The Strikes in Mexico

The Ruling Class Trembles Before the Workers Strike in Tamaulipas!

The Worker’s Strike of Matamoros involving thousands of workers is making history. The economic demands for increased wages and annual bonuses are clearly demonstrating the conditions in which millions of workers in Mexico live.

One measure such as increasing the minimum wage to double of the border region has been put in place in favour of the employers which eliminate employee bonuses and standardize wages which are barely sufficient to survive in increasingly unfavorable conditions.

Matamoros, like the rest of the country, is built on our backs, the 20 million dollars lost by the companies which the president of the Maquiladora Association of Matamoros speaks about, during the 4 days of worker strike, is a clear example of all that they produce, like the multimillion-dollar profits which remain in the hands of a few families.

Yet they still say that it is not viable to increase wages?

They say it is not viable, and that they would leave Matamoros because they intend to exploit and pay wages much lower to workers of other states or of other countries; threatening workers who go to work at other companies, intending to break the movement by means of personal negotiations, looking to “reward” those who work and to punish those who defend their basic rights, who learn their contracts, and those who ask for better wages, like the federal government had announced.

The entrepreneurs fear the outbreak of strikes as its character broadens and amplifies in the region and in the country; because they know disorganization is fundamental to secure increased profits. From the workers of Matamoros to the migrants of Honduras, we have the same needs and the same conditions, we produce the wealth, and while we fight among ourselves as workers, the real criminals get richer.

Of course the businesses increase profits by lengthening work hours and reducing our wages, they will also struggle for that, seek more overtime, less benefits, and, wherever possible, to have the government pay, with our own taxes, to compensate. Thus:

Is it really possible to earn an improved salary and forget about the movement?

Obviously it is possible to win an increase in our salaries of 20% and a compensation bonus, if we persist, fortify our unity, the organization, and raise the level of the strike in all companies in the region; what is not possible is to settle for crumbs and return to work, when we have workers fired, persecuted, and marked; this will continue if we do not stop the repression or stay organized.

Is it possible for the government to intervene and reconcile our interests with the entrepreneurs?

The legal apparatus, the courts, the unions of the CTM, conciliation and arbitration boards of the all of the government, are built to sustain the conditions of exploitation in which we find ourselves. All we can rely are the forces of the workers and oppressed peoples; because even the government of the fourth transformation, today implements measures such as the Youth Programme Constructing the Future, which instead of giving decent employment to youth, uses money from our taxes, to “train” for a year in business; in reality they work free and without benefits, while the business gets to earn more profits firing contracted workers and bringing in scholarship recipients; with this example, we must be vigilant, the governors will not delay in aiding the employers with the use of public force, against the workers, who, today, according to the new changes can be left in charge of the army through the National Guard.

Without a decree, the real union is the organization that is brewing around the strike, an organization that is the real sense of why unions and collective agreements emerged, to meet and solve our demands together. Let us unify the struggle!

The 80,000 workers of Matamoros, we fight for higher wages and for more! For a decent living, the strike goes on!

Revolutionary Popular Front
Union of the Revolutionary Youth of Mexico
Communist Party of Mexico Marxist-Leninist

Translated from the Spanish by Red Phoenix Staff.


The strikes in Matamoros are being launched at other companies in different states of the Republic and different sectors of the industry

Those of us who do not own large companies, factories or corporations, who live under the exploitative and oppressive yoke of those big bourgeois capitalists, are the ones who produce the great wealth but we cannot dispose of it. The labour is socialized, that is, the tasks and responsibilities in the factories are divided up, that division of labor is carried out among the workers for the manufacture of commodities that go out on the market and produces large profits that are accumulated by the bosses.

We oppose the bourgeoisie that, through the extraction of surplus value (exploitation) and miserable wages, not only seek to continue to accumulate money, but also subject us to illegal work days; they always want to earn much more by spending much less.

It is evident that the previous governments never represented the interests and needs of the working class, the poor peasants and the proletariat in general; today with the new forms of governing, wage exploitation becomes more elaborate. In particular there are “goodwill” governments, such as the so-called “Fourth Transformation” government, which are a false democracy that, far from solving the problems or needs of the workers, exacerbate the precariousness of our life. Every day we are concerned about how to solve our family economy because our salaries are not enough to satisfy our basic needs.

This form of government is clearly at the service of the capitalist monopolies. The president of the republic supports the business owners and in order to provide more “jobs” they are given fiscal incentives and create a system of scholarships for young people who join the labour market (integrate them into exploitation). However, in reality what they are doing is subsidizing the owners of factories and companies in order to exploit the young people, without costing them anything and also they do not have to spend anything on training their employees and workers. Also, this same president says that he is on the side of the people and literally said “the poor come first.” He assures us that he will watch over the interests of workers, laborers and peasants, which is not true. He disguises his goal of maintaining the bourgeoisie in power and every day increasing its accumulation of profits through exploitation of labor.

In the strikes in Matamoros those guard dogs of the interests of the business owners show their teeth; the yellow unions, instead of defending the workers of the maquiladora [foreign-owned assembly for export] industry, attack them economically and psychologically using brute force. The very government of Matamoros, which is supposed to safeguard the physical integrity and life of its citizens, the workers, labourers, peasants, students, housewives, that is, the proletariat, orders the striking workers to be evicted. This shows how the economic and political interests of a few are more important than the needs and lives of the workers and people in general.

We see in Matamoros how the proletarian organization develops, how the workers unite, organize and fight shoulder to shoulder, side by side. They are supported by attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas, who has been the victim of attacks by the bosses, the Matamoros government and the yellow unions, which seek to prevent the development of the labor movement and resort to repression, with dismissals, harassment, threats and persecution against it. In this regard we demand the end of the repression of the movement and in particular against attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas; we hold the federal and local authorities, as well as the bosses, responsible for the physical and psychological integrity of all the comrades and their leaders in struggle.

This labour movement in Matamoros is being launched at other companies in different states of the Republic and different sectors of industry. This is necessary to strengthen the unity and democratic and independent union organization. We are sure that the strike has been, is and will be a tool of struggle of the workers and for the workers, and fundamental for the victory of the working class that seeks better working and living conditions, as well as to develop their consciousness towards their liberation. We are also sure that unions are another tool created by workers and that in this way we have a legal means for the defense of our rights as workers, laborers, peasants and day laborers. We see that these tools teach us that it is possible to win our most elementary needs, to confront the bosses and their governments, but also that we need the Workers’ Party, its Marxist-Leninist Party, to end wage slavery and finally be free of all exploitation.

Vanguardia Proletaria (Proletarian Vanguard) No. 547, March 1-15, 2019,
Central Organ of the Communist Party of Mexico (ML)

Translated from the Spanish by George Gruenthal.

Click here to return to the April 2019 index.