Primary links

WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:


February 9, 2011

Take action: Download Johnson Controls campaign flyer

MSN is pleased to announce that a collective bargaining agreement was signed on April 8, 2011 between factory management and the independent union. MSN would like to thank all of those who supported JCI workers by spreading this flyer.

The struggle at Johnson Controls factories in Puebla, Mexico, is a glaring example of the problems facing independent trade union organizers in Mexico. In preparation for the Global Days of Action for Trade Union Rights in Mexico, MSN has prepared a new printable flyer for use in workshops, teach-ins, or at rallies.

Download the new flyer here (English) (Español) (Français)

January 19, 2011

URGENT ACTION: Death Threats Targeted at Labour Rights Activists in Mexico

On December 20, 2010, unidentified robbers broke into the offices of the Worker Support Centre (CAT), a labour rights organization that has been supporting organizing efforts at two Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) factories in Puebla, Mexico, and ransacked the office, destroying equipment and causing more than 200,000 pesos (US$ 16,500) in damage.

Take Action Now! Send a letter to the Mexican authorities demanding protection of the life and physical integrity of the CAT labour rights advocates.

December 20, 2010

Tehuacan’s garment industry in times of crisis

Over the last decade the garment industry in and around Tehuacan has gone through a dramatic transition. The combined effects of a variety of factors, including the 2009 global economic crisis, have severely weakened Tehucan's garment industry and made more precarious the living and working conditions in which workers and their families find themselves. In 2010, Rodrigo Santiago Hernandez produced an update to a 2003 report he worked on with MSN and the Human and Labour Rights Commission of Tehuacan on worker rights in the garment industry in Tehuacan. MSN has produced a summary and analysis of his research findings, now available for download.

December 7, 2010

MSN report finds holes in Wal-mart de Mexico's CSR reporting and underlying policies

A new report by MSN and Red Puentes Mexico examining Wal-Mart Mexico's (Walmex) CSR reporting, finds weaknesses in the company's reporting and practices, particularly in the areas of labour rights and the environment. "Walmex needs to better address underlying policy issues such as the presence of protection contracts in most of its retail outlets, its treatment of over 23,000 "volunteer" youth baggers and the lack of consultation with civil society stakeholders on social and environmental issues," says Beatriz Lujan, of the Authentic Labour Front, a member organization of Red Puentes Mexico.

Download report summary.

September 3, 2010

Update on the Mexican Garment Sector

An update on the Mexican economy and the garment sector post-crisis, prepared for the August 2010 meeting of the MFA Forum Americas Working Group Mexico sub-committee.


Download Update on the Mexican Garment Sector

August 25, 2010

Retaliation and resistance at Johnson Controls

In response to a violent August 16 attack by thugs from a protection union, workers at the Johnson Controls Interiores plant in Puebla, Mexico walked off the job and remained on strike for several days. On August 19, the dispute was resolved when management signed an agreement recognizing the workers' independent union and severing its ties with the Confederación de Organizaciones Sindicales (COS), a company union that was ejected from the factory in May after a previous strike.

August 18, 2010

Urgent Alert: Mexican Auto parts workers assaulted at Johnson Controls factory

MSN is pleased to announce that an agreement was reached on August 19, 2010 between factory management and the independent union.  MSN would like to thank those who responded to the action alert.

Photo by: Carlos Pacheco, El Heraldo de Puebla On August 16, 2010, thugs entered a plant owned by Johnson Controls in Puebla, Mexico, and assaulted them, according to reports, "with sticks and stones, leaving many injured."  Two of the members of the Executive Committee of the newly formed union at the plant, Cándido Barreucos and Vigilio Melendez, were beaten in a company office and forced to sign letters of resignation, reportedly at gunpoint.  They are currently in a hospital with severe injuries. Our allies the US Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP) have set up automatic email pages you can use to take two actions: contact Johnson Controls and contact the Mexican government.

June 3, 2010

Johnson Controls Interiors workers win independent union

A three-day strike by workers at a Johnson Controls auto parts plant in Puebla, Mexico, backed by an international solidarity campaign, has won the workers the right to be represented by a union of their free choice. The agreement sets an important precedent in Mexico where employers often sign "protection contracts" with corrupt unions without the workers' knowledge and/or consent in order to prevent those workers from organizing or affiliating with a democratic union.

March 8, 2010

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

MEC & MSN ColloquiumOne hundred years after the birth of International Women's Day, today women workers around the world are celebrating their achievements and renewing their commitment to the fight for women's labour rights. On this historic 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, MSN reaffirms our commitment to the struggle for women's labour rights and to continue organizing to eliminate labour rights abuses in the garment and other industries. Jobs, yes, but jobs with dignity.

March 5, 2009

Reyna Ramírez: Between Blue Waters, A History of Violence

Between Blue Waters, A History of Violence by Socorro Chablé tells the story of Reyna Ramírez, who started working in maquilas in Puebla, Mexico when she was just 13. Working for years in the unhealthily maquila environment eventually took a toll on her body and she developed throat, respiratory problems, headaches and muscle aches.

Now Reyna heads the Collective of Defiant Women Workers, a Puebla NGO which helps women maquila workers, with a particular focus on health issues.  The group is collaborating with the Hesperian Foundation and using several of their publications on workplace health to develop training courses for maquila workers.