In a very significant victory, Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) agreed on May 30th to recognize a democratic union at one of its autoparts factories in Mexico and to end its relationship with a protection contract union about which the workers knew virtually nothing. The agreement was signed over Memorial Day weekend following a short strike by over 400 workers at JCI’s Resurrección plant and an international campaign joined by USLEAP.
On Sunday night, June 6, 2010, the Mexican government dispatched at least 2,000 members of the federal police to the striking gates of the Cananea copper mine in Northern Mexico. According to reports, about 400 police charged the mine gates at 10:00 PM and fired tear gas towards union members and began a fire in the vacant administrative building adjacent to the gates.
A volcanic eruption, gale force winds, and a major rainstorm has caused significant devastation across Guatemala. Reports are tricking in as we go to press but hundreds of people have died or are missing. Banana plantations have been hard hit, with (non-union) plantations on the Pacific coast damaged by winds and volcanic ash while tropical storm Agatha has flooded Del Monte
As the labor movement in Honduras finalizes the last minute details for the massive May Day marches that will take place in the capital of Tegucigalpa and the banana region of San Pedro Sula, nine U.S. unions send the Honduran labor movement a letter of solidarity in commemoration of International Workers' Day 2010.
The Costa Rican government is attempting to break one of the most important democratic unions in the country in order accelerate privatization of two ports, being financed by a loan from the World Bank. The state agency that administers the ports of Costa Rica has replaced the democratically-elected leadership of the union, SINTRAJAP, an affiliate of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), in an effort to turn it into an employer-run union.
Earlier this year, the Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing more than 1,000 striking mineworkers to be fired. The decision effectively eliminates the right to strike in Mexico, according to Mexican labor law experts. The AFL-CIO, the International Metalworkers Federation, and the United Steelworkers have led international support for the mineworkers union which has been on strike at the Cananea copper mine in Northern Mexico sin
In a welcome change, the Obama Administration’s proposal for foreign aid for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 would decrease funding for the Colombian military and police by 17%, from $263 million to $218 million, while making a much smaller decrease in economic aid levels, from $252 to $238.5 million, a 5% decrease.
On February 25, 2010 thousands of men, women, and children marched the streets of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in Honduras in protest against the largely unrecognized current government of Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo and the attacks against members and supporters of the National People’s Resistance Front (FNRP). The FNRP has documented at least 254 human rights violations, including murder, kidnappings and rape, since Lobo’s inauguration on January 27.
A study released on February 10, 2010 assesses the state of labor rights in El Salvador and reports widespread violations, including mistreatment of women workers in the country’s Free Trade Zones, denial of basic rights for public sector workers, a recent murder of the general secretary of a public sector union, and discriminatory employment and pay for women.