Political Regime and Workers’ Struggles in Contemporary Mexico – Adrián Sotelo Valencia

Introduction: Unionism in Mexico

Historically, three currents of unionism have developed in Mexico: The first one can be termed official and corporate, the second one is yellow, employer-oriented, managerial unionism. They are both in contrast with a third current: independent unionism which, albeit minoritarian, is at least the most critical towards the political system, coming with some alternative militancy with regard to the first two manifestations. This latter, alternative current has historically appeared at the main political junctures of the class struggle and the union movement of the country. In the last few years, some struggles and mobilizations stand out, namely by electricians, united in the SME (Mexican Electricians Union); teachers in the CNTE (National Coordination of Education Workers); education students from Ayotzinapa; and of workers from other sectors like health, higher education, agriculture and in the Maquiladora industry in northern Mexico, close to the US border.1

Neoliberalism, State and Unionism

Traditionally, bourgeois ideology has considered any working-class organization as an “obstacle” for the free development of the capitalist system. Unions should – from being instruments of workers’ defense and advocacy – transform to actual organs of domination aligned with business interests and with the prerogatives that characterise the production of surplus value and profit, which are the true devices that rule the trajectory of the system. In this way, unions should have maximum limits that, while fulfilling these tasks, do not exceed the margins set by the system and should confine themselves within and for the order established by the system in order not to fissure or break neither its class cohesion nor its power bloc. Conservative anti-union ideological currents demand that if unions cannot disappear—which would be the best possible scenario for capital and its dominant class—they should at least play a positive role – support for the capitalist and business system.

The Mexican State as a corporate, oligarchic presidential State—for some, ” a failed State” (cf. Sotelo, 2014; 2016)—remains committed to undermine the material and political foundations of trade unions and to advance the institutionalization and fragmentation of social movements with the ultimate goal of imposing neoliberal politics. In this way, the path would be completely cleared for the government of the rich and of capital to impose its structural reforms without any barriers or insurmountable restrictions, as was the case under the government of Peña Nieto.

Hence, the State fostered the process of transformation of the world of work into flexible, multipurpose, precarious work in order to adjust it to the conditions of valorisation and profitability of capital (Sotelo, 2015). Between today and the 2000s, the State (with its economic policy and specific laws such as the labor reform) together with capital (with its managerial policies and Toyotist methods of labor organization) imposed flexible work with the unrestrained support by yellow and corporate unionism, as it had formed during the neoliberal period (1982-2018). This has involved a profound process of social and political disintegation of unionism in Mexico by hand of the neoliberal State and organized capital, by way of deregulation of social relations and individual and collective labour contracts in order to substitute them with laws and regulations in line with informality and outsourcing. The climax of this whole onslaught was the neoliberal labor reform implemented by Peña Nieto and his PpM (“Pact for Mexico”) in the context of the so-called structural reforms (Sotelo, 2014a). The constitutionality of the country was thus altered for the benefit of neoliberal interests. Parliament which should propose, discuss, and issue the appropriate laws of the Republic, was in fact replaced by PpM which drafted the bills and submitted them to Congress for approval by parliamentary majorities, domesticated and controlled by the leaders of each of the registered political parties. Once the bills became laws, they were obviously incorporated into the Constitution with a mandatory, generally applicable character, despite of opposition by sectors of the population.

During more than two decades a certain type of unionism emerged, result of both the economic crisis of the country and of global capitalism and its contradictions, as well as of the macroeconomic results of the economic policies of the successive neoliberal governments, both by the PRI (1982-2000) and the PAN—with Fox and Calderón (2000-2012)—and then the PRI again with Peña Nieto (2012-2018).

During that period, quantitative and qualitative changes took place concerning important aspects of structures of capital accumulation, in the political regime, and in the class structure of Mexican society. At a structural level, one of the most important changes affected the pattern of the reproduction of capital, from one based on industrial diversification for the domestic market (1950-1982) to a different pattern based on manufacturing exports dominated by the preeminent transnational maquila industry—liberal, dependent, underdeveloped, and driven by the global market (Sotelo, 1993, 2004, and 2017).

