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Home | News | Protests, support grow for fired Lexmark workers in Juarez
Lexmark workers receiving update from Susana Prieto Terrazas /Photo: Susana Prieto Terrazas
Lexmark workers receiving update from Susana Prieto Terrazas /Photo: Susana Prieto Terrazas

Protests, support grow for fired Lexmark workers in Juarez

Hundreds of workers at the Lexmark plant in Juarez have been fired after they walked off the job last week, asking for raises, the right to unionize as well as other demands.

According to the Spanish-language website sinembargo the labor dispute started back in early November, after workers asked for a raise of six pesos, or roughly .34 cents a day.

Lexmark, an international company producing printer cartridges, now pays workers a maximum of 70.10 pesos per day, or $4.03 daily.

Workers were looking for an increase of between 114 to 120 pesos (almost $7 dollars a day) as is the norm for employees with five or more years with the company. When the increase was denied, workers decided to file for formation of a union; a move employees say triggered the firings.

In response, some 700 workers held a work stoppage on December 8th, prompting the wave of firings.  Now those fired workers have camped out in front of the plant until their demands are met. In addition to the firings, the workers say their annual bonus – one mandated by the Mexican Government – is also being withheld.

lxmark
Lexmark plant in Juarez / Photo: Lintel.com.mx

Lexmark employee Miriam Delgado – who worked at the plant for five years and seven months – was let go, along with scores of her fellow employees.  “I was fired Wednesday….HR told me my contract was terminated because I violated the code of conduct of the maquila, and (to) please leave the plant…”

In a news release, Lexmark stated that they take “very seriously the values ​​of mutual respect and employee satisfaction.” The release – credited to Leea Haarz, General Manager of Lexmark’s Juarez plant –  went on to say that,  “We embrace individual differences and listen to all voices. We are committed to engage in open and honest conversations with our employees to ensure Lexmark remains a rewarding place to work.”

Now Delgado and fellow workers continue their protest outside the South Juarez plant, taking up residence in a makeshift camp.  Support

Lexmark workers walking out / Photo: Susana Prieto Terrazas
Lexmark workers walking out / Photo: Susana Prieto Terrazas

for the group has not only spread around Mexico,  but here in the United States as well.  Groups on Facebook such as  Obrer@Power seek to not only bring light to the situation, but help the fired employees get through the holiday season.

One of the main supporters of the group, Susana Prieto Terrazas, is using social media to not only inform the world of the situation, but directly organizing efforts to help the employees and their families. Prieto-Terrazas is asking for financial help to make up for the worker’s withheld bonus.

A recent food drive held for the workers, provided enough food for 120 of the fired workers.

Also, the US-based group El Paso Social Justice Education Project released the following statement in mid-November, supporting maquila workers in Juarez.

In recent months, labor demonstrations have been held by maquiladora workers in Juárez. They are demanding better working conditions, a living wage, recognition of their right to form independent unions, a halt to sexual harassment, and legal protection from handling hazardous chemicals among other things. The maquila scene has not changed that much for workers since the city established manufacturing facilities fifty years ago.

Most of the demonstrators are laborers who are not paid sufficient wages to provide their families with enough food, clothing, and schooling, much less giving the families the opportunity to move out of poverty. Both the government and employers consider low wages as a “competitive advantage” that is used to attract foreign business interests. The laborers are caught in an impossible situation.

The workers at the Lexmark plant are not alone in their demands for higher wages. Earlier this year, similar worker’s protest broke out at other Maquilas around Juarez, including  Eaton, Scientific Atlanta, ADC and Taiwanese company Foxconn, which has several plants in the city.

Editor’s note: Article incorrectly identified Lexmark employee Miriam Delgado as working at the plant for 37 years, the correct term of employment was 5 years, 7 months.

Note: Article comprised of translated passages from sinembargo,  several public Facebook groups, as well as other Mexican publications.

