The Struggle of Women in Maquiladoras

explanatory Essay
2244 words
2244 words

The Struggle of Women in Maquiladoras

Over the years, women have been key participants in the work force, labor unions, and strikes. Recently, women have taken part in organizing the labor in the maquiladoras in Mexico. The duty-free assembly plants located on the U.S./Mexican border, known as maquiladoras, have threatened and abused their workers and repeatedly ignored the labor laws. Women have begun to take a stand and fight for their rights as well as for their fellow workers.

First, it is best to explore the origin and function of the maquiladora in the economy. Mexico's Border Industrialization Program of 1966 first established the maquiladoras. The plants must operate within the framework of Mexican laws, and the Mexican government is free to place restrictions on them. For a U.S. company to be incorporated into Mexico, it must submit detailed information about its products, manufacturing process, expenses, jobs created, and a list of all the necessary equipment. Then the company will receive approval to operate under a maquiladora program and will be issued a permit. Once the maquiladora is operating, the company will transport goods for repair or assembly to Mexico duty-free. Once assembled, the products are exported back to the U.S. with a tax added to the value (Martinez). Some of the companies with maquiladora status include Hyindai, Sony, General Electric, Ford, Zenith, Sara Lee and Wal-Mart (Kourous).

There are many advantages of the maquiladoras, which creates incentive for more companies to join. For the U.S., the foremost advantage is a plethora of low wage employees with high quality skills. Many companies have reported a saving of up to $30,000 per direct labor employee per ye...

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"A Fair Deal". American Friends Service Committee. Nov.1998. (19 Mar. 1999).

Kourous, George. "Health and Safety in the Maquiladoras". Borderlines 47, volume 6,

#6, Aug 1998.

(20 Mar. 1999).

Malkin, Elisabeth. "Making Life Bearable in the Maquiladoras". Business Week,

09/21/98, p18D.

"Manufacturing in Nearby Mexico". Collectron of Arizona, Inc. 1997. (20 Mar. 1999).

Martinez, Hector. "Maquiladoras: Should U.S. Companies Run for the Border?"

The Latin American Alliance. 1997.

(26 Feb 99).

"Sex Discrimination in Mexico's Maquiladora Sector". Human Rights Watch

Publication. 1996. (3 Mar 1999).

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that women are not going to stand by and have their rights violated. john shahid used verbal and physical intimidation to force some women to put on a bikini show while he videotaped them.
  • Describes how julia quinonez, a fearless labor activist, helps improve conditions in the maquiladoras.
  • Explains that women have been key participants in the labor force, labor unions, and strikes in mexico's duty-free assembly plants.
  • Explains that the american friends service committee (afsc) has organized and supported maquiladora workers since it was formed in 1979.
  • Explains that the afsc, cfo, and other companies are forming to support the maquiladoras. women have begun to stand up for their rights and regain their dignity.
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