Maiming at Azteca
Chicago--You may have heard about the accident at Azteca
Foods. Rodrigo Mina, a temporary worker replacing strikers at Azteca Foods, was
seriously injured on Feb. 20 while at work at the Chicago plant.
Mina was clearing tortillas away from the location where
two conveyor belts meet when he slipped on a package of Azteca tortillas. As he
fell, his hand got caught between the two belts in a space approximately two
inches wide. The belts pulled his hand and then his arm in up to above his
elbow. According to Mina, his arm was ground up for about 10 minutes before the
belts were shut off.
He was hospitalized for over two weeks and has had two
surgeries to reconstruct his arm using bone, veins and skin from his foot and
leg. He is unable to use his arm. His doctors tell him that with a year of
intense therapy, he may be able to have limited use of his arm.
UE representatives and strikers have visited Mina to
ensure he knows his rights and to tell him that he is not alone. The strikers
are particularly disturbed by this accident since they all know how to shut off
the belts in question. They had complained to management about the lack of a
safety guard around the belts to prevent exactly this type of accident.
Mina is now home, but unable to walk--not to mention
work. You can mail a donation to Rodrigo Mina at 2749 South Tripp, Chicago, IL
Published by News and Letters Committees