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Mexico: Strikers shot and killed during steel mill occupation

[LabourStart Weekly Messages]

Police shot and killed two workers, another was crushed to death in a melee, and over 40 others were wounded, most by gunshots, when authorities launched an assault to expel striking workers occupying the SICARTSA steel mill in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico on April 20.

Reports from the scene suggest that others may also have been killed or may die from their wounds. Workers and townspeople retook the plant, but were then besieged by the police. Parts of the plant have been taken over by the Mexican Army and the Mexican Navy.

Mexican unions have demanded the resignation of the country's secretary of labour, the impeachment of the country's president, the punishment of those who are guilty for the violence, and the recognition of the elected leader of the mine workers union.

Your support is urgently needed -- please send off your protest emails today:


And please -- pass this message on! Only if we quickly mobilize thousands online can we provide real support to our brothers and sisters in Mexico.



Your reaction to last week's appeal was fantastic. Within hours, hundreds of messages were pouring in to the mailbox of university president Donna Shalala. In the first five days, over 4,000 messages were sent via LabourStart's ActNOW page.

We've been steadily reporting on the dramatic developments of the last few days, including the decision by leaders of the union to come to Miami and go on hunger strike themselves. As I write these words, Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the SEIU, is on his fifth day of a water-only hunger strike in support of the workers.

We're even showing the latest video produced by the strikers on LabourStart.tv:


There are 34,000 of you reading this message who have not yet sent off your messages of protest. What are you waiting for? Please -- take one minute and add your name to the thousands who have already signed up to support these brave workers:




As usual, workers around the world are commemorating the lives lost at work this Friday, 28 April. LabourStart has full coverage of Workers' Memorial Day here:




The Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Great Britain is calling for trade unionists to march in London for trade union rights and in support of a Trade Union Freedom Bill on May Day next Monday - May 1st 2006. People at work in the UK enjoy fewer employment rights than much of the rest of Europe. UK union campaigns have won advances such as a minimum wage, better time off and union recognition laws, but there is still a long way to go to win decent minimum rights for all.

For the union web community, the TUC have developed a 'virtual march', in the form of a new web game. It's called 'Left Foot Forwards', and lets you test your organising skills by growing your own march and steering it safely around London. Importantly, you can also use it to send a message to your friends and colleagues. Thousands have already tried their hand at it, and the TUC hopes that the 'send to a friend' factor will be a key tool in encouraging more people to join the real-world march on May 1st.

You can play the game online now at http://www.tuc.org.uk/leftfoot

If you want to join in with London's traditional May Day march, or at May Day rallies throughout the country, you can find out more about the events and campaign at: http://www.tuc.org.uk/mayday

LabourStart will provide full coverage of May Day events worldwide from its front page: http://www.labourstart.org

I'd like to take this opportunity wish all our readers a very happy May Day.


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