Juárez Maquiladora Supervisor Dies Of COVID-19 In El Paso

Monica Rosales says the Michigan-based Lear Corporation didn’t do enough to keep employees like her father Raul protected from the disease.

By Angela KochergaApril 21, 2020 3:53 pm, , , ,

From El Paso Matters:

Note: Since this story aired, Raul Rosales, a supervisor at a Lear Corporation maquiladora in Ciudad Juárez, died in an El Paso hospital of COVID-19 early Tuesday.

As he struggled to breathe in a Ciudad Juárez hospital, Raul Rosales and his wife Claudia exchanged messages saying good-bye. Their daughter Monica texted heart emojis and photos of his grandson Matias.

“My baby is 14 months old. He loved him and he always laughed with him,” Monica Rosales said.

Raul Rosales, 57, is a quality control supervisor at Juárez maquiladora who has tested positive for COVID-19. “He’s not breathing by himself. He’s with a ventilator. He’s very sick,” Monica Rosales said in an interview about her father.

In a frantic effort to save his life, Raul Rosales’ family had him transported by ambulance to an El Paso hospital on April 11. He is a legal permanent resident of the United States. His family lives in El Paso.

“He was doing his job and now his life is at risk,” said Monica Rosales, who’s among a growing number of people who believe her father’s employer, Michigan-based Lear Corporation, did not do enough to help workers stay safe. The role of Lear and other multinational manufacturers in the spread of COVID-19 in Ciudad Juárez has come under increasing scrutiny as the death toll mounts in the border city.

The Fortune 500 company based in Michigan, with $21 billion in sales in 2018, has repeatedly declined to provide an exact number of employees who have died or been sickened by COVID-19.

“We are saddened that several employees at our Juárez City operations, who were receiving-medical treatment for presumed cases of COVID-19, have passed away due to complications of respiratory illness…” according to a statement issued by the company last week. Lear said the company is working to provide the necessary support, including grief counseling and medical care” to the employees’ families and coworkers.

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