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29 comments

  1. hikalea@gmail.com'

    Doesn’t matter; none of these companies should be allowed to operated outside the US and sell to the US market anymore (looking at you, 56 billion in tax evasion with 160 billion offshore, Apple). Unfortunately the only chance this is going to happen is vested in an 75 year-old socialist your media won’t cover.

    • pilot.berry@hotmail.com'

      Well, when that happens shit will be expensive af. So no thanks.

      • anselmo94@outlook.com'

        So you’d rather have people in different countries suffer so you can buy your iPhone for 650$ instead of 1000$? Those people just want food and a decent chance at life and moving out of poverty and proving somewhat of a better life for their kids. But you’re worried not about food, but the price of your luxury items.

      • sb-c@live.com'

        I have no doubt you would conclude fast food and Wal-Mart workers are a threat to your privileged social position, or 160 years ago would have fought on the side of slavery as well. At its heart there is little if any difference, exploitation is exploitation.

  2. slrawson54@aol.com'

    well you can bet your bippy i won’t buy squat from that company again… what BS!!

  3. alf_gotcat@hotmail.com'

    Guess who’s not buying Lexmark products anymore

  4. davideugenious@yahoo.com'

    Wow. I’m stunned. Living in Montana I need at least 100 a day to stay barely above poverty. Another company I will not patronize.

  5. shine66ton@yahoo.com'

    Wait, wait — the link that brought me here from Reddit said the workers want only 6 pesos more to bring them to 120 total…. but this article says that workers wanted an INCREASE by up to 120 pesos. PLUS want to unionize.

    Let’s cut the tears and find out the facts. Lexmark is a big company, yes, but unionizing by workers has been known to destroy companies. Let’s get more facts, especially from Lexmark’s side, before going all banshee-ish.

    (By the way, I’m no Lexmark tool. I told myself as a teenager many years ago that I would never buy Lexmark products, when even in my innocent teen years I noted how they would sell their printers dirt cheap, and then make customers pay through the nose for the most expensive — and tiniest– print cartridges afterwards.)

    • trevor999@kos.net'

      Yeah, right. They wanted to go from $4.00 a day to $11.00 a day. Preposterous! Absurd!! Ungrateful swine!!! Fire them all!!!!

      Lexmark: Worth $3.9 Billion Revenue $850 Million

    • anselmo94@outlook.com'

      They don’t want an increase of 120. They want the increase to go to 120 pesos. And why is that such a bad thing even if it was up by 120? Would you like to earn 14$ a day? Let alone 7? This big company is taking advantage of the harsh economic conditions of Mexico and the idiot government that sadly represents them.

    • ajitaliano@gmail.com'

      “unionizing by workers has been known to destroy companies”

      LOL [citation needed]

      • j_c_iii@hotmail.com'

        It bankrupted GM not too long ago.

        • felixarenas@hotmail.com'

          You mean that didn’t have anything to do with the substandard cars they were building and selling, or the misplaced decisions that had eroded their standing for years? Did Ford’s unions take it easy on them at the same time?

  6. latinxnews@gmail.com'

    Let’s do something about this. Message and follow @LatinxNews on Twitter & Facebook for the latest information.

  7. pensivementtlj@gmail.cim'

    I will never touch a Lexmark or any affiliated companies again and nor will any of the companies where I make purchasing decisions.

  8. itsjustmeatwork@hotmail.com'

    Absolutely disgraceful!! Will NOT be buying anything Lexmark again!!

  9. serves@themright.com'

    Now suddenly it’s unfair when somebody does to them what they did to American workers?

  10. trevor999@kos.net'

    You people who say “I’m never gonna buy from them again” make me laugh. You had better be prepared to live naked and starving in a cave. Check the tags and “Made in” mark on any of the stuff you buy. If it’s made in China, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Guatemala etc etc etc those people are paid pennies a day. What did you think? They all make $15.00 an hour? Ask for a raise and you’re shown the door, because there’s 5000 people lined up waiting for your job. Job security in these countries is laughable or nonexistent. And the owners of these companies (like Apple) are laughing their way to the bank. To produce the goods at home would only add a few cents to a few dollars to the cost of the product. But the consumer doesn’t want to pay. The consumer wants cheap, so they can buy more, which drives more jobs offshore. A viscous circle of greed and consumption. And we all suffer: Less good paying jobs > less money in the economy > 1) less revenue collected by government (taxes) and 2) more demand for cheaper goods that drives more manufacturing and services offshore > less services and more local, state and federal debt

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-offshore-outsourcing-of-american-jobs-a-greater-threat-than-terrorism/18725

    http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2008/offshoring.aspx

  11. curtislhoward@Hotmail.com'

    I won’t be purchasing any Lexmark products for the rest of my life.

