By the Puebla Workers' Support Centre (CAT)
In clear breach of both Mexican and international law, the Puebla Labour Board has refused to recognise the Tarrant garment workers' independent trade union (SUITTAR). Over the next few weeks they will rule on the reinstatement of 22 illegally sacked workers at the plant.
In defiance of the denial of its petition for legal recognition SUITTAR activists gathered on 10 October before the office of Puebla Governor, Melqu"ades Morales Flores, to angrily protest the decision and insist that their illegally fired co-workers be reinstalled as soon as possible.
Workers chanted "¡La lucha sigue... cueste lo que cueste!" (The struggle continues... no matter how much it may cost!). The independent union plans to revisit the 850 factory workers who are still employed to consolidate support for winning a collective bargaining agreement.
A significant international campaign has begun to support the Mexican workers. USAS student activists in the US recently held a week of action. An international email campaign has targeted the Tarrant bosses, firms like Levi's who use the plant, and the Puebla state officials who collaborate with the Tarrant bosses.
Alice Nutter from the rock band Chumbawamba recently visited the Tarrant workers as a member of the No Sweat delegation to Puebla. Alice comments, "The Pueblo labour board isn't an altruistic body, it has a reputation for corruption, for siding with companies and power. The board decided against the Tarrant workers on the grounds that one worker's name was spelt wrong on the application and they had been supplied with a photocopied document instead of a duplicate. Those sacked have been blacklisted as troublemakers, so there isn't much chance of finding work in maquiladoras which pay the going rate. Many of them will end up just going over the border as illegal migrants."
No Sweat meetings and events for Tarrant workers
Day of the Dead protest for Tarrant garment workers
Friday 31 October: protest at the Mexican embassy, 42 Hertford Street, London W1 (Hyde Park Corner tube), 6-7.30
Day of the Dead protest
Saturday 1 November : 11am - 2pm at Levi's store, Queen Street, Oxford. Followed by live samba at evening social, plus report back from recent No Sweat delegation to Puebla, Mexico. Morris Motors Social Club, Crescent Rd, Oxford
Tickets £3 in advance. Details 07979 241 998
Tuesday 4 November: report back on the recent No Sweat delegation which visited the maquila trade unionists at KukDong, Tarrant and Matamoros. 7 - 8.30pm , the Dogstar, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
We'll also discussing No Sweat campaigning and organisation in the London area. Come along and help!