While the Mexican government battles striking teachers, sometimes violently, other Mexican workers are engaged in job actions on the border.
Their targets are multinationals, including some who moved operations from the U.S. to Mexico in the wake of NAFTA.
From Frontera NorteSur:
After a hiatus of several months, public protests by border factory (maquiladora) workers in Ciudad Juarez are back. On Saturday morning, July 9, as many as 1,000 workers from Johnson Controls, Eagle Ottawa, Lear, Foxconn and other companies staged a spirited march through the city’s downtown, culminating in an hour-long blockade of the Santa Fe Bridge connecting to neighboring El Paso, Texas.
One placard carried by a protester simply read “Justice for the Working Class.” Banners proclaiming the new labor advocacy organization Obrer@s Maquiler@s de Ciudad Juarez, or Ciudad Juarez Maquiladora Workers, were unfurled at the bridge’s entrance.
The protest occurred during a peak crossing time when vehicular traffic from Juarez to El Paso frequently backs up, even under normal circumstances. Tempers flared when a man in a car with New Mexico license plates attempted to drive through the protesting crowd, but no injuries ensued.
“This is a struggle for a salary increase, to improve the wages in the maquiladoras,” labor attorney Susana Prieto was quoted in the Juarez daily Norte. “There are now employees of different companies in the movement and what is intended is for more and more workers to join with this struggle.”