As a major contributor to the global economy, Mexico’s sweatshops have contributed to the United States’ wealth and economic growth. It is the unfortunate truth that many individual workers have suffered as a result of this prosperity. The sweatshops, known as maquiladoras, are in debate because of the ethical and lawful reasoning behind their existence and conditions. How can we, as a First-world nation, allow such industries to exist where people are denied basic and fundamental human rights? What, if any, laws and regulations are put into place for the maquiladoras? Are these laws and regulations hindering, harmful, or helpful? Are they enforced emphatically? If not, how does this affect development? After finding an answer to the first question, I began to realize why it is so important to answer the latter questions. As a First-world nation, we allow such industries to exist because as consumer-citizens, we benefit greatly from such industries as the maquiladoras. Subsequently, it is imperative that individuals understand the point of views of the Mexican and United States Governments on such industries and what is being done, or not being done, to stop or prevent the existence and growth of the maquiladoras. From the stance within a pro-worker discourse, the conditions in the maquiladoras are dangerous, hazardous, and harmful to the safety, well-being, happiness, and development of these workers- the majority of whom are female.
This fact is in direct correlation to Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva’s critique of the New International Division of Labor in their book Ecofeminism. "A subsistence perspective can be realized only within such a network of reliable, stable human relations, it cannot b...
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...t the United States learned how to heal the wounds that it has inflicted upon Third World countries. Using the example of Mexico on a national level, we must understand that such struggles are not only suffered in the maquiladoras, but in sweatshops across the world on an international level. Until we find a means to restructure our hierarchy of control within capitalism, the global economy is doomed to accept the capitalist discourse. So far, as far as I can see, the government has played an ironic role in harming the workers, instead of ensuring their basic rights of safety, well being, and happiness. The conditions of the maquiladoras propose serious consequences with regards to their health and development; in order to protect these workers, free export zones must be eliminated, conditions must improve, and most importantly, the laws in Mexico must be enforced.
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