Matamoros auto strike, in its 12th day, is causing shortages of parts in US Ford and GM factories—and still NO coverage in the US press

Via Joe Surkiewicz, who notes:
“News From Underground is the only place I’ve seen anything about this.”

Amid growing calls by workers for an international struggle
Companies, union appeal for federal intervention against strike in Matamoros

By our reporters 
23 January 2019

After their twelfth day of strike, tens of thousands of workers in Matamoros, México, mostly auto-parts workers, continue to paralyze almost half of the 110 “maquiladora” plants in the city.

The strike has sent shockwaves across the North American auto industry. Ford and GM workers in the United States report parts shortages to the WSWS Autoworkers Newsletter while the US and international media are censoring the strike.

Part of the mass assembly on Tuesday (Credit Cecilia Escalante)

On Tuesday, the corporations sent appeals to president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO) to intervene directly through both repression and by appealing to workers to accept a rotten compromise.

The Business Coordinating Council (CCE), which includes the largest employer groups in Mexico, sent a communiqué to López Obrador that read, “Appealing to your mandate and authority we ask for your intervention since this moment of instability that the labor and business sectors live in Matamoros can bring irreversible consequences for the region’s economy.” Shamelessly, the statement admits that “the contracts have a clause tying directly their bonuses with the minimum salary,” which the companies have refused to pay.

Shortly after, Juan Villafuerte, leader of the main union, the SJOIIM, “seconded” this call. “It’s very, very, very necessary now, the intervention of the Labor Secretary or the president himself… People will listen to no one else,” Villafuerte said to local media.

Juan Jose after attack

Calls for federal intervention come as maquiladoras threaten to lay off workers and shut production, with many workers reporting mass firings. Police and Navy officials have been deployed to intimidate strikers. On Monday evening, one striker, Juan José, was violently attacked by unidentified thugs when he was returning home after participating in a mass march.

Striking workers have responded to these calculated acts of violence with enormous bravery, continuing to attend mass assemblies and appealing for greater unity and coordination among workers for protection and for the strike to expand.

Behind the workers’ backs, the companies are carrying out secret discussions with the trade unions and government officials to suffocate the strike. The demands of the workers for a 20 percent wage increase and a $1,700 bonus have been completely rejected by the companies even though losses from the strike have far surpassed the cost of the bonus and raise.”

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