    I hope these people get there .34 cent raise.

    What a joke Lexmark.

  12. curtislhoward@Hotmail.com'

    I won’t be purchasing any Lexmark products for the rest of my life.

    I will be providing this information to the CIO of our company and recommending our 6 state Firm no longer uses Lexmark.

    I hope these people get their raise.

  13. comma@scents.com'

    This is bullshit.. plain and simple. The American people need to step the fuck up or get the fuck out.

    We whine and cry when our way of life gets threatened because we seriously are a bunch of lazy fucks. Sure we bust our asses for peanuts (in our opinion) when all the crap we buy is made out of country by people who have it worse than us. Cheap labor really is tantamount to modern day slavery. How’s that shrimp? Those Nike’s? Your cell phone?

    Seriously fuck America because it is the land of the greedy.

    People crying about Sanders when they have no clue how much he is needed. You realize that if he gets elected, and if he gets to enact his policies you will be able to afford what you need. We Americans need universal healthcare, better job protections, a level playing field for all and not our financial overlords.

    Remember when things were free and or cheaper… yeah.. thank your Republican asshats for all that and the Democratic do nothings to piss it all away.

  14. chopisnet@yahoo.com'

    The canyons are pointing the wrong direction, Maquiladoras offer a base salary and benefits way above what the minimum wage dictated by the GOVERNMENT is; Cafeteria, Transportation, Savings fund, etc are benefits only Maquiladoras offer, the employees are misinformed and being manipulated (again and as always) due to political interests and personal benefit of this so-called lawyer Susana Prieto (I would like to see an investigation on her wealth…). Instead of questioning Lexmark, Eaton, Foxconn ask why is minimum wage so miserable set by the Government?? I bet they won’t answer you.
    By the way, Miriam Delgado did not work 37 years at Lexmark, she is 37 year old for christ sake!!! If you are going to publish this at least do it right!!! (several other errors spotted but I think this one makes my case).

  15. scidog@gmail.com'

    Granted, most companies pimp to our lust for cheap goods. It’s why I can’t take any social hot-button issue seriously in the US. People use social media to spread this week’s grand cause, and their laptops are made by slaves such as these. All that true, there is still the time-honored policy of punishing those that get caught. So don’t buy Lexmark until they fix this, but while you are at it, throw away that smartphone that you are hammering on like a self-righteous monkey. It was probably made by economic slaves too. (Might as well be a glowing crack pipe huh? No, really. Get rid of the phone on moral grounds…takers?) Thought so. Shut it. Don’t buy Lexmark until they make an emblazoned display of fixing this, and then buy their more expensive product. I am sure that as bastions of conscience you will all do just that. Oddly enough, I will…if they fix it. My printer is dying.

  16. obbopp@hotmail.com'

    Revolutionary War Two is needed within the USA to defeat the tyrants waging class war against the common folks and to destroy the unholy alliance between big government and big business. The Mexican people need to do the same in their country owned and operated by tyrants.

  17. acordo01@gmail.com'

    This is sad. I see everyone’s reaction to want to help. It’s good that we want to help, but at the end of the day what’s worst is that their own government doesn’t care about its own people or they would step in to help solve that problem and demand businesses a minimum wage. So at the end of the day it’s not just Lexmark taking advantage of the employees it’s mexico who doesn’t give two fucks about its people. That’s the worst part. Mexico has the potential to be a better country than what it is but government is bought so they turn and look the other way.

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