(en) Mexican Labor News, Vol. II, No.

Tue, 07 Oct 1997 13:34:50 +0100 (BST)

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

MEXICAN LABOR NEWS AND ANALYSIS=0D October 2, 1997=0D Vol. II, No. 18=0D -----------------------------------------------------------------=0D About Mexican Labor News and Analysis=0D =0D Mexican Labor News and Analysis is produced in collaboration=0D with the Authentic Labor Front (Frente Autentico del Trabajo -=0D FAT) of Mexico and with the United Electrical Workers (UE) of the=0D United States and is published the 2nd and 16th of every month. =0D =0D MLNA can be viewed at the UE's international web site:=0D HTTP://www.igc.apc.org/unitedelect/. For information about direct=0D subscription, submission of articles, and all queries contact=0D editor Dan La Botz at the following e-mail address:=0D 103144.2651@compuserve.com or call in the U.S. (513) 961-8722.=0D The U.S. mailing address is: Dan La Botz, Mexican Labor News and=0D Analysis, 3436 Morrison Place, Cincinnati, OH 45220.=0D =0D MLNA articles may be reprinted by other electronic or print=0D media, but we ask that you credit Mexican Labor News and Analysis=0D and give the UE home page location and Dan La Botz's compuserve=0D address.=0D =0D The UE Home Page which displays Mexican Labor News and=0D Analysis has an INDEX of back issues and an URGENT ACTION ALERT=0D section.=0D =0D Staff: Editor, Dan La Botz; Correspondents in Mexico: Sarah=0D Livingston, Dag MacLeod; Jorge Robles; Sam Smucker.=0D ----------------------------------------------------------------=0D *Petroleum Workers Launch Movement for Union Democracy=0D *Teacher Dissidents Propose Unified Opposition Slate=0D *Laguna Verde Nuclear Workers Fight for Pay, Mourn Death=0D *Han Young Maquiladora Workers to Vote in Historic Election=0D *FAT Proposes Democratic Structure for New Labor Federation=0D *ITAPSA-EICHLIN Workers--The Struggle Continues=0D *CONALEP Workers Win Right to Register in Part A=0D *Decentralization of Secretary of Health or "Neoliberalitis"=0D *Sugar Workers Set Strike Date, Seize Plant=0D *Agricultural Employers Want to Change Child Labor Practices=0D *International Labor Solidarity--and Art! =0D *Taking the Measure of NAFTA=0D *Social Statistics=0D ----------------------------------------------------------------=0D PETROLEUM WORKERS LAUNCH MOVEMENT=0D FOR UNION DEMOCRACY AND REFORM=0D =0D Members of Local 35 of the Mexican Union of Petroleum=0D Workers (STPRM) based in Tula, Hidalgo, with the support of=0D various organizations of civil society, have launched a movement=0D for democracy and reform in the oil workers union. Local 35=0D elections should take place in October, but the local executive=0D board has yet to announce the date of the election. =0D =0D The oil workers are demanding the right to a secret vote in=0D order to change the local and national executive committees of=0D the union. At present, oil workers must put their names, employee=0D numbers, and workplaces on their union ballots. "Under this=0D system, union opposition is impossible, because reprisals are=0D taken against union dissidents," said an organizer of the new=0D reform movement.=0D =0D Reform in the Petroleum Workers Union is long overdue. From=0D the 1960s to the 1980s, the oil workers was one of the most=0D powerful, but also corrupt and bureaucratic labor organizations=0D in Mexico, under its leader Joaquin Hernandez Galicia, known as=0D "La Quina." Then on January 10, 1989, former President Salinas de=0D Gortari sent police and army units to attack union offices and=0D arrest La Quina and other leaders of the Petroleum Workers Union.=0D The government tried and jailed most of them on charges of=0D illegal possession of weapons. =0D =0D Salinas then imposed a new union leadership which, working=0D with the government-owned Mexican Petroleum Company (PEMEX),=0D wrote flexible contracts. The PEMEX workforce was reduced from=0D about 180,000 to about 80,000; technical and professional workers=0D were removed form the union and made confidential employees; job=0D descriptions were re-written and work rules changed. Petroleum=0D workers have yet to recover form the 1989 government-management=0D coup. But now they are trying.