At a political level, there were remarkable changes in government, moving from a post-revolutionary welfarist model to an upfront neoliberal, minimalist and business model. A new structural systemic configuration of the dependent neoliberal Mexican pattern of capital accumulation emerged, based on a collaborationist, supra-parliamentary partnership between the bureaucracies of the main political parties and the unions, the State, and capital, whose strategic mission is to give new momentum to neoliberalism, in a context in which this global capitalist system is suffering a crisis practically all over the planet, particularly in the most developed cores of advanced capitalism: the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. And it are exactly political parties, that act as true State apparatuses, which come in support of the PRI government and place themselves unconditionally at its service in order to promote neoliberal policies that, among other reasons, result from strong pressures by the US government, big business, and monetary, financial and commercial agencies: the IMF, the World Bank, the International Development Bank, and the OECD.

Finally, the class structure of Mexican post-revolutionary society became more diverse and complex. It moved from “class collaboration” within the revolutionary pact to a classist, post-revolutionary, polarized, diversified structure. This structure imposed, through force and manipulation, the cross-class economic and political “pacts” from the top down, from the power of the State and its correlate, capital, which now exerts hegemony at the top of national political power under the leadership and coverage of fictitious capital and its dynamics of an easy production of fictitious profits (on this topic: Carcanholo, 2011 and 2013, and Gomes, 2015).

From these developments results a certain macro-historical synchrony that Marx metaphorically called “correspondence” between basis and superstructure. This is a non-linear, dialectical relation, with mediations and interchangeable elements, which alters reality in one way or another according to the class struggle and the correlation of forces. Thus, at some point the structure (economy) can prevail, and at another moments the superstructure (politics, class regime, law) can prevail and reaffirm or change paths.

The history of twenty years of global and vernacular neoliberalism is the history of such synchrony (or lack thereof), its contradictions between the old way that is reluctant to perish and the allegedly new way that wants to become established. For example, it is true that neoliberalism substantially privatized the economic system and formed the Mexican economy and society after the preferences of the International Monetary Fund—a task entrusted by the governments of Miguel de la Madrid, Salinas de Gortari, and Zedillo. Nevertheless, there are still outstanding issues for the entrepreneurial Mexican State and the bastions of domestic capital (the oligarchic dependent “bourgeoisie”), as well as foreign capital, which dominates: implementing the “structural reforms” that privatized oil and electricity, and the other reforms, such as the labor reform which is flexible, regressive, and neoliberal; the education reform, the telecommunications reform, among others. The realisation of such reforms will depend on the advances made by the opposition of the popular and social movement. In this regard, the Congress of the Union, i.e. the Mexican federal legislature, will discuss the possibility to override the inappropriately named “education reform” imposed by Peña Nieto’s earlier administration.

These unfinished tasks of the neoliberal compendium in Mexico do not only involve government authorities and their institutional promoters like the media which are at their service, but also workers and their unions, particularly with regard to the effects of the labor reform on the world of work, imposed by the federal government through the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STYPS)i.

Unionism, corporatism, and corruption

So far, Mexican trade unionism, especially the official and managerial unionism, approved the neoliberal reforms, along with the political parties. Thus, the officials of those unions played the role of a consenting accomplice to those reforms at different moments before union members and society as a whole. In this way, generally speaking, post-revolutionary unionism assumed the role of a new corporatism akin to the hegemonic interests of the ruling classes and the dependent neoliberal pattern of capital accumulation maintained in the maquiladora companies.

A huge dose of corruption, repression, and shady deals among the main union leaderships permeates to maintain cohesion and loyalty facing the constituted corporate power that operates on the fringes of the democratic system and in open or disguised collaboration with the real powers of the economic and political system, as well as with the hegemonic media. Without this configuration of dominant unionism, the operationability of capitalism would be unthinkable—and this holds even more so in the case of dependent unionism, requiring unrestricted and unconditional support and subordination to foreign capital and its transnational companies, while it ensures a smooth operation of the regime of superexploitation of labour.

In the context of an anarchic system rife with contradictions, such as capitalism, these contradictions also affect the bourgeois and oligarchic factions and the government and the trade union mafias as well. We will highlight three paradigmatic, albeit not unique, cases of great significance. The famous “quinazo”, which at the time shook up the political system, was an act committed upon orders of then-president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. He thus put an end to the power and influence of the leader of the petrochemical workers’ union Joaquín Hernández Galicia, aka La Quina, on January 10th, 1989. He was the General Secretary of the Mexican petrochemical workers’ union, Sindicato de Petroleos Mexicanos, affiliated to the anti-labor CTM (Confederation of Mexican Workers). This blow sent out signals of the power of the president. At the same time, it tried to clean up his image and the image of his party, the PRI, accused of having committed a massive electoral fraud that put him in office. Another case is that of Carlos Jonguitud Barrios. He was a trade union magnate from the teachers’ union (SNTE), a historical ally of the PRI governments, president of Vanguardia Revolucionaria and “leader for life” of that organization. In 1989, when he no longer served the interests of the president, he was removed from the SNTE Executive Committee leadership by Salinas de Gortari himself, who took advantage of a mobilization by dissenting teachers from the same union and made him resign and hand over his power to another former bigwig, Elba Esther Gordillo, “la Maestra” (“the Teacher”). Up until February 26th, 2013, Gordillo had led that union, later to be arrested and imprisoned for illicit enrichment, organized crime, money laundering, and misappropriation of SNTE funds, upon the orders of then presidnet Peña Nieto, as she was critical of the education reform. Apparently, she had arrangements under the table with López Obrador, then member of the PRD.ii

