By Miguel Juárez

Mexican labor lawyer Susana Prieto Terrazas took to social media last week to inform maquiladora workers in Cd. Juárez to stay home and not take the bonuses that many companies are offering to workers so they can continue working. In her pleas to workers she tells them that only if they go home will the work stop. Workers at many maquiladoras have been deemed as “essential,” although they are largely producing computers and other electronic parts.

Foxconn flyer – see translation below

Listen to Attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas speak to workers on YouTube (in Spanish)

Journalist Salvador Rivera writing in KRGE’s Border Report stated that “As of Monday, 19 maquiladoras plan to close their doors for at least a month in response to the COVID-19 precautions south of the border.” One maquiladora, Foxconn, CTBG in Cd. Juárez, offered bonuses ranging from $8.31 to $16.61 a week [see flyer] during the COVID-19 Pandemic when cases are predicted to increase in numerous cities in the United States.

In the daily conference of COVID-19 from Dr. Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, the Sub-Secretary for Health Prevention and Promotion in Mexico on April 5th in Mexico City, he reported that the country had 2,143 confirmed cases, 5,209 mysterious cases, 10,682 negative cases, and 94 deaths. When he was asked by a reporter if the situation was going to get as bad as Italy or the United States, he stated it wouldn’t but only if citizens stayed at home. If López-Gatell Ramírez is stressing that Mexicans stay at home, why are American maquiladoras in Cd. Juárez and throughout northern Mexico offering workers bonuses to return to work?

With limited access to healthcare and being exposed to the virus in the workplace, the COVID-19 Pandemic will only become more dire for workers.


Translation:

FOXCONN

CNSBG Juarez Manufacturing

WORK BONUS 50–75–100%

In order to thank you for supporting our company, which has been deemed as an essential special field [of production] during this time of unknowns [Covid-19], we would like to compensate you for your commitment in the following way for work done during this month of April:

What does 50, 75 and 100% mean regarding your wages??

During the week of April 1–6, if you have perfect attendance for five days you will receive 50% extra beyond your BASE salary.

EXAMPLE: If my weekly salary is 200 pesos then my total salary will be 300 pesos [US $12.46].

If I have perfect attendance my first week and also have perfect attendance in my second week, then I will receive an extra 75%.

EXAMPLE: If I earn 200 pesos [US $8.31] a week, my final weekly salary in week 2 will be 350 pesos [US $14.54]

If my week 2 was perfect and I also have a perfect week 3 then I will make 100% extra

EXAMPLE: If I made 200 pesos a week, my final salary for week 3 would be 400 pesos [US $16.61].

NOW:

If on my first week I don’t have perfect attendance, but in my second week I do, in my second week I will begin to make 50% and so on.

Summary:

Regarding these three weeks:

1 perfect week sees a raise of 50%

2 perfect weeks see a raise of 75%

3 perfect weeks see a raise of 100%

In addition our cafeteria will be offering a daily special menu [purchased by the workers — it isn’t a free lunch].

In these moments of change and unusual situations, we are very grateful for your efforts and solidarity.

We continue to work every day to offer you have a safe place to work, and with your help we will be successful!

Miguel Juarez

Miguel Juárez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He is a multi-disciplinary scholar, artist and Paseño (El Pasoan) and the Editor at El Paso News. He has an Master of Art degree in Library Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a BA in Communications; an MA in Border History; and PhD in Borderlands History from UTEP; as well as graduate Arts Administration and Museum Studies coursework from CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Long Beach, Calif.

He was an academic librarian and archivist from 1999 to 2013. He has published two books: _Where Are All the Librarians of Color: The Experiences of People of Color in Academia_, co-edited with Rebecca Hankins (2016, Library Juice Press) and _Colors on Desert Walls: The Murals of El Paso_, with photographs by Cynthia Weber Farah (1997, Texas Western Press).

He has published reviews, articles and opinion editorials in the Bryan College Station Eagle, the El Paso Times, El Paso Herald Post, El Paso Herald Post (online), Fusion Magazine, Latino Rebels, Medium and PlayBuzz.

He was previously on the editorial board of Latinx Talk, an online, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, and moderated forum. He is currently on the editorial board of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association. You can contact Miguel at: miguel@elpasonews.org or follow him on Twitter @migueljuarez