A Request for Support from the Independent Union at VU Manufacturing in Mexico
The below is an appeal for support from auto parts workers at VU Manufacturing in the border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila. Workers there voted to form an independent union last year, and are now fighting for a first contract. They have set a strike date of February 20.
For background, check out these Labor Notes articles:
"Mexican Auto Parts Plant Is Battleground For Independent Union’s First Contract Fight" and
"Mexican Auto Parts Workers Win a Union of Their Own, Defeating Company Attempts to Impose One".
Appeal for Support for Liga Solidarity Fund
Piedras Negras, Mexico
January 28, 2023
Dear union allies, organizations, and labor activists,
We, the members of the Liga Sindical Obrera Mexicana (LSOM), the majority union as of August 31, 2022 at VU Manufacturing’s plant in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, turn to our international union sisters and brothers, as well as labor supporters, to respectfully request support for our solidarity fund. Since our union’s election victory in August 2022, VU Manufacturing has stood in opposition and denied our right to collective bargaining at the aforementioned plant.
For example, during the bargaining period, we workers have suffered from repeated, unlawful temporary layoffs initiated by the company, and forced to stay home with just 50 percent of our ordinary wages. The company is in violation of our legal right to flexible paid vacation time by forcing workers to take paid vacations when we would otherwise not elect to use our vacation days. In December, the company forced workers to sign permission slips requesting unpaid time off in order to send us on layoff and avoid paying workers anything at all while the plant ceased work during the Christmas holiday season.
For these reasons we, those signed below, as well as our co-workers, must be prepared to exercise our right to strike for a collective bargaining agreement at the company as of Monday, February 20.* We have been conducting continuous house visits with our co-workers to shore up support for the strike action. We are still hoping that the company will come to the table and negotiate more seriously for a collective bargaining agreement. However, as the company has continued to insist on negotiating in bad faith and to impose working conditions that denigrate and violate the rights of its own workers, we need to be prepared to strike.
Therefore, we kindly ask you to contribute to our solidarity fund, so that we might be able to support the families of our coworkers who find themselves most financially vulnerable during the strike period. You can make individual donations facilitated by our partner organization, the Comité Fronterizo de Obrer@s (CFO), here: https://www.atcf.org/solidarity_fund.
Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Yadira Sauceda, Secretary General, LSOM Section 1 Cristina Ramirez, Recording Secretary, LSOM Section 1 Dario Soriano, Secretary Treasurer, LSOM Section 1
Sonia Garcia, Organizing Secretary, LSOM Section 1
José Carrillo, Substitute Secretary General, LSOM Section 1 Lupita Martinez, Special Delegate, LSOM Section 1
Mary Ramirez, Special Delegate, LSOM Section 1