=0D =0D In order to insure a fair election in Local 35, the=0D reformers have created the Committee of Independent Observers=0D (COI) made up of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Because=0D of fear of reprisals, the launching of this new movement took=0D place in Mexico city at the Roman Catholic "Miguel Augustin Pro=0D Juarez" Center for Human Rights. =0D =0D Also supporting the workers are: the Jesuit Center for=0D Reflection and Labor Action (CEREAL), the National Association of=0D Democratic Attorneys (ANAD), the Civic Alliance (AC), the=0D Citizens Movement for Democracy (MCD), the Workers' University=0D (UO), the Authentic Labor Front (FAT), the "Ignacio Martin-Baro"=0D Human Rights Group, and the Promoters of Human Rights of the=0D Union of Workers of the National Autonomous University (STUNAM).=0D =0D The dissidents claim to have the support of 200 of the 3,000=0D members of Local 35. The oil workers union is made up of 36 local=0D unions. In the past reform movements in the Petroleum Workers=0D Union have usually either been smashed or isolated. This new=0D movement in Local 35 represents a modest beginning, but it could=0D be the start of an important new union reform movement.=0D =0D ### =0D TEACHER DISSIDENTS PROPOSE=0D UNIFIED OPPOSITION SLATE=0D =0D The various dissident groups within the Teachers Union (el=0D SNTE) appear to be moving toward a coalition in order to=0D challenge the group headed by Humberto Davila Esquivel which now=0D controls the union. =0D =0D Leaders of both the Democratic Fractions and la CNTE have=0D called for an alliance to overturn state and national leaders of=0D the Teachers Union.=0D =0D La CNTE leaders are calling upon other dissidents current=0D within the union to join them in forming a Movement for Union=0D Democratization (Movimiento por la Democratizacion Sindical)=0D which would involved "all the educational workers in the=0D country."=0D =0D The dissidents teachers have a new sense of power now that=0D some of their leaders have been elected to congress. Jesus Martin=0D del Campo, a congressman for the Party of the Democratic=0D Revolution (PRD), inaugurated the Democratic Fractions meeting in=0D early September. Raul Arroyo, a leader of Local 9 of the SNTE,=0D and of the dissident la CNTE, is also a congressman for the PRD,=0D who will play an important role in la CNTE's convention in mid-=0D October.=0D =0D At the same time, some teachers have become more deeply=0D involved in the new Zapatista Front for National Liberation=0D (FZLN) convened by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation=0D (EZLN). Some 2,000 teachers from Locals 9, 10 and 11 of SNTE in=0D Mexico City decided to attend the FZLN founding meetings in the=0D capital in the second week of September rather than go to work.=0D Jorge Chona Portillo, Local 9 and of la CNTE said that teachers,=0D voluntarily and as individuals, skipped classes in order to=0D participate in the FZLN sessions, understanding that they would=0D be docked pay.=0D =0D What appears to be happening is a convergence of the union=0D dissidents of the Democratic Fractions and la CNTE, at the same=0D time as the union activists move toward taking a greater role in=0D the FZLN and the PRD. The teachers thus stand at the center of=0D Mexico's radical reform movements.=0D =0D ###=0D =0D LAGUNA VERDE NUCLEAR WORKERS=0D FIGHT FOR SEVERANCE, MOURN FELLOW WORKER=0D =0D A group of about 70 laid-off nuclear workers from the Laguna=0D Verde nuclear plant in Veracruz carried out protests and=0D demonstrations in Mexico City during the month of September,=0D seeking to win their severance pay. At the same time, a former=0D worker at the plant died of lung disease, possibly from exposure=0D to nuclear materials, activists claim.