Mexico: Workers protest against alleged labour abuses & sexual harassment in 'maquilas' in Ciudad Juarez; includes companies’ responses

Workers in different 'maquilas' in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, have been protesting for better labour conditions, against sexual harassment and for independent unions.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Lexmark, CommScope & Foxconn to respond, the responses are available here.

We invited Eaton to respond; the company is assessing the invitation and we will indicate here soon whether they respond.

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Company response
30 December 2015

Foxconn response

Author: Foxconn Technology Group

Our Mexico-based subsidiary, Scientific Atlanta of Mexico S. de RL de CV, is a company that…has been committed to being a responsible employer and a good corporate citizen that fully complies with all relevant Mexican laws and regulations…As part of that commitment, it offers wages that are in excess of statutory requirements and benefits that are competitive with the company’s peers…

The company places top priority on ensuring the health and safety of each and every one of its employees, and the company engages regularly with employees to address any concerns and to ensure that it continues to meet its commitment as a responsible employer and corporate citizen in Mexico…It is unfortunate that a small number of the company’s employees have chosen to try to disrupt its operations to promote their personal agendas outside of the law and the approved and recognized channels of communication…The record will show that the management of Scientific-Atlanta of Mexico has always respected the rights of its employees to express their views and there are clear channels in place for them to register suggestions or complaints regarding all aspects of the operations of that company…

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Company response
14 December 2015

Lexmark response

Author: Lexmark

At Lexmark, we take our values of mutual respect and employee satisfaction very seriously. We embrace individual differences and listen to all voices. We are committed to engaging in open and honest conversations with our employees to ensure Lexmark continues to be a rewarding place to work.

Company response
11 December 2015

CommScope response

Author: CommScope

In recent weeks, a very small number of company´s employees have been publicly demonstrating and making public claims regarding their employer and workplace, similar actions being taken at other companies in the Juárez area. These so-called complaints seem to change regularly and the shifting story becomes difficult to follow. Nonetheless, CommScope and its local Juarez management team find the complaints without merit, and are proud of its highly-regarding facility and the hardworking, dedicated people who work there. Recently, the company terminated the employment of eight employees due to their violation of rules. They and the group of active employees who are demonstrating appear to be supported and encourage by external parties…

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Article
20 November 2015

The maquiladora workers of juárez find their voice

Author: David Bacon, The Nation

…After more than a decade of silence, maquiladora workers in Ciudad Juárez have found their voice. The city, just across…Texas, is now the center of a growing rebellion of laborers in the border factories. At the gates to four plants, including…Foxconn complex, they have set up encampments, or plantons, demanding recognition of independent unions, and protesting firings and reprisals…About 255,000 people work directly in Juárez’s 330 maquiladoras…[A] single mother at the planton outside the ADC CommScope factory, describes grinding poverty…“…In the United States people make in one hour what it takes us all day to earn.”…In order to survive, some women were putting in two shifts, back to back, or even working three days straight through. When they protested harassment, overtime was cut off…According to…a professor…“The practices of the maquiladora industry toward the workers reveal a consume-and-dispose cycle.”…

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Article
3 November 2015

Fear of increasing reprisals against Foxconn workers in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Author: Cereal & Good Electronics Network

...Mexican NGO CEREAL and the GoodElectronics Network are highly concerned about recent violations of workers’ rights at the Foxconn-Scientific Atlanta factory in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico…Furthermore, GoodElectronics is concerned that the workers could face further reprisals for participating in a demonstration today, protesting the company’s actions…On August 12, more than one hundred workers employed by Foxconn-Scientific Atlanta started a movement to protest low wages, humiliating treatment, sexual harassment and the general worsening of their working conditions. Workers demanded the company to enter into negotiations with them for a first collective bargaining agreement…

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Article
2 November 2015

Behind Ciudad Juarez’s new labor movement

Author: Kent Paterson, Fnsnews

…[R]ecently, movements for better pay and working conditions- and union representation- have emerged at four different companies-Foxconn, Lexmark, ADC/Commscope and Eaton. Hundreds of workers have participated in street protests, hunger strikes and leafleting…Several former workers of [Commscope] complained…about abusive treatment by company management that included shouts, insults and arbitrary changes in work shifts. The workers said they had been fired for forming an independent union…“Who thinks that a father or a single mother can provide food, education and health care for their children on 90 pesos (less than six dollars) a day?” labor attorney…

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