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Concerns re working conditions at Monclova Internacional, Mexico

Mexico: Concerns regarding working conditions at Monclova International (a Sara Lee/Hines factory) - and Monclova's response

1. Mexico:  Workers for the textile factory "Monclova International" in Mexico denounce violations of their human rights
Terra Actualidad - Europa Press 11 Aug 2006
[Original article in Spanish. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]
Women working for the textile factory "Monclova International" in Mexico, a Sara Lee supplier, denounced violations of their rights at a press conference this week. The women speaking at the press conference were Martha Barragán, Alicia Ramos and Marcela Miranda. They said the factory employees work for 10-hour days with three breaks: one of 20 minutes, one of half an hour and another of 10 minutes. The factory’s production was recently increased by 30% (from 1,600 items an hour to 2,100), yet their salaries, which were at 200 euros a week, have been almost halved. The workers also said that they do not receive good medical assistance. There is no specialist treatment for common workplace health problems such as muscular pain, respiratory illnesses, repetitive strain injuries and hernias. The women are afraid of losing their jobs after denouncing their working conditions.

2. Workplace hazards confirmed [Mexico]
Mayté Parro, Vanguardia [Mexico] 04 Aug 2006
[Original article in Spanish. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]
Workplace medical experts have confirmed that some Monclova International employees are now incapable of doing their work due to the irreversible harm caused by workplace injuries. Instead of giving the employees pensions, the company tells injured employees to sign voluntary resignation notices, to save on termination payments. This is according to the worker Ismael Rodríguez, who presented cases of affected colleagues to municipal authorities. They included workers with scars from operations on repetitive strain injuries, and a woman who has almost completely lost her sight and can no longer sew.

3. Textile factory declines to explain salary reduction in Coahuila [Mexico]
Lourdes Godínez Leal, Proceso [Mexico] 11 Aug 2006
[Original article in Spanish. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]
Although representatives of Coahuila state government have called on Sara Lee to investigate the coinciding increase in production and decrease in wages at the Monclova Internacional factory, Sara Lee has not done so, according to workers from the factory. Martha Barragán, Alicia Ramos and Marcela Miranda said that Sara Lee’s workplace auditors were not carrying out their responsibility to ensure compliance with workplace safety laws..."They are not taking preventative steps to avoid workplace accidents," the women said...There are 8 Sara Lee maquiladoras in Coahuila, producing textile products that are sold on to international brands such as Wal-Mart, Superama, Suburbia, Sam’s Club and Super Center.

4. [DOC] Response of Monclova Internacional to concerns over workplace safety & wages
Lauro Pesqueira, General Manager of Monclova Internacional 29 Aug 2006

 

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Company response
29 August 2006

Response of Monclova Internacional to concerns over workplace safety & wages

Author: Lauro Pesqueira, General Manager of Monclova Internacional

The management of the Monclova facility takes the safety and health of its employees very seriously. Reportable accident rates (accidents that require more than simple first aid) have been reduced from a total of 29 in 1999 to only four in the last...

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