=0D =0D The seventy former nuclear workers seized the Federal=0D Electrical Commission (CFE) facilities in Mexico City to demand=0D their severance pay and other benefits. Also present at their=0D seizure of the facility were the National Association of=0D Democratic Attorneys (ANAD), the May First Inter-Union Group, and=0D a member of labor affairs commission of the Senate from the Party=0D of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).=0D =0D The 70 workers claim to represent some 3,000 workers who=0D beginning in 1994 were laid off by the Laguna Verde plant. The=0D CFE claims that the workers were originally hired as temporary=0D construction workers, and therefore were not entitled to regular=0D severance pay. The workers say that as a result of those layoffs=0D 500 of the 3,000 unemployed nuclear workers are now destitute. =0D =0D The CFE told the protesters that they should see the Federal=0D Board of Conciliation and Arbitration which is responsible for=0D their case. The CFE says that it is attending to 207 workers who=0D were entitled to such severance pay, but that the others have no=0D claim.=0D =0D Union Sides with Management=0D =0D The workers' union, the Sole Union of Electrical Workers of=0D the Mexican Republic (SUTERM) supports management's position,=0D claiming that workers were aware when they were hired that they=0D were temporary employees with no rights to severance. SUTERM=0D spokespersons explained that the workers had signed what is=0D called a "contract for work" (contrato por obra), which provides=0D that they have no severance rights when their work is completed.=0D Therefore, said union leaders, the workers have no case=0D whatsoever. SUTERM leaders suggested that the workers were being=0D manipulated by "political interests." =0D =0D These "contracts for work" were negotiated when Leonardo=0D Rodriguez Alcaine, now general secretary of the Confederation of=0D Mexican Workers (CTM), was the head of SUTERM.=0D =0D Many of the laid-off workers worked in the plant's safety=0D program in areas such as the "Plan for External Radiological=0D Emergencies," the implementation of emergency shelters in case of=0D accidents, and the fire-brigades. The laid-off workers claim that=0D their jobs were contracted out to workers who have not had=0D adequate training to carry out those safety programs.=0D =0D Nuclear Worker Dies--Why?=0D =0D As those nuclear workers protested, Jose Luis Lopez Islas, a=0D former worker at the Laguna Verde nuclear plant, died of=0D pulmonary fibrosis of unknown etiology at the Adolfo Ruiz=0D Cortines National Medical Center in Veracruz. Lopez Islas had=0D worked at the plant since 1981, and for the last eight years had=0D been assigned to the control and warehousing of radioactive=0D materials, along with several hundred other workers.=0D =0D Lopez Islas's widow, Micaela Tellez, and the leader of the=0D Committee of Laid-off Workers, Angel Azamar Herrera, believe=0D Lopez Islas died of exposure to radioactive material, and hold=0D the CFE, the Mexican Institute of Social Security, and SUTERM=0D responsible for the head of Lopez Islas and other nuclear=0D workers. They also claim that two other workers, Felix Ortega=0D Reyes and Marco Antonio Dominguez Flores, died in recent years=0D because of exposure to radioactive materials.=0D =0D ###=0D =0D HAN YOUNG MAQUILADORA WORKERS =0D TO VOTE IN HISTORIC ELECTION=0D =0D Workers at the Han Young factory near Tijuana will have an=0D opportunity to vote for union representation in a government-run=0D election on October 6. Han Young is a feeder plant producing=0D chasis for the Hyundai tractor-trailer plant which is also=0D located near Tijuana.=0D =0D On September 9 Han Young fired four workers in an attempt to=0D intimidate employees involved in a union organizing drive. The=0D workers responded by joining a demonstration in San Diego,=0D California in front of the office of the Hyundai Precision=0D America offices. The workers were joined by the Support Committee=0D for Maquiladora Workers of San Diego, a committee involving labor=0D unions from the United States and Canada. =0D =0D Mary Tong, a spokesperson of the San Diego Support Committee=0D explained that the workers' movement began because the company=0D paid them starvation wages. Workers also complained that sick and=0D injured workers in the plant who receive no medical attention.