Workers at Nike Sweatshop in Puebla, Mexico, Send May Day Greetings
The following message to United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) was posted on the Internet on May 1. The workers at the Kukdong plant in Atlixco, in the state of Puebla, Mexico, have been fighting since January for the right to have their own, independent union (SITEKIM) instead of the pro-government company-dominated union whose initials in Spanish are CROC-FROC.
To all our brothers and sisters of USAS
Brothers and Sisters:
We know you are fighting so that universities will join the Workers Rights Consortium, which is an organization that is truthful in its reports, does not allow itself to be manipulated by businessmen, and really investigates what is happening. Thank you for supporting those forces which truly investigate the problems of workers, which have an interest in asking the worker, not simply going to the employer and basing conclusions on that source.
We know that what you are demanding is fair and that all the efforts that you make, and all your hardships, will be well rewarded. For us in Kukdong, the Workers Rights Consortium was a doorway allowing people to have faith again, allowing us to realize that our problem is similar to those of others in many parts of the world, and that there are people interested in this. Thanks to the Consortium, our rights as workers were respected, and now we are in the process of gaining freedom of association.
In our union, the SITEKIM, our motto is “Si se puede” (Yes, it can be done). So we say to you: “Si se puede” and go forward. Like the martyrs of the first of May of 1886, we also have to continue the struggle and not allow our governments to manipulate us, or allow that what happened in those days is erased from our minds. People who have faith in justice will continue to struggle against anything, and we will knock down all the obstacles that are placed in our path.
Do not let your spirits drop and be perseverant. We know that at times our faith is lost, but as long as we are together with each other, we will give each other the spirit to continue forward because we know that what we do will be good for others in any part of the world.
Many hugs and our heart and thoughts are with you. Though we have not met, we wish you luck.
Josefina Hernandez Ponce
Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Social Welfare
Independent Workers' Union at the Factory Kukdong International of Mexico–SITEKIM
Visit the Fair Trade Federation http://www.fairtradefederation.org
USAS webpage: http://www.usasnet.org