Only because he is a faithful servant of the privatization of oil and energy companies the multimillionaire leader “charro” [a government-appointed union boss] Romero Deschamps stayed at the top of the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Petroleros de la República Mexicana (SNTPRM) —petrochemical union of Mexico—, closely aligned to the PRI regime since 1996. So far, his workers have not expressed opposition against the Congress-approved privatization of petroleum, even as part of the agreements with big transnational companies that took over the energy sector includes substantial changes to labor conditions and collective bargaining agreements that imply layoffs (administrative and organizational reengineering), labour flexibility, outsourcing, and the reduction of benefits and wage scales. Charged with corruption and other indictable offenses such as illicit enrichment, he has been able to evade justice thanks to “constitutional immunity”.

These are the crown jewels, whose patterns are replicated in practically all trade unions, as well as in confederations such as the ancient CTM and Confederación Regional Obrera Mexicana (CROM), without excluding others such as the union of Mexican telephone operators, directed since 1976 by a PRI—now PRD—leader, and the UNAM university union, also controlled by an ancient leader for the past 20 years. These men have enjoyed impunity provided by the corrupt Mexican system, as well as all kinds of perks such as seats in Congress, senatorships, influence peddling, and other gifts that ensure their loyalty to the regime of corruption, exploitation, and domination. The legal and political basis of this corporate system has been ensured by the regime by means of Conciliation and Arbitration Boards controlled by the State, and by way of “tripartism” in labor proceedings, “protection contracts”, and the “closed shop contract” that secures unions their hiring monopoly.iii

Currying favor with the PRI regime and with the dependent capitalist system that supports it, this is the hegemonic unionism that maintains the system of domination and super-exploitation of labour with the aim of crushing labour protest and its alternative organization. At the same time, it is a cornerstone in order to preserve extremely low wages for the benefit of domestic and foreign capital and the dependent neoliberal mode of accumulation and reproduction based on manufacturing exports.

Lack of organicity of unionism and the labor movement

This behavior of parts of Mexican society (workers, unions, peasant movement) emerges from a striking fact: the iron grip of state power channeled through unions and, extremely importantly, the media at its service which are disseminating the ideologies of capitalism, neoliberalism, and the market as the best of all “possible worlds”. As Marx used to say, the working class is the most exploited class of societz, and the fact of remaining at the workplace for hours, days, and years severely prevents the working class from engaging in reflection, analysis, and meetings with other collectives in order to achieve its organization and to plan its struggles and demands.

In the absence of a party or proletarian class organization, this should be one of the union’s roles: contribute to these tasks of organization and discussion, disseminate class consciousness, and to promote the interests and demands against the employers’ association and the Sate.

Workers’ struggles during the new López Obrador administration: the case of maquiladora companies in Tamaulipas, Mexico

The announcement of an increase in the minimum wage in Mexico, decreed by the new López Obrador government as of January 1, 2019, was one of the triggers of the outbreak of significant strike movements in several parts of the country, particularly the northern region where most of the maquiladora companies are located. Indeed, on December 17, 2018, the López Obrador administration announced from the National Palace the increase in the nominal minimum wage (nmw) in Mexico as of January 1, 2019. Therefore, the general minimum wage was increased by 16.21% (to $102,68 Pesos per day), and the current minimum wage in the border area doubled to $176,2.728 Pesos per day, as can be seen below in Table 1:

Table 1Source: Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos, Resolución del H. Consejo de Representantes de la Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos que fija los salarios mínimos general y profesionales vigentes a partir del 1 de enero de 2019, Official Journal of the Federation, December 26th, 2018, available at: https://www.dof.gob.mx/SMGM, 2019.

