(en) Mexico solidarity request vs Canadian company

Aaron (aaron@burn.ucsd.edu)
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 04:22:14 -0400

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Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 14:10:38 -0700 (PDT) From: Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras <cjm@igc.apc.org> Subject: Urgent fax


We sent you this fax request previously. However, some minor details have been corrected, which we have done in this updated version. Thanks for your response.

CUSTOM TRIM WORKER'S FAMILY RECEIVES DEATH THREAT! CJM is urgently requesting that letters of protest be sent on behalf of Salvador Bravo, a former worker of Custom Trim Ltd, in response to death threats that he, his wife and their two year old daughter have received. Salvador, 24, worked until recently at the Custom Trim's auto parts maquiladora in Valle Hermoso, his home town. He was fired on June 2 along with 27 other workers who were involved in a strike of all 240 Custom Trim employees for better wages and working conditions. Custom Trim fired the 28 workers despite a signed back-to-work agreement in which they agreed to permit the strikers to return to their jobs.

In mid-August, Salvador was invited by the United Steelworkers of America (Canadian national office and USWA Local #1090) to participate in a "jobs with justice" solidarity campaign, meeting with Canadian workers of the Custom Trim company and calling attention to the plight of workers in Mexico before a wide audience in Canada. Custom Trim workers in Canada are represented by the Steelworkers. But when Salvador returned to Valle Hermoso, he was "invited" on Thursday, September 4th to come speak to the mayor of Valle Hermoso about his trip. Told by the mayor and two unknown men that they already knew all about who was "behind" the Custom Trim workers, they pressured him with threatening questions: why did he go, with whom had he spoken, what did he say? Salvador insisted that the important issue was not his going to Canada, but instead why it was that Custom Trim was allowed to violate its back-to-work agreements and deprive 28 workers of their living.

The next day, Friday September 5, two men arrived at Salvador's house and told his wife, 18-year old San Juana Lopez, that they needed to speak with him. She told them that Salvador was not home, and they waited for him some 30 minutes before giving up. The next day, Saturday September 6, the two men returned, and again Salvador was not home. They asked San Juana numerous questions regarding his whereabouts, but they left when she asked that they show some form of identification. On Monday, September 8, the men returned and told her that Salvador had better "not open his mouth or she [San Juana] would pay the consequences."

On Wednesday, September 10, Salvador tried to file a criminal complaint before the local Public Magistrate's office, calling for an investigation of the threats; however, the authorities refused to accept his accusation, reportedly because the mayor was allegedly involved. This is an extradordinary violation of their duties as legal authorities. Salvador has decided to work with a lawyer to file a formal complaint. Meanwhile, his wife and child have left Valle Hermoso and gone into hiding.

CJM asks that letters of protest be sent, demanding:

***an investigation of the threats made or implied against Salvador Bravo, San Juana Lopez and their daughter, and prosectution of those responsible.

***a guarantee that Manuel Salvador Bravo's and other fired Custom Trim workers's right to freedom of speech and freedom of association be upheld.

***that the role of the government of the state of Tamaulipas in intimidating workers' be investigated, and that Manuel Cavazos Lerma be held responsible for the well-being of all of the Custom Trim workers.

***that the Custom Trim company honor its back to work agreement and hire back the fired workers. So far, the company has spent much more money defending itself against the workers than it would ever have spent if they had reinstated them with back pay.

Please send these faxes to: Maria Eugenia de Leon,Mayor of Valle Hermoso: (011-52-88) 42-36-19 Valle Hermoso's Public Magistrate's Office: (011-52-88) 42-02-17 Governor Manuel Cavazos Lerma: (011-52 13) 12-34-92. Custom Trim Ltd. (519) 576-0204 CJM: 210-732-8324

---------------- End of forwarded message ---------------

Comment by Aaron: It seems to me that faxes aren't enough, and that direct action should be taken against Custom Trim Ltd. in Canada. This should include some kind of job action by the USW -- which invited Salvador Bravo to Canada -- but could also include whatever creative and effective action that anarchists and other radicals can pull off. While workers who organize against them, and their families, are being harassed and threatened, these capitalist scum should not be allowed to feel safe in their own homes, executive suites and country clubs.

---------- mailto:aaron@burn.ucsd.edu http://burn.ucsd.edu/~aaron

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