Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A letter from the Kraft workers in Argentina

Brothers and sisters of the combative unions in Chicago,

The letter is arriving to you in what are very difficult times for us.

A few years ago (2004) the Kraft Foods company bought out the most important food production factory in Argentina, where we produce goods for local consumption as well as for neighboring countries. The buyout was through a business deal, which allowed Kraft to purchase the company at a very low price.

Since the multinational took over the company, working conditions have become more than bad. In the midst of a world pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus, children and government employees were excused from duties in order to prevent the spread of the disease. The mothers, working at the Kraft factory, didn’t know have anyone to watch over their children. Furthermore, there are horrible hygiene conditions and security in the factory, much less in the factory’s daycare center; there wasn’t even a bottle of disinfectant for the hands of the 3,000 employees. When we had our first case of H1N1 within the factory, we had to go on strike so that they would give us the days off.

A few weeks later the company decided to fire 150 workers because they participated in the strike. In the midst of these “selective firings” they sacked our union leaders, the factory committee and our union delegates. We know that the Kraft Foods plant in Chicago doesn’t have a union and we’re sure that this is what these factory owners want to do, even in violation of the Argentine laws.

We know that the Kraft Foods headquarters is located in Glenview, Illinois and they are controlling this “operation” against us. On our websites dedicated to the struggle we have seen the IP addresses of 17 computers that are connected from EDS/Kraft Glenview, IL, where they spend the entire day watching our news programs.

That is why we are asking for solidarity in getting the word out that the Kraft Foods managers in Glenview, IL are responsible for this attack on workers, union freedom and the rights of hundreds of workers in Argentina. This is why we are asking for solidarity in condemning the actions of these managers.

In Solidarity from Buenos Aires

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