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Updated: 18.12.2012 15:51
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how Delphi treats workers in Mexico

Die NGO "Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras" klagt mit drastischen Beispielen den größten Autozulieferer der Welt, Delphi - ehemals GM -, an: die Beschäftigten in Mexiko würden äußerst brutal und unrechtmäßig behandelt. UAW-Mitglied Gregg Shotwell findet die Aufklärung über das Vorgehen der Delphi-Bosse gut und will die Informationen weiter verbreiten. Er hält aber die Aufforderung der Coalition, Protest-Briefe zu schreiben,
für zwecklos. Nötig sei die praktische Solidarität der amerikanischen Kolleginnen und Kollegen. Wir dokumentieren den Aufruf wie Kommentar, beides englisch

It is instructive for workers in the United States to see how Delphi treats workers in Mexico. Delphi may have the rights of a person as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, but Delphi does not have the moral compunction of a normal human being. Delphi’s behavior is pathologically anti social. Delphi is no more deserving of inalienable rights than convicted criminals. Delphi shows no regard for the rights of workers, families, or communities. We have no reason to believe Delphi would treat workers in the States any differently if they could get away with it. If we don’t fight back, Delphi will get away it.
I don’t expect letters requesting fair treatment for Delphi workers in Mexico will have any effect on Delphi’s practices. Instead I will distribute information about the unjust treatment of Mexican workers and warn Americans that if we don’t stand in solidarity with Mexican Delphi workers, we can expect
the same despicable treatment. Delphi leaves a bloody footprint everywhere it goes.

In Solidarity,
Gregg Shotwell
UAW Local 2151


Delphi Corporation, the auto parts maker which spun off from General Motors in the 1990s, is taking the global race to the bottom to new lows. After terrorizing their U.S. workers with the loss of 17,000 jobs since 1999, Delphi forced devastating concessions on those who remained, by cutting starting pay by $11.00 and imposing a permanent two-tier system.

They're now starting to apply the same treatment to their Mexican workers. On July 20, management of Delphi's six electrical systems plants in Reynosa announced the closing of plants 3 and 4, citing lost contracts and the need to become more "competitive." 1800 workers could quit or move to plants 5 and 6 across town. Some workers were told that their seniority would be respected, others were told that they would get the legally-mandated severance pay and could
start again as new employees. There was talk of a 10,000 peso ($1,000) bonus for moving.

The workers' union, the CTM, was nowhere to be found and when confronted refused to divulge what agreement, if any, they had negotiated for the workers. Delphi workers, many of whom have worked there 20 years, earn between 500 and 700 pesos per week ($50-$70) plus bonuses of about 150 pesos ($15). Since most live very close to plants 3 and 4, they would have to take four buses and spend hours commuting if they were to take jobs at plants 5 and 6. The daily transportation costs would be $8 a day or $40/week.

They were also told that work schedules would change from four 12-hour days per week from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to five 9-hour days from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Many of the workers are women, and they would be taking buses at night. The workers wondered why they couldn't be moved to plants 1 and 2 nearby, and speculated that Delphi wanted them to quit so they could hire temps at a cheaper rate of pay just like so many of the maquiladoras are now doing, even though it's against the law. To add insult to injury, the workers were told that if they didn't accept the jobs across town, they would only receive 90 days of severance pay instead of 120 days, which are legally required under Article 439 of Mexican Federal Labor Law. Article 439 says that when a company closes for lack of business it must either offer workers jobs elsewhere at the same wages and
working conditions (including shift schedule) or pay them 120 days pay and other benefits.

Rather than accept this, the workers began to organize to demand fair treat ment. When they went to their union for information, they were told that Delphi was merely "consolidating," and therefore only had to pay 90 days severance. This is a new category invented by the company and union which doesn't exist in the law. Moreover, Delphi has been sending a few confidential employees to work in Brownsville Texas and Atlanta Georgia and paying them the same salary
as they earn in Mexico. If they refused, they were threatened with firing. These workers are told to get a tourist visa to enter the U.S. and pay for it themselves.

Some workers were asked to move equipment to Brownsville secretly. A group of them, fearful they'll get caught and be barred from the U.S. have joined the workers group. The group demanded that the union divulge the contract rumored to have been negotiated for the plant closing and were rebuffed. They then went to the labor board and were told there was no contract. Again they got no help.

Needing information about their rights, they approached CJM member org anizations DODS and DUROO in Reynosa and Rio Bravo for advice, and the two organizations brought in CJM. As a result of these activities one of the confidential workers, Gerardo Paredes was fired yesterday.

Also, yesterday the workers learned that President Fox would be touring Reynosa. Several hundred painted banners, put together a petition, and went to try to intercept Fox. Bodyguards and police, however, herded them into a fenced area saying, "if you don't have permission to be here, you may not be here." The workers responded, "We are Mexicans, and we have the right to go anywhere in this country. We have rights." They began shouting, and someone, fearful of
bad publicity, let them out of the fence, and they managed to confront Fox, handing him the petitions. Fox, ever aware of the army of press, smiled and accepted the petition while his wife Marta Segun showered kisses on them.

Here's how you can help: Send a letter to Delphi CEO J.T. Battenberg III, 5725 Delphi Dr., Troy, MI 48098. Also to maurice.j.rodriguez@delphi.com and lee.ann.a.smith@delphi.com.


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