=0D =0D When in the past workers in Tijuana have attempted to=0D organize independent unions they have been fired and threatened=0D or beaten by employer or union goons while the Mexican labor=0D authorities have done little or nothing to protect their rights.=0D The Han Young workers' election takes on historic significance as=0D maquiladora workers attempt to begin to build a genuine union=0D movement.=0D ###=0D =0D FAT MAKES PROPOSES DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURE=0D FOR NEW LABOR FEDERATION=0D =0D The Authentic Labor Front (FAT), a federation of labor=0D unions and cooperatives which participated in the recent National=0D Workers Assembly, will propose democratic processes and=0D structures for the new labor federation, the National Union of=0D Workers (UNT).=0D =0D "We will propose that the process of establishing the new=0D federation be a longer, slower one, in order to involve the=0D unions' rank and file members," said FAT leader Antonio Villalba.=0D "We will also suggested a collegial leadership with eight=0D presidents, rather than one general secretary or president." The=0D FAT itself has a three-person leadership team, of which Villalba=0D is one.=0D ###=0D =0D ITAPSA WORKERS: DESPITE THUGS,=0D STRUGGLE CONTINUES=0D =0D by Sam Smucker=0D =0D Workers at ITAPSA, a plant owned by the Connecticut-based=0D Eichlin Corporation, continue their fight against that company=0D and the Confederation of Mexican Workers(CTM). ITAPSA workers had=0D organized to leave the CTM and join the Union of Workers in=0D Metal, Iron, Steel Industry(STIMHACS) which is affiliated with=0D the Authentic Worker's Front(FAT). But ITAPSA and the CTM=0D prevented them from doing so. =0D =0D On September 9, the day of the election, Eichlin management=0D allowed armed men in civilian clothes to patrol the factory while=0D the CTM paid more than 100 young thugs to threaten and physically=0D abuse ITAPSA workers, forcing them to vote for the CTM. The CTM=0D reportedly paid the thugs 400 pesos each, or about fifty U.S.=0D dollars for a day's work.=0D =0D All of the fired workers have filed individual criminal=0D complaints with the local police against ITAPSA and the CTM.=0D =0D The FAT as a union is filing a complaint with the Board of=0D Conciliation and Arbitration (JFCA), the equivalent of the labor=0D board. The union is asking that the election be nullified and=0D that another election be held under conditions free from=0D intimidation.=0D =0D All of the fired workers are filing complaints with the=0D Board against ITAPSA-Eichlin for illegally firing them for their=0D union activities. They are demanding reinstallation or=0D compensation.=0D ###=0D =0D DECENTRALIZATION OF SECRETARY OF HEALTH;=0D EPIDEMIC OF "NEOLIBERALITIS" HITS UNIONS=0D =0D The Secretary of Health Ramon de la Fuente says that his=0D current program of decentralization will break with the old=0D centralized and inequitable structure, will promote federalism,=0D fight poverty, and will advance social participation, democracy,=0D and social justice. But so far, it does not seem to be working=0D out that way. =0D =0D In hearings in the Congress, the Party of the Democratic=0D Revolution (PRD), stated that the most dangerous disease in=0D Mexico, "incurable and deadly," is "neoliberalitis" caused by an=0D authoritarian and anti-popular regime. Decentralization seems to=0D linked to the disease.=0D =0D Decentralization, the change from a federal to a state-based=0D system, will eventually lead to the transfer of 120,000 workers=0D and seven thousand pieces of real estate, such as hospitals,=0D clinics, health centers and offices. This will be accompanied by=0D a complete reorganization of these public health facilities.