By Mick Duncan
Hip Hop Activists of the World is the latest group to back the struggle of the Mexican workers of Matamoros Garments, in Puebla, central Mexico.
This group of workers sweated in Matamoros produce expensive clothes for companies like the well-known German brand, Puma. In January they struck, in a fight extensively covered in the pages of recent issues of Solidarity. The workers set up their own independent union, SITEMAG, filed for their union's official recognition, demanded decent pay and respect at work.
The Hip Hop Artists rightly describe the workers' conditions as "atrocious violations of their rights as workers".
Unfortunately it seems that - despite a massive international campaign to save the workers jobs by forcing companies like Puma to
maintain orders at the plant - the factory has at least temporarily closed.
However the struggle continues, with activists in the US lobbying for recognition of the new union and No Sweat activists in Britain organising protest action against Puma. We are demanding a pledge from Puma to place orders when the factory re-opens under new