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Ein Aufruf zur Solidarität mit den Alcoa-Arbeitern in Mexico

(Zusammenfassung einer - folgenden - Mail des American Friends Service vom 14.10)

14.000 Menschen sind in den Schwitzbuden beschäftigt, die ALCOA in den mexikanischen Städten Piedras Negras und Ciudad Acuqa betreiben lässt. Sie hatten durch die Organisation einer eigenen, unabhängigen Gewerkschaft in den letzten Jahren eine Reihe von Fortschritten erzielt, die nun einem Gegenangriff des Unternehmens zum Opfer fallen sollen.

Im Zentrum dieser Angriffe steht eben die Existenz dieser unabhängigen Gewerkschaft - mehrere Dutzend ihrer Aktivisten wurden entlassen.

Der letzte dieser Angriffe geschah am 4.Oktober als 20 Arbeiter der Weke 1 und 2 wegen ihrer gewerkschaftlichen Aktivitäten entlassen wurden, darunter Kollegen, die im März die Wahl im Betrieb gegen die korrupte CTM Gewerkschaft gewonnen haben und jene, die für die betrieblichen Wahlen im anderen Betrieb, die demnächst stattfinden sollen, für die unabhängige Gewerkschaft kandidieren.

Dieses Vorgehen wird ergänzt durch eine Pressekampagne von ALCOA und CTM, durch die Einführung der Videoüberwachung in den Betrieben und andere repressive Massnahmen.

Deswegen rufen jetzt die Beschäftigten und die entlassenen Arbeiter von ALCOA, gemeinsam mit den Grenzübergreifenden Arbeiterkomitee zu Solidaritätsaktionen zwischen dem 21.Oktober und dem 1.November auf.

Ihre Forderungen ranken sich um Wiedereinstellung und freie gewerkschaftliche Betätigung.

Dazu machen sie auch einige Aktionsvorschläge, wie unten aufgeführt.

Monday, October 14, 2002

A Call for Solidarity with Mexican Alcoa Workers

Current and fired Alcoa workers in Mexico, together with the Comiti Fronterizo de Obrer@s (CFO) urgently call for the solidarity of all supporters in the international community as they resist Alcoa's repression of their drive to form an independent and democratic union in Alcoa's Mexican maquiladoras.

"The struggle is hard but we're going to win! This will only happen if we all stick together. Please join us in our struggle. We need your support to strengthen our voice and force Alcoa to change its unfair practices. In this moment of solidarity, every bit of support is important and appreciated. We demand democracy and freedom to form our own union! We demand it now!

Vicky Martmnez, Carlos Briones, Javier Carmona, Julia Quiqonez, October 12, 2002

Your solidarity is urgent! Please help spread this message

The 14,000 workers employed at Alcoa's maquiladoras in the Mexican cities of Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuqa have been fighting successfully to organize themselves for many years. They have won important victories both collectively and individually, raising salaries and improving their working conditions. But during the last year, workers have had to defend against the company's counter-attack as Alcoa has sought to bolster profits through slashing benefits, turning back contractual gains and attacking the basic right of freedom of association and union choice.

Make Alcoa know that you do not agree with how it does business!

1. Organize protest actions at Alcoa's plants and offices in the United States. Suggested dates: Between October 21 and November 1st.
2. Contact the headquarters of Ford Motor Company, Subaru, Harley Davidson, Chrysler and General Motors. Urge these Alcoa customers to communicate with Alcoa CEO Alain Belda insisting upon a solution to the workers' problems.
3. Send a fax and e-mail to Alain Belda, CEO Alcoa Inc. Fax: 412-553-4498 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); alain.belda@alcoa.com (please see sample below).
4. If you represent a Mexican organization, send a copy of your message to Josi Antonio Alvarado Corona, Director General, Alcoa Fujikura Ltd.; Fax: 001 (830) 703-7498 (Del Rio, Texas); Jose.C.Alvarado@alcoa.com

Here are the key worker demands to highlight in any protest action or communication:

1. Reinstatement of all workers fired for organizing their independent union.
2. A stop to all intimidation of workers inside and outside the plants.
3. The replacement of Paulino Vargas and Josi Juan Ortiz, the general manager and human resource manager respectively of Alcoa in Piedras Negras.

In the face of firings and intimidation, the workers hold their ground Alcoa wants to eliminate the democratic movement of its workers through acts that are illegal, abusive of power and repressive. These include threats and harassment; intimidation; corruption of the labor authorities and local media; outright lies and defamation; video surveillance of workers both inside and outside the company; psychological "therapy" aimed at dispelling worker unrest; interference with internal union matters; open support for the corrupt leaders of the government-controlled CTM union; the firing of workers solely for having formed a free and independent union to represent themselves.

In the most recent event of October 4, Alcoa management fired 20 workers from plants 1 and 2. Among the fired were four members of the sectional committee of Plant 2. Although technically a committee of the CTM, the members of the sectional committee are all rank-and-file workers who won a historic election last March to oust their corrupt predecessors. Among the fired workers from Plant 1 were five members of a slate of candidates poised to repeat the success in a soon to be held election at that plant.

Together, the independent movement has taken legal steps to form their own independent and democratic union.

The Plant 2 sectional committee achieved unprecedented success by leading a heroic experiment in true democratic unionism for six months inside the plant of almost 2,000 workers. Never before had this been achieved in the history of the maquiladora industry along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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