=0D =0D The Secretary of Health hospitals and clinics are taking=0D advantage of decentralization to change the rules of the game for=0D unions and workers. For example, following the new=0D decentralization plan, the State of Tamaulipas on the Gulf Coast,=0D created a new state Health Services department. Then Tamaulipas=0D Health Services said it wouldn't recognize, negotiate with, nor=0D abide by the contract with the union at Hospital Civil in Ciudad=0D Victoria, Tampualipas.=0D =0D Since 1970 workers at Hospital Civil have been represented=0D by the Union of Employees and Nurses of the Clinics, Offices, and=0D Hospitals (SEECCHCS), which today has 268 active and 58 retired=0D members. The new Tamaulipas Health Services decided, in violation=0D of the existing contract, that it would no longer provide=0D uniforms and shoes, and would not pay vacation days. When workers=0D protested the unilateral retraction of recognition of their union=0D and contract, 97 were fired, though 30 were later reinstated. =0D =0D The union and the workers responded by calling a strike on=0D September 17. While the union had informed management in order to=0D arrange for the transfer of patients, management failed to do so,=0D and then accused the union of holding some 40 patients hostage. =0D =0D Similarly, in the neighboring state of Veracruz, workers of=0D the Doctor Rafael Lucio Medical Specialties Center found that=0D their new state employer also refused to recognize their union or=0D contract, resulting in another labor conflict. They asked for the=0D intervention of the Congress.=0D =0D So, de la Fuente's claim that decentralization means=0D democracy and social justice seems less likely than the PRD's=0D claim that "neoliberalitis" is a very serious illness indeed.=0D =0D ###=0D =0D CONALEP WORKERS WIN RIGHT=0D TO REGISTRATION IN PART A=0D =0D Mexican labor law divides labor unions into two different=0D categories: those registered in Part A (Apartado A) and Part B=0D (Apartado B). Unions in the private sector fall in Part A and=0D theoretically have the right to strike, collective bargaining and=0D contract. Unions in the public sector fall in Part B and do not=0D enjoy any of those rights in full.=0D =0D For years, the democratic labor movement in Mexico has=0D argued that assignment of a union and its workers to Part A or=0D Part B was often arbitrary, and that in any case all unions and=0D workers should enjoy the same rights. Many unions have attempted=0D to escape Part B and enter Part A, but have usually failed.=0D =0D Now, however, it seems that some groups of workers are=0D beginning to win the right to registration under Part A. =0D =0D The 17,000 workers at CONALEP, the National College of=0D Technical and Professional Education, had earlier been denied the=0D right to register under Part A. However, they appealed the ruling=0D to the Mexican Supreme Court, which on September 23 granted the=0D workers an "amparo," or support for their registration under Part=0D A.=0D =0D Also, recently the workers of the Mexican Petroleum=0D Institute succeeded in moving from Part B to Part A, after a=0D series of negotiations between the union, company and the=0D government.=0D =0D The CONALEP workers have won a real legal victory for what=0D Mexicans call "libertad sindical," union freedom. But even with=0D Part A rights, it will take a revitalized labor movement to=0D defend workers' rights.=0D ###=0D =0D SUGAR WORKERS SET STRIKE DATE;=0D SEIZE PLANT IN MORELOS=0D =0D The Mexican Sugar Workers Union (SNTIAASRM) announced that=0D it will strike on November 15, unless employers grant a 45=0D percent wage increase to the union's 35,000 members employed at=0D 61 sugar refineries. The union leaders said the 45 percent figure=0D was "negotiable." At their National Council meeting, the sugar=0D workers pledged their support for Leonardo Rodriguez Alcaine to=0D leader the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM until the year=0D 2004).=0D =0D At the same time about 1,500 dissident sugar workers have=0D maintained a sit-in at the National Legislative Palace, demanding=0D that Enrique Ramos Rodriguez, head of the sugar workers give an=0D accounting of the six-billion-peso sugar workers' fund.