instance set by the primary spherical of strikes has unfold to native companies, lots of which aren’t maquiladoras, which assemble merchandise for export to america.
Supermarkets, bottlers and a milk firm in Matamoros had been reportedly hit by walkouts.
“Previously week, the strike wave has unfold past the factories to supermarkets and different employers, with all the employees demanding ’20/32,'” mentioned the AFL-CIO, which has despatched a delegation to help the hanging employees.
The mass strike erupted after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador decreed a doubling of the minimal wage in Mexico’s border zones, apparently unaware that some union contracts on the maquiladora vegetation are listed to minimal wage will increase.
Whereas different Mexican cities haven’t got the identical contract clauses, for employees typically making lower than $1 an hour, the enchantment of a pay elevate and bonus has proved irresistible.
“Simply as occurred in Matamoros, it (the walkouts) unfold to different corporations and unions. It is vitally possible that it’s going to unfold to different cities, no less than throughout the border space,” Guerrero mentioned.
There was a generalized upsurge in Mexico’s long-dormant labor motion since Lopez Obrador took workplace Dec. 1, one thing the president would not seem to have deliberate on or inspired. Lopez Obrador has merely promised to maintain the federal government out of unions’ inside affairs and permit at no cost and truthful union elections.
For a union motion saved in examine for many years by pro-company union bosses allied with the previous ruling Institutional Revolutionary Get together, the promise of union democracy has been sufficient to spark a revival.
However there has already been a backlash.
“Previously week, as many as 2,000 strike leaders have been fired and blacklisted, regardless of authorized prohibitions and non-reprisal agreements signed by the employers,” mentioned the U.S. union delegation, which included representatives from the AFL-CIO, United Auto Staff and United Steelworkers.
“The Mexican and U.S. governments should each demand that these U.S. corporations honor their agreements and cease firing and blacklisting these brave employees,” mentioned Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay.
In the meantime, Lopez Obrador has been battling probably the most radical and intractable union in Mexico, the CNTE lecturers’ union, which has blocked railroad traces within the western state of Michoacan on and off for the final month.
The lecturers lifted most blockades final week however on Monday they briefly re-established a protest camp on a line operated by Kansas Metropolis Southern de Mexico.
KCSM reported that by late Monday, the camp had been eliminated and the road re-opened. However the firm mentioned that in 28 days of blockages, 414 trains had been prevented from working and three.5 million tons of freight was stalled.
The lecturers initially began the blockages to demand again pay, however they saved blocking rail traces even after they had been paid.