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Monterrey. – On this May 1st a workshop of reflection and exchange of ideas about the situation of the Working Class in Mexico was successfully conducted. Dozens of young people attended the event where they shared their points of view about the labor conditions that affect millions of proletarians.

The event called “Resistances and challenges to the capitalist working structures,” ((Resistencias y desafíos a las estructuras laborales capitalistas) started at 4 pm in an auto-shop located in downtown Monterrey.

The organizers explained the objective of this space of reflection as such:

“With the intention of knowing and recognizing each other in these times when the capitalist system takes on forms of extreme violence and oppression, the projects and individuals around the“Magonistas Workshops” (Jornadas Magonistas*) invite organizations, collectives, fronts, projects and individuals to participate in this collective exercise of reflection marked by the 1st of May, Workers’ Day”.

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The interventions of the attendees were diverse and enriched the exercise. To begin, a general panorama was given about the economic policy which began some decades ago and focused on dismantling the industry and breaking violently with the working-class organization that had been generated through years of union struggle.

This was the watershed to led to the present moment where the government’s strategy is to turn the country into a huge factory driven by cheap labor force, and where millions of workers became unemployed and then joined to the informal sector. At this point it was mentioned that even as the number of workers who are self-employed and untied from a fixed schedule or salary continues to grow—as in the case of Uber drivers—they’re still not exempt from being exploited because the transnational corporation keeps a great percentage of what’s gained.

It was also mentioned that the union sector that currently keeps fighting relevant battles, -like the magisterium- is really on the defensive trying to defend the conquests of labor in face of the systematic attacks from the government and the corporate sector.

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Another intervention pointed that in this phase of capitalism the workers of transnational companies like Walmart or McDonald’s, don’t know their employers anymore and they can no longer easily distinguish whose directly guilty for their exploitation.

They also touched upon the topic of professionals who can’t find a decent job according to their preparation at the end of their studies, like the case of the UANL** which doesn’t offer minimum working conditions to their lecturers that join the institution, as months can pass without paying salaries or providing basic benefits.

Another case mentioned was the one present in the factories and workshops where the workers cannot question the working conditions nor promote the organization with their colleagues at the risk of being fired for coming across with strikebreakers or gossipy people that inform the employer about any sort of situation.

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To close the day the Haymarket fanzine was presented. It offers content related to the battle fought by the working class against the capitalist society.

At the end of the formal work a get-together with music and drinks followed in a environment full of comradery.

The thematic panels revolved around the following topics:

1- The working structures today

    1 Job insecurity under neoliberalism (Neoliberal labor reforms in Mexico)

    2 Inequality, discrimination and racism in the work environment

    3 The new working struggles against the Mexican union crisis

2- The myths of the professionalization. Workers with college degrees?

    1 Reforms and cuts in the professional-academic environment

    2 University education. Expansion of knowledge or of exploitation?

    3 Student movement, worker movement or both?

3- Self-management, cooperative movements, DIY and other ways of labor resistance.

    1 The economy outside the State and Private Investment.

    2 Do It Yourself. Alternatives for the realization of independent projects.

    3 Cooperative Movements and Self-management: “To resist by dancing on the monster’s guts” (Resistir al monstruo bailando en sus tripas)

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*Jornadas Magonistas refer to yearly workshops that take place in Monterrey to talk about different social and political problems. Its name come from Ricardo Flores Magón, a Mexican anarchist.
**UANL: Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, public education institution