Han Young/Hyundai VICTORY!!!

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Mon Dec 11 14:51:04 MST 2000


Han Young/Hyundai VICTORY!!

Xxxx

------

> Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 02:04:53 -0800 (PST)
      > From: Campaign for Labor Rights <clr at igc.apc.org>
      > To: clr at igc.org
      > Subject: Han Young/Hyundai VICTORY!!!
      >
      > Labor Alerts: a service of Campaign for Labor Rights
      > To receive our email labor alerts, send a message to
CLR at igc.apc.org
      > Phone: (541) 344-5410       Web site:
http://www.compugraph.com/clr
      > Membership/newsletter. Send $35.00 to Campaign for Labor Rights,
1247 "E"
      > Street SE, Washington, DC 20003. Sample newsletter available on
request.
      >
      > Please note: job posting at end of alert.
      >
      > VICTORY IN TIJUANA!!! (details tomorrow)
      > [Information provided by staff of the Support Committee for
Maquiladora
      > Workers, who ask that local activists seeking updates contact
Campaign for
      > Labor Rights: (541) 344-5410, <CLR at igc.apc.org>]
      >
      > Ending months of struggle, including a hunger strike which had
lasted nearly
      > four weeks, on December 16 workers at the Han Young factory in
Tijuana,
      > Mexico won official recognition of the union of their choice:
STIMAHCS, a
      > member of the independent union federation Frente Autentico de
Trabajo
      > (FAT). In the end, the outcome hinged on a new union
certification election
      > - by secret ballot (highly unusual in Mexico). The vote was: 31
for
      > STIMAHCS; 26 for the CTM, the government union hoping to enter
the scene; 2
      > for the CROC, the previous government union at the factory.
      >
      > In spite of firings, bribes and threats, the workers persisted
in their
      > demand for an independent union. Throughout this struggle,
international
      > solidarity played a crucial role in keeping the pressure on
wherever needed.
      > U.S. activists in more than 25 cities participated.
      >
      > The boycott of Hyundai Motors proved to be an especially
effective part of
      > solidarity activity. Han Young produces exclusively for Hyundai
tractor
      > trailer factories in the Tijuana area. By putting pressure on
the consumer
      > division of Hyundai, activists were able to send shock waves
through the
      > conglomerate. There are indications that Hyundai management were
demanding
      > that Han Young find a resolution to the situation. It is likely
that
      > Hyundai's cash-flow problems stemming from the currency crisis
in Korea made
      > the company particularly vulnerable to consumer pressure.
      >
      > Another instance of fortuitous timing was the debate over "fast
track"
      > during the Han Young crisis. Han Young became a reverse poster
child for the
      > failure of NAFTA's labor side agreements to provide any
protection for
      > worker rights. In consultations with Mexican President Zedillo,
President
      > Clinton apparently raised Han Young as a problem case for
U.S.-Mexican trade
      > relations. During the final week before victory at Han Young,
solidarity
      > activists focused much of their pressure on Zedillo.
      >
      > The Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers deserves great
credit for its
      > multiple roles in this struggle. Without it, there would not
have been a
      > victory.
      >
      > Chronology:
      >
      > * June 2, 1997: Han Young workers undertake work stoppage.
Seventy-five
      > percent have signed papers to form a union independent of
government
      > control. Workers have been "represented" by the CROC union,
whose officials
      > are not elected and who negotiate "protection contracts" with
management in
      > secret.
      > * June 3: Company meets with new union's executive committee and
promises
      > that there will be no intervention, repression or intimidation.
      > * June 4: Workers return to the job.
      > * Mid-July: Company hires union busting consultant.
      > * August 6: A member of the independent union's executive
committee is fired.
      > * August 12: Two more members of the executive committee are
fired.
      > * August 15: Han Young attorney offers $15,000 to labor advocate
assisting
      > with the workers' actions if he will sabotage their efforts.
      > * August: Han Young hires 20 new workers from Vera Cruz.
      > * September 3: A hearing by Tijuana labor board to set a date
for a union
      > election is nullified due to board's own minor clerical error.
      > * September: Representatives of the government-controlled CTM
union, brought
      > into the plant by management, begin to give out free food and
beer on
      > Fridays. Management threatens that Han Young will shut down if
independent
      > union wins.
      > * September 8: Four more workers are fired.
      > * September 10: Workers protest illegal firings with a one-day
wqrk stoppage.
      > * September 25: At a labor board hearing to set the date for a
union
      > election, the CROC calls for suspension of proceedings on the
basis that the
      > CTM wants to file for recognition. Han Young workers
demonstrate. Board
      > receives calls from across the U.S. demanding that a date be
set. After four
      > hours, board sets a date.
      > * September 30: Han Young manager calls workers into his office
one by one,
      > demanding that they sign a paper indicating how they will vote.
Workers are
      > told they will lose their jobs if they vote against the company.

      > * October 1: Another worker is fired. Management tells workers
that the
      > plant will be shut down if independent union wins.
      > * October 3: President of labor board, who had made decision to
allow a
      > union certification election, is forced to resign.
      > * October 6: Despite intimidation and attempted fraud,
overwhelming majority
      > of workers vote for independent union.
      > * October 6-17: Company fires four more workers and announces
plan to hire
      > 50 more workers from Vera Cruz and fire all union supporters.
      > * October 22: U.S. consumer boycott of Hyundai begins.
      > * November 10: Labor board announces that it will not certify
the election.
      > * November 20: Four of the fired workers begin a hunger strike,
choosing to
      > take only water with a little lemon and honey until the
independent union is
      > recognized.
      > * November 25: One of the hunger strikers is rushed to the
hospital, where
      > doctors order him to stop the fast.
      > * December 1: Han Young workers begin series of work stoppages.
Offices of
      > the Tijuana group coordinating local support for the workers are
broken into
      > and all papers and files are rifled.
      > * December 12: Han Young workers, Han Young management and state
government
      > of Baja California all commit publicly to signing an agreement
the next day
      > which will result in official recognition of an independent
union within 30
      > days.
      > * December 13: Without offering any explanation, representative
of Baja
      > state government refuses to sign agreement.
      > * December 15: Han Young management offer 1,000 pesos to each
worker who
      > will vote for the CTM union in a new election.
      > * December 16: Negotiations take place between Han Young
workers, Han Young
      > management and representatives of Mexican federal government,
Baja state
      > government and Tijuana labor board. By the end of day, a
majority of the
      > workers have voted for the independent union in a new election.
Government
      > officially certifies STIMAHCS.
      >
      > * * * * *
      >
      > Job Opening:
      > Communications Director/Fund Developer
      > Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras.
      >
      > The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras is a tri-national
coalition
      > that pressures U.S. corporations with operations in Mexico to
adopt
      > responsible labor and environmental practices. CJM seeks a
highly motivated
      > bi-lingual activist to produce publications, lead fund-raising
drives and
      > take initiative in our office in San Antonio, TX. Contact Martha
Ojeda at
      > (210) 732-8957.
      >
      >
      >



--

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222


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