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From Campaign.for.Labor.Rights@tao.ca, clr@igc.apc.org
Date Fri, 18 Dec 1998 01:53:25 -0500


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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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Tijuana, Mexico: Enrique Hernandez Felix, General Secretary of the  6th of
October Union of Workers in Industry & Commerce (the union representing 
the
Han Young workers) and Jose Angel Penaflor, the lawyer for the union, were
arrested this morning. This is part of an ongoing pattern of repression 
and
violations of human rights and Mexican labor law by officials of the 
Mexican
government. We hope to be able to post more information - as well as an
action request - soon, when we can consult further with the Support
Committee for Maquiladora Workers.

Meanwhile, local activists are urged to continue their leafleting 
activities
at Hyundai Motors dealerships. (Han Young produces chassis for another
division of Hyundai, which assembles tractor trailers.)

Background Information

Located in Tijuana, Mexico, the Han Young factory welds chassis for nearby
Hyundai operations, where the chassis are assembled into tractor trailers
("semi's"). Since June of 1997, workers at Han Young have been struggling 
to
win representation for an independent union and to get management to 
bargain
a new contract. Core issues are substandard wages (many skilled welders
receive the equivalent of only $4 US / $5.70 a day Canadian for a 10- to
11-hour shift) and life-threatening health and safety issues (totally
inadequate safety equipment, lack of ventilation for toxic gases, having 
to
stand in puddles of water while using high voltage equipment with frayed
cables, decrepit cranes which drop their loads without warning or swing
wildly out of control).

A clear majority of the workers has voted three times to be represented by
an independent union. The workers have stood firm in the face of armed
thugs, bribes, firings, disinformation campaigns and a host of illegal
actions by management and government officials in Mexico. The workers won
certification of their union in January after a 26-day hunger strike, but
management has refused to negotiate a contract with the independent 
October
6 union. Since May 22 of this year, when the previous contract expired,
virtually the entire regular workforce at Han Young has been on strike.

Throughout this struggle, international pressure has remained strong. The
two essential elements of international solidarity are: political pressure
on the Mexican federal government to enforce its own labor law and 
economic
pressure on Hyundai to use its considerable leverage with Han Young, which
produces only for Hyundai.

Labor Alerts: a service of Campaign for Labor Rights
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to CLR@igc.org
Web site: www.summersault.com/~agj/clr
Phone: (541) 344-5410   Fax: (541) 431-0523
Membership/newsletter: Send $35.00 to Campaign for Labor Rights, 1247 "E"
Street SE, Washington, DC 20003. Sample newsletter available on request.



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