Paolo Marinaro, Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Global Workers’ Rights
Rebecca Tarlau, Assistant Professor, Center for Global Workers’ Rights and Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program
On Thursday, Feb. 7, after an almost one-month strike, 30,000 maquiladora workers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the border with Texas, achieved a significant wage increase in 45 factories, mostly operating in the automotive sector.
On Monday, January 14, 34,000 teachers in Los Angeles went on strike for the first time in 30 years with immense community support, and after six-days they won all of their demands, including pay increases, lower class sizes, more staffing, and perhaps most significantly, policy limits on charter expansion.
Paolo Marinaro and Rebecca Tarlau were participant observers in both of these strikes. This presentation focuses on the strategic innovations of these extraordinary mobilizations in Mexico and the US. The preference for direct action, the use of social network, as well as the promotion of horizontal participation and the contestation of traditional leaderships shed light on new developments of workers’ militancy in North America.