Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Fired Guatemalan Workers Burn Korean Textile Factory

January 26, 2007

GUATEMALA CITY – Workers fired from a South Korean-owned clothing plant in the Guatemalan capital looted and set fire to the facility in an expression of rage over not receiving final paychecks or severance compensation, police said.

The sacking and arson took place Jan. 20 at the Genesis Feliz textile factory on the south side of the city.

A group of recently fired workers went to the plant to demand payment, but found no manager or executive of the company there.

“They were unhappy and chose to sack the plant of machinery and equipment, along with assembled clothing and raw materials,” a police spokesperson said.

Having loaded up all they could, they poured gasoline on the remaining bolts of fabric and other materials and set the plant ablaze. The fire raged for more than two hours before firefighters brought it under control.

There were no reports of injuries or arrests in the incident.

The incident was the latest in a series of conflictive closings of maquila factories, as the foreign-owned textile plants are known.

In many or most of the cases, the owners close up shop without paying workers either salaries owed or severance. The national Clothing and Textile Commission said 20 clothing assembly factories closed in Guatemala last year. The owners generally attributed the move to “the high cost of labor and electricity,” the commission said recently.

The closures left some 5,000 without jobs.

An estimated 100,000 Guatemalans, mostly poor young women from rural areas, work at some 300 maquilas throughout the country.

 

You may be interested

Chirripó National Park to reopen October 30
Costa Rica
1703 views
Costa Rica
1703 views

Chirripó National Park to reopen October 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 28, 2020

Chirripó National Park will reopen for tourists on October 30, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced Monday. Visitors…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, September 28
Costa Rica
5565 views
Costa Rica
5565 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, September 28

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 28, 2020

Costa Rica announced 49 new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday for a total of 861, according to official data released Monday…

SJO airport improvements delayed, report says
Costa Rica
6706 views
Costa Rica
6706 views

SJO airport improvements delayed, report says

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 28, 2020

The operator of Costa Rica's Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) will suspend planned improvements for several years due to the…