Obreras Florenzi: Salvadoran Workers on Hunger Strike

Updated: May 9, 2021

Women working at a maquila in El Salvador have taken over the factory and started a hunger strike against the government's inaction to help.

SOYAPONGO, EL SALVADOR -- Six months ago a maquiladora, a factory run by a foreign company and exporting its products to the country of that company, in El Salvador: “Industrias Florenzi” decided to close their operations due to the harsh economic realities of the coronavirus pandemic, laying off their employees without compensation and owing 4 months of wages to the 196 female workers and 14 male workers. Since July 1, the dismissals were filed with all the corresponding lawsuits, the Ministry of Labor and the Labor Court, but until today the State and all the laws have only proven to be in favor of the employer and not of the rights of the workers. On July 17th, the workers took over the factory in response to the debts their employer had owed them.

Over the months, the struggle of the workers deepened and they reached a "dead end" and it has been exactly 27 days since the facilities were taken over. The heroic women of Florenzi have been on hunger strike ever since, as a last resort after all other legal actions have been taken.

It is extremely important that the worker's goals can be accomplished. During these times, the Bloqué Popular Juvenil (BPJ) organization of the International Marxist Current (CMI) in El Salvador has been helping to organize the workers and the militants have spent nights together with them and making small videos.

This moment is extremely important to all workers in El Salvador, it shows that any company can abandon workers without pay, and compensation and thus the company will face no repercussion. Which should be the fundamental argument of call for support why every person should solidarize with the Florenzi workers. As well, if the workers succeed in this struggle it could lead to incentivize more direct action of the proletarian, since the worker strike can be replicated in different maquilas and factories across the country not necessarily by the same causes but because of the same extreme measures taken by a company in order to exploit and profit, will replicate to mobilize workers to respond to the same degree. Which the media intends to conceal to not raise the sentiment and awareness.

How to Help

Spread the word. The national and international media have overshadowed the news (as usual). We need to break the media blockade of what is happening in El Salvador in order to pressure the government of El Salvador to act, as well as show solidarity from different parts of the world to continue the spirit of the strikers. Post pictures, statements, graphics on social media with the hashtag #SolidaridadObrerasFlorenzi (or the English #FlorenziWorkers). Reach out to big accounts and ask them to raise awareness.

Send your organisation's statements, videos or photographs to redaccionmilitantebpj@gmail.com.

Read more about the issue here:

https://www.marxist.com/expropriate-and-nationalise-florenzi-industries.htm (English text)

http://bloquepopularjuvenil.org/campana-en-solidaridad-de-obreras-florenzi-como-ayudar/ (Spanish text)

Donate if you can. The workers have an account where they are raising money for their cause but for the moment, due to scarce resources, we have only been able to raise $100. With more awareness we would like to be able to collect money from abroad.

If you can help us share what is happening, we will gladly give you the information that you can put in the publication, where you can donate, etc.

Any help is welcome.

Solidarity Forever.

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