The following is a statement by the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees in support of the strike by maquiladora workers in Matamoros, Mexico. The steering committee, which is made up of autoworkers and workers in Amazon and other industries, was formed at the emergency meeting to fight General Motors plant closings, held in Detroit on December 9, 2018, which was sponsored by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter.
The steering committee and Autoworker Newsletter have called for a February 9 demonstration at the GM headquarters in Detroit to unite workers across the US, Canada and Mexico to fight job cuts and wage and benefit concessions.
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The Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees calls on all workers across North America to support the strike by maquiladora factory workers in Matamoros, Mexico, across the US border from Brownsville, Texas.
Mexican workers are engaged in the largest strike in North America in two decades. They are reminding the world that the working class possesses tremendous social power. Seventy thousand workers have shut production at over 45 factories, mostly auto parts, and have stopped or slowed production at Ford and GM in the US and Canada.
The strike has been blacked out in the corporate press. Two weeks ago, Matamoros workers rebelled against their pro-corporate unions and held mass meetings to elect representatives to a strike committee. This committee then organized for workers to visit other plants and call for them to join their struggle against sweatshop conditions and for a 20 percent wage hike and a $1,700 bonus.
Last week, thousands of strikers marched to the US border and called for workers in the US and Canada to “wake up” and join a common fight. We agree. The corporations function globally, and so our struggle must be globally united. The power of the working class depends on our international unity. Workers in any one country can only win their demands in alliance with workers worldwide.
In the US and Canada, autoworkers have also been shackled by the unions that function as tools of the corporations. That is why we are fighting for the establishment of rank-and-file factory committees, independent of the unions and democratically controlled by workers ourselves. On February 9 we are holding a demonstration at GM headquarters to fight the shutdown of five plants in the US and Canada and the elimination of 15,000 jobs.
The United Auto Workers and Unifor in Canada have long told us that our enemies are not the auto bosses and the big banks, but workers in Mexico, China and other countries. We reject this lie. Workers all over the world are facing the same attack by transnational corporations that can shift production anywhere in search of the highest profits.
The courageous stand by the maquiladora workers in Mexico strengthens all workers. It is part of a growing movement of the working class across the world against austerity and social inequality, from hundreds of thousands of teachers and other public sector workers striking in southern India and the Yellow Vest protests in France to the growing opposition of Amazon and UPS workers and the walkouts, protests and strikes by educators in Los Angeles, Denver and Virginia.
That is why we call on workers in the US and Canada to forge the closest bonds with our Mexican brothers and sisters in order to prepare an international counter-offensive to defend the right to secure jobs and decent living standards for all workers.
Join our demonstration on February 9!