In this regard, it is necessary to note that the real minimum wage (rmw) has systematically declined from the mid-1970s and practically until now. The UNAM Center for Multidisciplinary Analysis (CAM)iv points out that the highest point was reached in 1982 (which we define here with the value=100) before it kept on falling until the 1994-2006 period when it stabilized quite below this highest point. It then kept on declining systematically again until 2018 due to the impact of the brutal application of social policies of austerity and the wage cuts of the neoliberal capitalist regime in Mexico. This has turned Mexico into one of the countries in the world—even the underdeveloped world—with the lowest wages, below countries such as Haiti and Central American nations like Honduras, where the nmw in 2018 is higher than in Mexico. While in the latter the nominal minimum wage equals 132 US Dollars per month, in Honduras it amounts to 366 US Dollars, i.e. about 275% higher.

However, these are only nominal amounts provided officially by the federal government. According to Table 2 below, we will be able to have some insighty into the real purchasing power of wages, both in monetary terms and in terms of the time workers have to spend on a daily basis as part of a given working day to purchase the Recommended Food Basket (known in Spanish as CAR)v.

Table 2

At this point, a clarification has to be made. The Recommended Food Basket (CAR) in Table 2 includes staples directly linked to the consumption of workers and the popular masses, which reflects the consumption of the majority of the population. However, it does not include other components—not only basic but essential components for the life and reproduction of the workforce—such as housing, transportation, health, education, and recreation, among the most important ones. In this regard, INEGI,vi in its National Survey on Household Incomes and Expenditures, states that, out of the total expenditure in 2016, families spent 35.2% on food, beverages, and tobacco; 19.3% on transportation; 12.4% on education; 9.5% on housing, and 7.5% on personal care. This amounts to 84%. If this were the case, then the price of the Recommended Food Basket (CAR) would obviously increase significantly and, therefore, the wage, both nominal and real, that the worker would have to earn. But this is not the case. As can be seen in Table 2, the price of the Recommended Food Basket (CAR) as of October 26th, 2018, is $264,84 Pesos per day (or $33,10 Pesos per hour). The daily nmw is $88.36 Pesos, and the rmw is $33.36 Pesos per day (or $4.17 Pesos per hour). Considering the same ratios, even with no changes to the price of the Recommended Food Basket (CAR), with the new government-decreed nmw at $102.68 Pesos (or $12.83 Pesos per hour), we get the following results: the rmw is increased from $33.36 Pesos per work day to $38.77 Pesos. With this amount, it is possible to get a little more of the Recommended Food Basket (CAR): 14.64%, as can be seen in Table 3 below:

Table 3

In the first case, the deficit reaches -87.4%, while in the second case it reaches -85.36%.

On the other hand, according to Table 2 (last row), the socially necessary working time (nwt) that workers have to complete to purchase the Recommended Food Basket with the rmw ($21.7) amounts to 23 hours and 58 minutes (in other words, almost three 8-hour working days). In contrast, in January 1982, the Recommended Food Basket could be acquired with 4 working hours (half a working day). Thus, while the price of the Recommended Food Basket (CAR) increased by around 2.153% since the entry of savage neoliberalism to Mexico in 1982 until October 2018, the daily nominal minimum wage (dnmw) only increased by 245% during the same period. This reflects the high loss of hope experienced by Mexican workers over the last few decades and, so far, no improvement of this harsh reality is at the horizon.

The maquiladora movement in Tamaulipas, Mexico

This provides the context to understand that, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) at the beginning of the year 2019 Mexico saw 15 strikes at federal level, of which three began between January and February 2019. Also, no less than 384 strike notices were accounted for (i.e. the legal notice from the union to the labor authority to exercise this right if the union’s demands are not agreed to). 37 conflicts were also accounted for without notices by unions belonging to the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CROC), and the Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers (CROM), according to information disseminated by that government department.

Only he strike notices given by workers of Walmart stores and of Teléfonos de México (the latter with over 60.000 workplaces) amount to 150.000 employees involved, in parallel with an ongoing strike at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico City. It is reported that, since the beginning of 2019, 28 work stoppages and 8 local strikes took place in 14 states of the country. In Matamoros, Tamaulipas, it were eight conflicts, involving 2000 workers.

Some of the company unions involved in the labor conflicts in Matamoros are affiliated to the CTM and Napoleón Gómez Urrutia’s mining organization: Metal, Avances Científicos de México, Castlight, TPI, Fluxmetal, Arca-Coca-Cola, and Siderúrgica del Golfo. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare states that blockades of employees and total or partial strikes have taken place. Likewise, it states that all access roads of the Coca-Cola soft drinks plant were completely blocked by the trade union of the plant, and the same goes for the Siderúrgica del Golfo steel plant.

