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Don’t shop for me, organize

9 February 2008

As goes Los Cabos, so goes… Lake Chapala, San Miguel …?

The cost-of-living for Mexican workers in the gringo ghettos is significantly higher than in other places, especially in relatively isolated places like Los Cabos.  When the teachers were on strike there a few years ago, the tourist websites included comments from people in Los Cabos that they couldn’t understand it… a beer was only a dollar.  Gee, nice, but how much was milk and toilet paper and cooking gas (and what housing was available for locals?).

From Reuters:

Mexico City, Feb. 7 – Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex), the country’s biggest retailer, suffered its first-ever strike this week when 300 workers from two stores and a restaurant

Jaime Camacho, a top official from a grass-roots workers movement that backed the strike action, told Reuters that black and red strike flags were hung at the entrance of the stores and restaurant in the beach resort of Los Cabos at midday on Wednesday, closing down the establishments.

“We lifted the flags today at 9 a.m. local time (1700 GMT). The strike has ended,” Camacho said on Thursday. The units affected were a Wal-Mart Supercenter, a Sam’s membership store and a Vips restaurant, he said.

Walmex was not immediately available for comment.

Walmex employs over 150,000 people across Mexico and is considered the country’s biggest private sector employer. Workers are not unionized.

Workers at the Los Cabos stores and restaurant held their strike action with the backing of Mexico’s Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants, or CROC, a union-style organization that defends workers’ rights.

Camacho said the Walmex workers had complained about bad treatment from managers and that they were not being paid overtime or given benefit packages similar to those awarded by other Walmex stores in the country.

The company agreed to grant some of the workers’ demands and signed a new labor contract on Thursday, Camacho said.

Media reported that in December of last year, protesters picketed outside a Walmex story in the Mexican capital to show support for employees who tried to form a union.


One Comment leave one →
  1. David Bodwell permalink
    9 February 2008 2:10 pm

    Although I’ve often felt that Walmex was much fairer to their employees than WalMart (US)—they have to be, since most of the benefits denied US WalMart employees are constitutionally mandated in México—it doesn’t surprise me that some Walmex managers are trying to make their stores look better to management by cheating the employees. It sure didn’t take long for them to “see the light”, though.

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