Matamoros strike grows as Mexican ruling class warns of national strike wave
Eric London and Andrea Lobo
2 February 2019
The strike of tens of thousands of Matamoros workers spread beyond the maquiladoras this week to new industries as workers in water purification, milk production, and Coca-Cola bottling walked out of their Matamoros workplaces Thursday and Friday.
Several additional auto parts maquiladoras also joined the strike at the end of the week, including at Spellman, Toyoda Gosei Rubber and Tapex. Although over a dozen plants have returned to work after the companies granted the 20 percent wage increase and $1,700 bonus, more than 25 remain on strike, costing the mostly US-based companies a whopping $37 million per day.
At the same time, a strike of 30,000 teachers in the state of Michoacan neared the end of its third week with thousands of teachers blocking train tracks linking industrial hubs with the critical Pacific ports at Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacan and Manzanillo in Colima. Last Monday, thousands of teachers in Oaxaca joined the strike.
Noticieros Televisa wrote Thursday that the teachers’ blockades “impact not only national industries but also their principle trading partners in Asia. In Guanajuato, the auto industry already reports an impact to supply lines.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) attacked the teachers in a press conference Monday, ordering them to get back to work and absurdly calling them right-wing: “This has nothing to with left-wing politics,” he said. “This radicalism has everything to do with conservatism.”
The Mexican ruling class is terrified of the growing strike movement.
In an article titled “The end of labor stability,” Mexico’s main business paper, El Financiero, warned on…