It is in this context of a social and labour-related crisis that seriously affects the status of the working class, that on January 25, 2019 45 maquiladora companies located in the city of Matamoros, in the state of Tamaulipas, staged a strike demanding a 20 % wage increase and a bonus of 32.000 Pesos. In this manner, the 20/32 Movement developed as a result of workers’ mobilizations and struggles.

In a Message by the Matamoros Workers’ Movement 20/32vii, the workers take stock of their movement, emphasizing that “Matamoros workers have taught the country a great lesson and are a national example of a worthy, successful struggle”. They highlight that, fed up with oppression by their union leaders, workers in the maquiladora industry in Matamoros forced the General Secretary of their union—a member of CTM—Juan Villafuerte to call for a strike demanding a 20% wage increase and the payment of one bonus of $32,251.40 Pesos for one year. That is why, in a historical act of unprecedented struggle in the country, on January 25, 2019, at 2 pm, the strike movement started. The red-and-black flags were raised in 45 maquila companies in Matamoros. Due to the success of the workers, who won a 20% wage increase and the payment of the one time bonus of $32,251.40 Pesos in the 45 companies on strike, new uprisings took place in other unionized and non-unionized companies, where similar benefits were demanded. The result was that the Matamoros working class benefited 70 thousand workers and their families with the 20/32 Movement. This was a historical struggle that generated economic resources of about 200 million dollars for the city of Matamoros.

According to the workers, this movement has been threatened and abused by employers and union leaders since January 2019, particularly by yellow pro-employer unions affiliated to the CTM, CROM, and CROC. The only “crime” of the workers is to fight for the exercise of their rights.

In this regard, perhaps the outcome of this experience of workers’ struggle is that workers have decided to pursue the struggle and start a second stage of the 20/32 movement. Their goal is to create and register an independent union to compete for the bargaining agent status for collective bargaining agreements in Tamaulipas and, later on, in other states of Mexico, should the movement expand in tune with their interests and demands. 

The aforementioned Message informs that these demands have united different groups of activists, young revolutionaries and independent unions in the country, showing that the workers of Matamoros workers are not alone and that no struggle in the country is isolated. They call for a complete rejection of the death threats that some workers and the labor adviser, Susana Prieto Terrazas, have received because of their struggle and trade union activities.

Finally, three strikes at federal level started in this year in the education sector in the following universities: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo (UACH), and Universidad Agraria Antonio Narro, in Coahuila.

Preliminary conclusion

This is merely a brief, preliminary account of the situation of the workers’ movement and its dynamics in light of the re-emergence of important struggles and strikes in the context of the new government led by López Obrador and the inaction during the neoliberal governments that predated it. Nevertheless, it is too soon to assess and analyze the relation of the workers’ and unions’ movements, both in the country and in the northern region where big transnational companies operate, with the new López Obrador administration which, for some, represents a center-left power due to the type of social policies the new president has announced since he was running for and also once he took office. However, so far, the neoliberal structures and institutions built by former administrations prevail. Also, so far, the current government has stated that it is going to respect and not amend particularly the so-called energy reform that privatized oil resources in Mexico.

As long as the working class does not shake off that paternalism and that corporate control, it will remain difficult for a truly independent and combative union to emerge, one that would be able to make a qualitative leap into a superior political organization, which would not only be able to overcome the existing bourgeois unionism, but also to embed itself firmly in a horizon of anti-capitalist alternatives tending towards shaping a new society.

In contrast to anti-labor and pro-employer forces, a line of development for Mexican unionism and, similarly, global unionism of the workers movement, would lie in the necessary democratic reorganization of the workers’ movement based on the formation of national unions per sector and per industry, structured in sections with relative autonomy both from the State and political parties which are part of the system of domination and exploitation in Mexico. This would allow for the recovery of class identity and consciousness. At the same time, it would allow to overcome the fragmentation and isolation of unions in which the dominant and corporate political regime has plunged them, fragmented them, and isolated them from the rest of the social and popular movement of the country.

References

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  • LEY FEDERAL DEL TRABAJO, Cámara de Diputados, LXII Legislatura, 01 de septiembre de 2012, disponible en: http://es.scribd.com/doc/104880954/Ley-Federal-del-Trabajo

  • SOTELO, Valencia, Adrián, “La reforma laboral consagra la precariedad social”, en: http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=157018, 3 de octubre de 2012.