=0D =0D At the same time, 400 workers led by the executive board of=0D Local 72 of the Sugar Workers seized the "Emiliano Zapata" sugar=0D refinery in Zacatepec, Morelos on September 21 and held it for=0D several days. They were protesting threats of layoffs at the=0D plant announced by the Escorpion sugar consortium, according to=0D union leader Cristobal Contreras Cabrera. The union decided to=0D seize the plant in order to deny entrance to 100 outside workers,=0D employees of a company to which the repairs had been contracted=0D out.=0D ###=0D =0D SOCIAL SECURITY WORKERS=0D SEEK WAGE INCREASE ABOVE 20%=0D =0D Antonio Rosado Garcia, head of the National Union of Social=0D Security Workers (SNTIMSS), says that his union is seeking a=0D salary increase "well above" the 20 percent won by others unions.=0D The union has demanded that 49 percent of the total Social=0D Security (IMSS) budget go towards labor costs, that is 112=0D billion pesos. =0D =0D The union, which represents 380,000 workers, has set an=0D October 16 strike deadline. =0D =0D The union is also asking the government to fund and fill the=0D 14,000 Social Security positions which remain vacant. The union=0D suggests the government could do that by reducing the number of=0D confidential employees. =0D =0D In support of these demands, 5,000 IMSS workers marched to=0D the Monument of the Revolution in Mexico City on September 18,=0D while at the same time 1,000 marched in Zacatecas, capital of the=0D state of Zacatecas, and another 800 marched in Tepic, capital of=0D Nayarit. Other IMSS workers also demonstrated in other cities.=0D =0D ###=0D =0D AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYERS CALL FOR CHANGE IN CHILD LABOR=0D TO PREVENT BOYCOTT OF MEXICAN CROPS=0D =0D The president of the Agricultural Association of the State=0D of Sinaloa, Luis Cardenas Fonseca, has called upon employers to=0D refrain from contracting workers less than ten years old.=0D Cardenas Fonseca fears that the employment of minors could lead=0D the U.S. government, employers or other organizations to call for=0D a boycott of Mexican products produced by children. =0D =0D Sinaloa produces 900 million U.S. dollars worth of red=0D tomatoes and other agricultural produce each season. Much of the=0D field work is done by 180,000 migratory workers, such as Mixtec=0D Indians from Oaxaca, who work in the Sinaloa fields, every man,=0D woman--and child. =0D =0D Cardenas Fonseca said the employers will cooperate with the=0D workers to establish schools and day care centers for children up=0D to the age of nine. Children ten and older would apparently still=0D be contracted for work and labor in the fields with adults.=0D =0D Diego Aguilar Acuna, leader of the National Union of Wage=0D Workers of the Fields (Sindicato Nacional de Asalariados del=0D Campo) said that child labor in the fields is a long-established=0D practice, and that workers from Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero and=0D Jalisco expect to be able to contract their entire family. He=0D said the child workers act as helpers, bringing water and tools=0D to the adult workers. But given the trade war with Florida=0D tomatoes, he said, it may be necessary to do without the=0D children.=0D =0D Neither the employers nor the unions have raised the idea=0D that all children under seventeen should be excluded from the=0D fields. Apparently for the employers and the existing unions,=0D adulthood and work begin at ten years of age.=0D =0D ###=0D =0D WORKERS AT KROMSCHRODER DE MEXICO=0D ASK FOR JUSTICE=0D =0D [The following letter was published in EL FINANCIERO, a Mexico=0D City daily financial newspaper on September 15, 1997.]=0D =0D Dear Editor,=0D =0D By means of this letter, once again we turn to you to make=0D our problems known.=0D =0D We are a group of 17 workers of the firm Kromschroder de=0D Mexico, SA--engaged in the production and sale of gas meters--on=0D strike since last July 24. Our Conciliation and Arbitration Board=0D case number is HC4/67/97 in Toluca, State of Mexico.