Maquiladoras in Mexico

April Salazar

In 1965, the Industrialization of the Border (PIF) was created to create more jobs; this led to the birth of the maquiladora (Industrial Production plants) on the borders.  Then in 1994 the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented.  The 1965 PIF and NAFTA were set to benefit foreign plants and wealthy Mexican politicians in power.  For example, foreign plants in Mexico have a hundred percent control over the land and own it, do not pay taxes, and have less environmental restriction.  People may wonder what Mexico’s government was thinking when they accepted these agreements!

Curtis Industry in Nogales Mexico

Rosario Roldan, The Spokesperson

Employees in Curtis Maquiladora in Nogales, Mexico

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Mexico is a place where companies take advantage of their employees with out suffering consequences.  Maquiladoras own the land and have full control over their products and employees.  This gives them the authority to over work and under pay the employees.  For example, one million Mexicanos earn less than the minimum pay according to salary standards in the United States. (Border Links Readings, p.17)  In the Curtis maquiladora the company spoke person,  stated that their employees average’ salaries is ten dollars per day, meaning that some employees get less than the ten dollar per day.  Also most employers do not provide personal protective equipment (PPE) or a safe working environment.  For example, the article "The Maquiladora Industries" informs us that many employees have carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive work.  In the Curtis maquiladora most employees were not wearing PPE and some were being exposed to chemicals and dangerous machines.  Some of the employees working on outdated industrial sized machinery, resulting on to assembling small items, which resulted in repetition of the same task.  These maquiladoras are also allowed to discriminate against people according to their gender.  For example, in Curtis forty percent of employees are men and sixty are women, most Maquiladora in Mexico prefer to hire women.

Foreign plants in Mexico could be blamed for destroying communities.  Before maquiladoras moved into Mexico, people had a better life because they own their owned business and farms.  NAFTA and PIF were introduced into the country to increase employment, but had the opposite effect.  Million of Mexican families lost their bossiness and farm, which dropped them from middle class to lower class in Mexican society. (Border Links, p. 1-15) For example, in Nogales, Mexico most are poor homes build of scratch materials.

When the politicians talk about transferring companies to other countries they send a massage that the transfer would benefit undeveloped countries by increasing employment. The trip to Nogales, Mexico was an eye opener because the Broader Links organization and articles provides information that NAFTA ruins the U.S as well as the countries where maquiladora are being introduced. Many people are not aware that these foreign plants do not pay taxes and that they are destroying these countries’ environment, which forces citizens to emigrate to other countries. Mexico is one of the countries where big corporations destroy the environment and communities, and mistreat the employees.  

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