Monday, August 11, 2008

"Industrial Revolutions" Benefit for Mexican Workers 08/17/08

In solidarity with the independent unionists of SUTEIVP in Potosi
Mexico, Philadelphia Jobs With Justice, Philadelphia Mexican
Solidarity Group, The Defenestrator and Temple Student Labor Action
Project will be hosting a hip hop benefit show "Industrial
Revolutions" on Sunday August 17th at The Rotunda 4012 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA from 5pm-11:30pm.

Date: August 17th
Time: 5 - 10:30pm
Place: Rotunda 4012 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA


Brian Kipruto
Thomas Robinson

Words By:

Band: Taina Asili y su Banda Revelde
My Space:

Spoken Poet:Eric Yates, Philadelphia Student Union

MC: Rugged and Raw, NYC
My Space:

Spoken Poet: Daniel Jones, Philadelphia Student Union

MC: Tha Truth, Philadelphia
My Space:

Spoken Poet: Jacob Weinstein, Philly
My Space:

MC: Hasan Salaam, NJ
My Space:

MC: Son of Nun, Baltimore
My Space:

MC: Lee G
My Space:

Live Graffitti By: Will Kasso
My Space:

Beats and Grooves By:
Dj Aggro, Dj Sweet and DJ SPAM

$10 Sliding Scale

All proceeds will go towards supporting the ongoing struggle for work place democracy of the SUTEIVP (Mexican Glass Workers Union, Potosi, Mexico)

On Saturday May 3rd, a delegation of US labor and community interests
(including me!) were invited to Mexico City (Districto Federal), via
their local Mexican consulates by the office of SRE (Secretary of
Relations Abroad) and the IME (Institute of Mexicans Abroad) to be a
part of a delegation of Latino U.S. Labor representatives, comprised
of labor activists from throughout the US. This was the 55th year the
Mexican government and the IME hosted this conference, and the first
year that U.S. unions, community based labor interest groups, and
worker centers were invited to attend.

U.S. labor represented a wide variety of trades and community groups
including, TIRRC (Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition),
UFCW Local 881 (Chicago IL), Chicago Workers Collaborative, LCLAA
(Chicago Metropolitan Labor Council for the Advancement of Latin
Americans), ILA AFL-CIO (Houston, TX), KIMARI (Kentucky Institute of
Mexican American Relations), SEIU ULTCW6434 (Los Angeles CA), SEIU
Local 721 (Los Angeles CA), AFL-CIO Solidarity Center (Mexico), UFCW
Local 271 (Omaha NE), Jobs With Justice (Portland OR), Glaziers Union
Local 1324 (Saint Paul MN), Teamsters Local 136 (San Diego CA),
AFL-CIO State Building and Construction Trades (San Jose CA),
Carpenters Local 217 (San Jose CA), Carpenters Local 405 (San Jose
CA), Teamsters Local 952 (Santa Ana CA) UBC Local 9144 San Jose CA),
and the Philadelphia chapter of Jobs With Justice.

On the second day of our visit, U.S. labor representatives and
community allies were informed by Country Program Director, AFL-CIO
(Mexico) of several examples of labor/human rights abuses currently
being faced by Mexican independent unionists. That same night, we
attended a separate discussion hosted by LCLAA and the AFL-CIO
Solidarity Center with Mexican workers/independent unionists of
SUTEIVP at the Vidriera Potosi (bottle manufacturing plant workers in
San Luis Potosi, Mexico). We discovered that Grupo Modelo, (producer
of Corona), has launched an all-out assault on the independent union
at its Vidriera Potosí bottle-making plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

Grupo Modelo's, main shareholder is Maria Asunción Aramburuzabala,
who's estimated net worth is $2 billion, according to Forbes, making
her the richest woman in Latin America, and wife of the U.S.
Ambassador in Mexico, Tony O. Garza Jr. Beginning in January 2008, the
company has fired some 300 workers, including the leadership of the
independent union SUTEIVP (Sindicato Unico de Trabajadores de la
Empresa Industria Vidriera del Potosí, S.A. de C.V.), in violation of
the collective bargaining agreement, as well as Mexican and
international law. These layoffs affect over 1,500 women, elderly and
children. The company also gave a pro-employer union, the CROC (
Confederation Revolucionaria de Obreros Campesinos or Revolutionary
Confederation of Workers and Peasants), unfettered access to the
workplace. On May 9, with less than 48 hours' notice to the union, the
Federal Labor Board called an election between the CROC and the
SUTEIVP. While CROC leaders were able to hold captive audience
meetings with workers inside the plant, the fired SUTEIVP workers were
not allowed in, and the plant was surrounded by some 200 heavily armed
federal police.

The independent democratic worker led union became a political problem
for the owners of the beer company, the government of San Luis Potosí,
the Mexican federal government, the leaders of the company run unions,
and the major corporations, because word traveled quickly among Potosí
workers and across the country that this worker led organization had
recently become democratic and independent of the CTM (Confederation
of Mexican Workers). The independent union had also succeeded in
substantially bettering working conditions and raising salaries an
average of 19% in its first year of activity. The SUTEIVP became an
example for many Mexican workers, and because of their successes in
creating a democratic voice for the workers, the bosses of the
corporations, government officials, and leaders of co-opted unions
decided to destroy it.

No comments:

Post a Comment