Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Chew them up and spit them out.

Two very interesting articles to read. A.P.'s Mark Stevenson wrote U.S. pressures Mexico to reopen plants amid worker walkouts. And then you have to read US factories in Mexico are still open. As the coronavirus spreads, workers are dying by
Mexico has 7,497 confirmed coronavirus cases and 650 deaths, including 138 in states along the northern border.The real numbers are almost certainly much higher, because Mexico has conducted fewer than 50,000 tests, compared with 3.2 million in the U.S. Top health officials have acknowledged there may be more than 56,000 infections.

At a plant owned by Michigan-based Lear Corp. that makes textiles for automobile seats, workers began turning up at the on-site infirmary about a month ago with fevers and coughsNurses diagnosed them as having allergies or colds, gave them painkillers and told them to get back to work, according to two employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give interviews.By late March, it became clear that the Juarez factory was the center of a major COVID-19 outbreak. Thirteen employees at the factory have died of the disease, according to Mexican health officials.

In the state of Baja California, home to the twin industrial cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, state labor officials have been investigating noncompliant factories daily.State Labor Secretary Sergio Moctezuma Martinez said that last week investigators closed a U.S.-owned factory that had been operating illegally and had chains on its doors to prevent its roughly 800 workers from leaving. A spokeswoman for the company, Georgia-based Cooper Lighting, said in a statement that the chains were a temporary solution because locks on doors to the factory floor were broken. She said the doors were closed during each shift “to ensure the safety of our workers.”

Christopher Landau, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, launched a Twitter campaign urging efforts to keep supply chains intact. He expressed concern about virus lockdowns damaging the flow of parts and goods that feed businesses in the three nations of the North American free trade zone — United States, Mexico and Canada — and warned that “if we do not coordinate our response, these chains can evaporate.”“There are risks everywhere, but we don’t all stay at home for fear we are going to get in a car accident,” Landau wrote. “The destruction of the economy is also a health threat.” 
I assume that his incredible concern is reserved for the United States and its people. Why do we treat these people like expendable subhumans? Nice of him to lecture the Mexican people about the need to incur deadly risk for the sake of the United States economy. I would tell Landau to piss up a rope.

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