Mick | 21.03.2003 12:16
(From United Students Against Sweatshops)
This is brief, because the situation is urgent: we have asked before for your support of the workers at the Matamoros Garment factory in Puebla, Mexico, who are seeking to form an independent union called SITEMAG, and the situation there has reached a crisis. This week, management informed workers that the plant would close on Thursday, March 20th -- which just happens to be the day that when the 60-day waiting period is up for the Local Labor Board to notify SITEMAG whether their petition for legal recognition will be recognized.
This seems to be a clear case of union-busting, and it is absolutely vital to support the workers at this juncture. When workers first struck for an independent union, factory management responded by informing the workers that as a result of their actions, well-known German sportwear company PUMA terminated its contract. International pressure succeeded in forcing PUMA to announce that it would place new orders at the factory. Yet now, Matamoros Garment director John Whittinghill and PUMA executive Reiner Hengstmann are both in Los Angeles, refusing to meet or discuss this latest and most serious attempt to thwart independent union organizing.
Workers believe that Matamoros Garment, PUMA, the Local Labor Board, the government-affiliated union C.T.M., and perhaps even the Izúcar de Matamoros government and the Puebla state government have consciously orchestrated the events of this ill-fated week, including the intentional denial of legal recognition to SITEMAG. We must force PUMA and the city government of Izúcar de Matamoros to solve this crisis by legally recognizing the union and assuring the continued employment of the workers of Matamoros.
Please take action immediately and pass this on to many others! We already know that international pressure can work, and we need your help and solidarity to make it happen.
Just click on this URL to send a protest email to the Mexican authorities, Puma and others trading at Matamoros.
More info at www.nosweat.org.uk