Austin Maquiladora visits

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Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera

Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (ATCF) organizes quarterly delegations to visit maquiladora workers and communities along the Mexico-U.S. border. The Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (CFO: Border Committee of Women Workers) hosts each group’s visit, enabling U.S. delegates to meet with workers who are defending human rights, justice and dignity in a harsh labor environment.

The quarterly delegations rotate between five border cities: Ciudad Acuña, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Ciudad Juárez.

2010 Tan Cerca  Delegation Schedule:
January 8-10, 2010 - Ciudad Acuña
March 12-14, 2010 - Reynosa
May 21-23, 2010 - Ciudad Acuña
October 8-10, 2010 - Piedras Negras

Led by CFO organizers, delegates tour maquiladora industrial parks passing numerous export processing plants of well-known U.S.-based multinational companies. They then meet with workers in their homes to learn about working conditions and current labor struggles. CFO organizers describe their organizing strategies, including the use of the Mexican Federal Labor Law. Delegates also visit colonias, or neighborhoods, for informal social gatherings with workers, their families, and friends.

Following the trips, delegates meet to reflect on the implications of what they have learned. Many delegates continue their involvement by sharing their experience with family and friends, organizing forums and study groups, and responding to action alerts and legislative actions.

Each delegation is limited to about ten participants to allow for an intimate experience. Delegations are usually scheduled for January, March, May and October. Each departs from Austin on a Friday morning and returns on Sunday afternoon. The cost is $200-300 (sliding scale), which includes transportation, meals, and two-nights hotel lodging. A translator will be present for all activities. Limited financial assistance is available.

Join us for a trip that not only informs, but personally connects you to grassroots leaders in the growing international response to corporate globalization. For further information, contact Austin Tan Cerca at 512-474-2399 or chelarose@grandecom.net

For more on delegations, see:

AFSC-Austin Newsletter: Rain, Mud and People by Tom West

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