=0D =0D Our strike began because of the following irregularities:=0D --holding back of wages;=0D --violation of the collective bargaining agreement;=0D --failure to pay the coupons due every four months;=0D --failure to pay the retroactive pay increase due;=0D --failure to pay vacations;=0D --failure to update modifications of our wages with the=0D Social Security;=0D --failure of the company to make payments to INFONAVIT [the=0D government program for workers' housing].=0D =0D The holding back of our wages began two years ago, the=0D company paying a little bit at a time. We workers decided on this=0D strike in order to make them respect our rights, as the law=0D dictates, and so far we have received no response, neither from=0D the employer nor from the union. The latter give us evasive=0D responses and we have no one to advise us, we don't have=0D resources to hire a lawyer who might solve our problems. That's=0D why we're asking your help so that the authorities who are=0D responsible will give us, if not a resolution, at least a=0D response, since we have become desperate because of this=0D situation which we face.=0D =0D The union we belong to is FRET, located at Auer 68, colonia=0D Vallejo Poniente, Federal District. The factory is located on=0D avenida Industrial 30, Zona Industrial Cumatla, Cuautitlan=0D Izcalli, Estado de Mexico.=0D =0D We who find ourselves in this situation are: Fortino=0D Martinez, Daniel Soria Hernandez, Margarita Gonzalez Hernandez,=0D Margarita Gonzalez Austria, Ana Ma. Rivera Juarez, Imelda Garcia=0D H., Ma. Eugenia Trinidad H., Guadalupe Ocegueda Torres, Aurea=0D Martinez Jimenez, Angeles Cajas Chavez, Angela Vela Cheguis, Ma.=0D Ascencion Ramirez Juarez, Rocio Alcantara, Elena Palacios,=0D Serapia Ibarra.=0D Magdalena Mendez Dominguez.=0D =0D ###=0D =0D INTERNATIONAL LABOR SOLIDARITY AND ART:=0D FROM MEXICO CITY TO CHICAGO=0D =0D The second half of an ambitious cross-border, labor=0D -community cultural project came to an exciting conclusion on=0D September 17th when a mural executed by renowned Mexican muralist=0D Daniel Manrique of Tepito Arte Aca was unveiled on the southern=0D exterior wall of the UE District 11 hall in Chicago. Manrique was=0D assisted by three young muralist from the Chicago Public Art=0D Group, a co-sponsor of the project. =0D =0D Designed to give visual expression to international=0D solidarity, the murals are a project of the pioneering=0D cross-border Strategic Organizing Alliance between UE and the=0D FAT, which is an effort to build a new kind of international=0D solidarity focused on organizing. =0D =0D The colorful mural is entitled "Hands in Solidarity - Hands=0D of Freedom." Its powerful imagery is described by the artist in=0D a section at the bottom left of the mural: "The female on the=0D left is solidarity, her open right hand symbolizes honesty and=0D purity of spirit; the other hand holds a bolt of lightening which=0D is a symbol of electricity and energy. Energy and purity of=0D spirit generate union, represented by the clasped hands. The two=0D large hands symbolize the strength to prepare for solidarity and=0D freedom. The two faces on the right represent the racial and=0D cultural diversity of the working class. The two smaller hands=0D express the call to organize and the power of the union. =0D The group of figures signifies the freedom of working in=0D solidarity."=0D =0D The inauguration took place at the UE Hall in Chicago and=0D was designed to celebrate the murals through poetry, music and=0D speeches, and to give voice to the common needs, aspirations,=0D and demands for economic and social justice of working people in=0D ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Anarchism and Irish Politics http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2419

Anarchy-Ireland mailing list send Subscribe anarchy-ireland to anarchy-ireland-request@unamerican.com

****** A-Infos News Service ***** News about and of interest to anarchists

Subscribe -> email MAJORDOMO@TAO.CA with the message SUBSCRIBE A-INFOS Info -> http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ Reproduce -> please include this section