In the first three months of 2019, tens of thousands of Mexican workers struck against the maquiladora factories in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville Texas. Defying threats from the companies, corporate-controlled unions, police and military, they shut down a significant portion of the closely-interconnected North American automobile supply chain, halting or curtailing production in some assembly plants.
Key to organizing their struggles across different companies and sectors was the formation of rank-and-file strike committees, which enabled the workers to defy their union leaders and the newly-elected government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
With some 70,000 workers on strike, amid a total media blackout, the World Socialist Web Site played a key role in winning broader support for their struggle, reporting daily and exposing the attempts, especially by “left” union leaders, to trick them into returning to work.
This pamphlet examines the political history of different forces, including the “independent unions” in Mexico, aligned with the US AFL-CIO labor federation and the Democratic Party. It advances an independent political perspective for the working class and the need to unite workers across borders on the basis of the program of international socialism.