The members of the electrical workers’ union SME collaborate in the rescue work after the collapse of a clothing workshop in Mexico City
IndustriALL affiliates in Mexico, together with other partners, are helping to remove rubble, free survivors, restore basic services, provide accommodation, food and moral support and carry out other work that is needed to facilitate the search for victims, days after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico.
In the centre of the Mexican capital, the earthquake caused a building that housed the clothing production workshop and retail outlet of Línea Moda Joven S.A. de C.V to collapse. The rescue team is made up almost entirely of volunteers and neighbours.
Humberto Montes de Oca Luna of the electrical workers’ union (SME) said:
On the day of the earthquake, we went with the SME in several teams to help. We put lamps in the rescue areas to facilitate the search, while other colleagues removed rubble. We managed to rescue between three and five people who were still alive… but we also discovered the bodies of seven victims.
Media reports that the fashion design company Sarah Bustani, forced employees to work even though the building had been closed down by the civil protection authorities as it was deemed to be unsafe. Firefighters went to the company’s premises to try to prevent employees entering the building because of the risk, but to no avail.
University students have developed a Workers at Risk app to identify unsafe buildings and help workers to submit complaints if they are forced to go back to work.
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL General Secretary, said:
IndustriALL, through its affiliates and allies, is in solidarity with the Mexican people. The disaster revealed serious violations that are a direct consequence of ineffective inspections that fail to ensure compliance with the law on the conditions of buildings and factories. We call on all our affiliates to continue in solidarity in this phase of recovering from material and personal losses.