7 July, 2016
Last week, Nicaraguan workers suffered the most recent attack on their rights during the storming by riot police of the Korean-owned Sae A Tecnotex SA, a factory situated in the free-trade zone of Tipitapa in Nicaragua.
Workers in the factory had been peacefully campaigning for improved working conditions, such as access to drinking water, more realistic production targets and the reinstatement of two unionised workers, but these demands were met with intimidation and violence by riot police on 27 June called in by the management. As a result of this brutality, many workers were injured and 11 were put behind bars as a ‘preventive measure’. Some of those detained were not even workers of Sae A Tecnotex SA but people who happened to be on the premises at the time – including a pregnant worker and a worker with heart problems, from other companies. The workers were kept in preventive imprisonment for 5 days and only released on 2 July.
The legal team of the Movement of Employed and Unemployed Women María Elena Cuadra (MEC), together with workers, families and other trade unionists, have been supporting the victims of this assault in order to guarantee their release. Despite the unreasonable violence directed at workers by the riot police, as video footage vividly shows, and the fact that the company has finally decided to drop charges, the Nicaraguan government has not dropped charges against the workers, and they now face a court hearing on Friday 8 July allegedly for aggression to these same riot policemen.
According to Sandra Ramos, director of MEC, this is possibly the worst case she has ever come across – never before have riot police been called to raid workers on the factory floor.
The Central America Women’s Network support the position of MEC, the workers and their families, as they call the Nicaraguan authorities and the management of Sae A Tecnotex SA to:
Sae A Technotex SA is sub-contracted by Walmart, Kohl and Target; we therefore extend the aforementioned demands to these brands.
More information in other media
Yohany López, “Trece detenidos tras violencia en zona franca”, La Prensa, 27 Jun 2016 http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2016/06/27/economia/2059250-antimotines-agreden-a-agresiones-en-zona-franca
“Juicios a obreros de zona franca”, La Prensa, 29 Jun 2016: http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2016/06/29/economia/2060600-juicio-a-obreros-de-zona-franca
Yohany López, La Prensa, 29 Jun 2016: http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2016/06/29/economia/2060190-alcanzan-acuerdos-tras-conflicto
Wilih Narváez, “Liberan a once trabajadores”, Hoy, 2 Jul 2016: http://www.hoy.com.ni/2016/07/02/liberan-a-once-trabajadores/
Yohany López, “Trabajadores protestan por mejores condiciones laborales”, Hoy, 28 Jun 2016: http://www.hoy.com.ni/2016/06/28/trabajadores-protestan-por-mejores-condiciones-laborales/
La Prensa, 29 Jun 2016, “Tensión nuevamente en zona franca”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezrFCdMWgLM
Confidencial, 1 Jul 2016, “Represión contra obreros en zona franca de Tipitapa: “Un mal precedente”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-UYy38gHKc
GRAPHIC CONTENT: Video by employees of the anti-riot police in the factory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvSct3H_GLE