  • SOTELO, Valencia, Adrián, “México, ¿un Estado fallido?”, rebelión/org., 18 de diciembre de 2014, en: http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=193355.

  • SOTELO, Valencia, Adrián, Desindustrialización y crisis del neoliberalismo: maquiladoras y telecomunicaciones, coedición Editorial Plaza y Valdés, UOM-ENAT, México, 2004.

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  • VERGARA, Rosalía, “Se alebresta el sindicalismo ‘charro”, Proceso no 2083, 6 de octubre de 2016.

1Maquiladora companies are foreign companies set up in another country. They benefit from the exemption of tariff regimes ensured by national laws to manufacture goods or products which they re-export to their country of origin—mainly to the United States, in the case of Mexico. The key factor here is workforce abundance and super-exploitation.

i Full version of this Bill: Ley Federal del Trabajo, September 1st, 2012, available at: http://es.scribd.com/doc/104880954/Ley Federal del Trabajo. For an analysis of this reform: Sotelo, October 3rd, 2012.

ii Despite her corruption record and the serious offenses she was charged with, Gordillo was released by the Mexican legal system on August 8th, 2018.

iii Due to US-government pressure, the Mexican government has been forced to promote, within the framework of its adhesion to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a reform to the labor justice system that has bothered the interests of government-appointed union bosses inasmuch as it intends to make changes to protection contracts and tripartism, and to get rid of corporate, pro-employer Conciliation and Arbitration Boards. Cf. Rosalía Vergara, “Se alebresta el sindicalismo ‘charro'”, October 6th, 2016.

iv Centro de Análisis Multidisciplinario de la Facultad de Economía de la UNAM, “La depredación de las clases trabajadoras durante el desgobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto. La desigualdad salarial en México es producto de la explotación capitalista”, Reporte de Investigación#130, Mexico, December 18th, 2018, available at: https://cam.economia.unam.mx/reporte-deinvestigacion-130-la-depredacion-de-las-clases-trabajadoras-durante-el-desgobierno-de-enrique-pena-nieto-la-desigualdadsalarial-en-mexico-es-producto-de-la-explotacion-capitalista/.

v The Recommended Food Basket (CAR) is made up of 40 staples, according to the UNAM Center for Multidisciplinary Analysis: Apples (1 kg); Avocado (1 kg); Bananas (1 kg); Beef liver (1 kg); Beefsteak (1 kg); Carrots (1 kg); Corn tortillas (1 kg); Cucumber (1 kg); Fish (sierra) (1 kg); Green beans (1 kg); Green tomatoes (1 kg); Lentils (1 kg); Lime (1 kg); Nopales (bunch); Onion (1 kg); Orange (1 kg); Papaya (1 kg); Pasta soup (200 grams); Pastries (1 piece); Peas (1 kg); Pineapple (1 kg); Poblano pepper (1 kg); Potatoes (white) (1 kg); Queso blanco (white cheese) (1 kg); Raw beans (1 kg); Refined salt (1 kg); Rice (1 kg); Romaine lettuce (1 piece); Safflower oil (1 kg); Sardines in tomato (470 grams); Serrano pepper (¼ kg); Standard sugar (1 kg); Tomatoes (1 kg); Tuna, canned in oil (170 grams); Water bottle (19 L); White bread (1 piece); White eggs (1 kg); Whole chicken (1 kg); Whole milk (1 L); Zucchini (1 kg). The Center for Multidisciplinary Analysis points out that the Recommended Food Basket (CAR) was designed by Dr. Abelardo Ávila Curiel, from the National Institute for Nutrition Salvador Zubirán. It is made up of 40 staples. Nonetheless, it does not contemplate the expenditure required to prepare the food, rent, transportation, clothes, shoes, personal hygiene, and many other goods and services that a family needs. It is only related to the cost of basic food. Also, it is a weighted basked, for the daily consumption of a 4-member (2 adults, a young person, and a child) family, where nutritional, dietary, traditional, and cultural aspects are taken into consideration.

vi INEGI, Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares (ENIGH) 2016, available at: https://www.inegi.org.mx/contenidos/programas/enigh/nc/2016/doc/presentacion_resultados_enigh2016.pdf.

vii Frecuencia Laboral, Comunicado del Movimiento Obrero Matamorense 20/32, March 23rd, 2019, at: http://www.frecuencialaboral.com/Matamorensesdemandasqueganan2019.html.