Maquila Melee

| January 7, 2002 Issue

Maquila Melee, Tula Connell, In these Times 
Although the Guatemalan government has recently passed needed labor codes, efforts to organize unions have continually been squelched, as demonstrated at a textile factory in Guatemala City. Despite signed agreements from management and support from U.S. clientele, union leaders and supporters continue to be threatened, harassed, and intimidated, reports Tula Connell in the the progressive newsmagazine In These Times. "Across the board, Guatemalan union leaders come up against daunting barriers: brutal harassment from employers, a government that, at best, turns its back to blatant violations of labor rights, and workers terrified of joining unions for fear they'll lose their jobs or even their lives," writes Connell. The attacks at the Guatemalan textile factories have provoked human rights groups to ask the United States government to increase pressure for workers rights in Guatemala. Without such measures, Connell argues, the Guatemalan people will remain without basic labor rights and ineffective labor relations.
--Mary Matze
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