The following statement has been signed by the American Party of Labor in solidarity with striking workers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. All power to working people! Workplace democracy now!
Mexico City, January 20, 2019
To social organizations
To democratic unions
To the media
To the people of Mexico
For the last 30 years in Matamoros Tamaulipas, there has been a historic movement in our country. The maquiladoras (manufacturing factories and their owners) have used the unions, conciliation and arbitration boards and the government to impose their interests on the working class. This has resulted in the working class being demobilized and being granted lower incomes.
After the president announced a 100% increase to the minimum wage for workers in the border area, the 45 maquiladoras in Matamoros who have a collective contract with the Union of Day Laborers, Industrial Workers and the Maquiladora Industry (SJOIIM) disguised the increase with the elimination of benefits and have avoided complying with the provisions of the collective labor contract that obliges them to proportionally increase the wages of 40,000 workers. Meanwhile these corporations are claiming that it is not profitable to meet the demands and they also announce losses of 100 million dollars per week.
On January 12, the workers’ movement broke out, which overtook the union leaders, who wanted to agree with the company, and forced the union to call a work stoppage with the demands of annual bonus payment and a salary increase of 20 percent. As of today, the workers have stopped and taken to the streets with demonstrations and rallies. They have exposed the complicity of the union leaders and showed the repressive and illegal way in which the businessmen act, who have threatened, fired and persecuted workers, in so doing, violating their worker and human rights.
In spite of everything, the workers have decided that the strike will begin January 25. Despite days of mobilization and the importance of this movement, the national media, the secretary of labor, Luisa María Alcalde, and the president of the republic, Andrés Manuel López Obradorl have remained silent. Their silence is the result of the influence that this movement could have on the Mexican working class, because the big industies are acting illegally, making their wealth at the cost of exploitation and against the people fighting against it.
For these reasons, these signatory organizations here call on organizations, unions, collectives, peoples of Mexico and the world to make a Global Day for the Working Class of Matamoros this Friday, January 25 and to show your support for the following demands: wage increases, bond payments, reinstatement of those dismissed and against employer repression.
We call on the people to attend a broad mobilization in the CDMX on Friday, January 25 at 5pm, from the Hemicycle to Juarez to the Zócalo of the city. Solidarity and struggle with the working class! Long live the maquila strike in Matamoros!
GENERAL UNION OF WORKERS OF MEXICO (UGTM)