By Andrea Lobo in Mexico:
12 February 2019
A second wave of wildcat strikes continues to expand in Matamoros, Mexico, and is beginning to spread across the country. Sparked by the tens of thousands of workers at 45 maquiladora plants who rebelled last month against the pro-corporate trade unions, tens of thousands more are launching their own struggles after workers in Matamoros won a 20 percent wage increase and a $1,700 bonus.
Inspired by the initial wave, 20 additional maquiladora plants in Matamoros that were not initially on strike began their own wildcat strike last Tuesday and were joined by workers at the Coca-Cola bottling plant, three supermarkets, trash collectors and workers from other sectors.
The wildcat wave is spreading throughout the country.
Last Thursday, 680 workers at a General-Mills plant in the city of Irapuato of the central Mexican state of Guanajuato launched a four-day wildcat strike against two unjustified firings and called for the establishment of a new contract with paid vacations and improved conditions. Negotiations are ongoing.
Hundreds of teachers in the southern state of Michoacán continue to strike and block crucial railways to demand a total of $311 million in owed bonuses. …
Meanwhile, workers at the five national campuses of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UAM) are entering their tenth day of a strike to demand a 20 percent wage increase … .
As the strike wave grows in Mexico, the ruling class is warning of a “contagion” and carrying out a brutal counter-attack in Matamoros. The local maquiladora association, Index, announced last week that companies have fired more than 1,500 workers who participated in the strikes and that they plan to layoff 25,000 more within three years.
Among Matamoros workers, the most common subject on workers’ social media groups … is fighting to defend those fired and to protect against the threats of mass layoffs. At Trico Componentes, which already agreed to the demand of a raise and bonus, workers are discussing new strikes against the non-payment of the bonus. …
Reforma also reported yesterday that maquiladora employers in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, are expressing growing concerns that the strike wave will spread there. …
The strike wave in Mexico is part of a resurgence of militancy among workers internationally … .
Yesterday, 5,600 Denver teachers started their first strike in 25 years, continuing a wave of strikes by tens of thousands of teachers across several US states against decades of austerity and privatization.
State and corporate attacks escalate against workers in Matamoros, Mexico. By Andrea Lobo, 22 February 2019.