In May, 2010, a group of workers of Jabil Circuit in Mexico filed a legal suit against the company, in search of leveled wage rates. The workers disagreed with Jabil paying technicians different wages for the same work. The workers argued this practice is in breach of the Mexican Constitution. The workers are supported by Mexican labour rights group Cereal. Taking this case to the law has caused the workers serious trouble, however. In reprisal, the company has made efforts to prevent the workers from mixing with their colleagues or attending meetings. Some of the groups' women workers were dismissed, with the company withholding payment and savings fund. Cereal is criticising the Jabil management for lacking willingness to dialogue with workers and to address the wage issue. Worse, says Cereal, Jabil is harassing workers and does not respect freedom of association. Jabil is a contractor for RIM, the Canadian owner of the Blackberry brand.

What lies behind your Blackberry? Gender discrimination and absence of freedom of association

8 November 2010.



In May, 2010, 14 workers of Jabil Circuit de Mexico –manufacturing company of cellular telephones for RIM, Canadian company owner of the Blackberry brand—filed a legal suit against the company, in search of leveled wage rates, since all diagnose technicians receive a different salary despite they perform the same work. This is an action that breaches Article 123, 7th Fraction, of the Mexican Constitution.

The above mentioned lawsuit, filed by the workers, has caused them reprisals inside the company: “there are quarter meetings in the plant, but since we filed the suit, we have not been allowed to attend; we got split from the rest of our peers”; “we are being constantly switched working areas, and their explanation is they do this to avoid layoff”

So far this Company has only dismissed the women who are part of the complaining group—student girls, single moms, vulnerable women: “we think the company has dismissed us based on discrimination policies, for we are women, and I wonder—why none of the boys got dismissed? They know that their way to put pressure is by firing us, since we cannot stop working; if so, I’d lose my son’s daycare. My colleague, she has three kids. The Company withholds our last week payment and they also withhold our savings fund. These are part of our benefits and they are ours already. They are not part of our severance agreement. But they don’t want to grant them because that is their way to put pressure on us and force us to withdraw the claim”.

This Company’s behavior exhibits their lack of capacity for dialogue and their lack of willingness to address the case involving these 14 workers; they also show how intolerant they are in front of freedom of association, since these workers are not allowed to meet together inside the company. They are not even allowed to hang together. That proves that despite RIM and Jabil have signed the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC), this has not been sufficient for observing this right inside the Company.

  • We, workers and members of this plaintiff group, appeal RIM and Jabil’s board of directors: we need our labor rights to be respected. We require our wage rates to be leveled.
  • We also address consumers: it is you who can help us demanding dignified working conditions and salaries. In Mexico, an 8-hour day is worth $90 Pesos, equal to €5 Euros or $6 Dollars.
  • We also request organizations, researchers and workers to be supportive with us: it is you who can request Jabil not to dismiss any other workers. The demand for equal salaries is not a felony.

In Mexico, Jabil has around 9000 workers and they have manufacturing plants in the Cities of Guadalajara, Reynosa, and Chihuahua.

By: Plaintiff group of Jabil workers