Updates on Alcoa Work Struggles in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico
- update on Alcoa
Date: 10/22/2002 3:42:03 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Besides the firing of rank-and-file members among other tactics of
intimidation, the workers of Plant 1 in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico elected
an independent union. This is a very significant victory for
workers in this area. Unfortunately, for some legal technicalities
the union didn't get the recognition of the Mexican Labor Department
(we cannot assure due lack of evidence, but we suspect that the
"official union" and Alcoa management have something to do with
that). For that reason, now is more important than ever that you
take action and e-mail Alcoa's CEO and let him know that Alcoa
workers in Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuna are still demanding:
1. Reinstatement of the fired workers;
2. A complete end to the intimidation of workers, inside and outside
3. Replacement of the two company officials who have done the most to
poison the atmosphere in Piedras Negras: general manager Paulino
Vargas and human resource manager Jose Juan Ortiz.
Show your cross border solidarity and feel part of a movement that is
reshaping labor movement in Mexico and the rest of the Americas just
Subject: FW: Alcoa workers need your help!
Date: 21 Oct 2002 20:27:37 -0000
With the help of the CFO, Alcoa workers have been working
for nearly a decade to win improvements in their wages
and working conditions. Last March, their movement
won a historic victory by electing a rank-and-file
slate to the plant-level "sectional committee" at Plant
#2 in Piedras Negras. Before the firings, a rank-and-file
slate at Plant #1was poised to win an upcoming election.
In addition, workers at both plants are seeking to
organize a legally recognized independent union -a
major step in Mexico, where entrenched "official" union
leadership is unresponsive and often corrupt. All of
these tactics are intended to break the back of the
rank-and-file movement- and with it to break the back
of union democracy at the border.
Alcoa wants to cut $1 billion in costs by 2003. In
its plants at the border, it has tried to achieve this
goal by slashing benefits and signing "sweetheart"
contracts that roll back worker gains. These measures
target workers who are already laboring for below-poverty
Alcoa's actions violate Mexican labor law and the Mexican
constitution, both of which guarantee freedom of association,
including the right of workers to democratically choose
their own unions. They also violate the company's own
statements, which affirm Alcoa's support for freedom
of association and other human rights. Alcoa is very
proud of its reputation as a socially responsible corporation.
They need to learn that their reputation will be based
on their actions, and not on empty words.
The Alcoa workers are making three specific demands:
Reinstatement of the fired workers;
A complete end to the intimidation of workers, inside
and outside the plant;
Replacement of the two company officials who have done
the most to poison the atmosphere in Piedras Negras:
general manager Paulino Vargas and human resource manager
Jose Juan Ortiz.
You can take action on this alert either via email
(please see directions below) or via the web at:
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about
We encourage you to take action by November 29, 2002
Tell Alcoa to Obey the Law! Urgent action to Support
Mexican Alcoa Workers
INSTRUCTIONS TO RESPOND VIA THE WEB:
If you have access to a web browser, you can take action
on this alert by going to the following URL:
INSTRUCTIONS TO RESPOND VIA EMAIL:
Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email
Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Chairman and CEO, Alcoa Inc. Alain Belda
----THIS LETTER WILL BE SENT IN YOUR NAME----
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
Chairman and CEO, Alcoa Inc.
201 Isabella Stret
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Dear Mr. Belda:
The management of Alcoa Fujikura Ltd. in Piedras Negras,
Mexico, is violating the right of its Mexican employees
to join the union of their choice. These acts are contrary
to Mexican labor law, the Mexican constitution, and
the Mission, Principles and Values of Alcoa. They also
violate the internationally recognized human right
to freedom of association.
Such violations include the firing of union activists
and other workers, as well as the intimidation of workers
inside and outside Alcoa's plants. Your employees in
Piedras Negras and neighboring Ciudad Acuna have been
forced to protest the severe deterioration in their
salaries and working conditions resulting from your
efforts to reduce costs by $1 billion by 2003. It
is unfair for these cost reductions to fall most heavily
on the shoulders of your Mexican employees.
We ask you to put a stop to these abuses, to order
the reinstatement of the fired workers in Piedras Negras,
and to replace the two managers who are causing the
most serious damage to the reputation of your company:
Mr. Paulino Vargas and Mr. Jose Juan Ortiz, general
manager and manager of human resources, respectively.
We urge you to act immediately.
----END OF LETTER TO BE SENT----
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