“I want the working class, the class that drives society, to fight for a better life”
Matamoros, Mexico maquiladora worker speaks out
Alex González and Andrea Lobo
24 January 2019
A worker at the Dura Automotive auto parts “maquiladora” in Matamoros, Mexico, who wished to be called “Miguel,” spoke with the World Socialist Web Site about his working conditions, life in Matamoros, and what he thinks of a united struggle by all workers to fight for a better life. He called for workers around the world to follow the “Matamoran model” by rebelling against their unions and organizing an independent struggle through social media.
Miguel works at one of the 3,000 “maquiladora” sweatshops that employ more than one million workers along the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border. Although the maquiladora workers generate billions of dollars in profits for some of the world’s largest corporations, they teeter on the edge of poverty and are brutally exploited by both the unions and management.
For 12 days, more than 70,000 workers in Matamoros have courageously been on strike in defiance of their trade unions and the corporations, who have intimidated and physically assaulted them in an effort to beat them back into submission. But the workers of Matamoros have had enough. They are demanding a 20 percent wage increase, as well as a $1,700 bonus, a reduction in union dues and a shorter work week to have more time to spend with their families.
Miguel works 12-hour days, 6 days a week to provide for himself and his wife, who also works at the maquiladora plants. He earns USD $9 dollars a day—or just 75 cents an hour. Miguel wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning and commutes for over an hour to get to his plant.
He reports that there have been serious accidents at…