Maquiladora – Wikipedia

History and Development of Maquiladoras
– Bracero program allowed men with farming experience to work on US farms on a seasonal basis
– Border Industrialization Program (BIP) lowered restrictions and duties on machinery, equipment, and raw materials
– PRONAF improved infrastructure along the US-Mexico border
– Border Industrialization Program aimed to attract foreign investment
– Maquiladora industry grew after the Mexican debt crisis of 1980
– Maquiladora industry rapidly expanded in the 1960s and became Mexico’s second largest source of export income
– Maquiladoras accounted for nearly half of Mexico’s export assembly
– Exports of assembled products tripled between 1995 and 2000
– Maquiladoras accounted for a significant portion of Mexico’s gross domestic product and employment
– Maquiladoras were a major source of income for Mexico, second only to oil

Impact of NAFTA and Globalization
– NAFTA allowed US multinational corporations to produce products cheaply in Northern Mexico
– Maquila employment grew rapidly before and after NAFTA
– Maquiladoras spread from the border to the interior of Mexico
– Rise of other countries with cheap labor posed competition to the maquila industry
– Maquiladora exports accounted for a significant portion of Mexico’s total exports
– Maquiladoras faced competition from low-cost offshore assembly in countries like China and Central America
– Maquiladoras declined since 2000 due to globalization and physical restructuring
– Changes in Mexican wages relative to those in Asia and the US influenced maquiladora growth
– Maquiladoras accounted for 45% of Mexico’s exports in 2006

Working Conditions and Gendered Violence in Maquiladoras
– Minimum wage in Tijuana in 2015 was 70.1 pesos per day or about $0.55 per hour
– Entry-level positions in maquilas paid closer to $2 per hour including bonuses and benefits
– Many families rely on children working at an early age to support the family
– Some workers are given additional responsibilities without higher pay
– Involuntary overtime work without extra compensation
– Women are not allowed to be pregnant while working
– Pregnancy testing is required for female applicants and pregnant workers are given more strenuous tasks
– Sexual harassment by supervisors is common and human resources often provide no help
– Women in maquilas face workplace injuries and hazards

Unionization and Societal Impact
– Many labor unions in maquiladoras are government-supported and not beneficial for workers
– Workers who complain can be fired and blacklisted
– Contracts are often short-term, preventing workers from organizing for their rights
– Independent unions have faced challenges and failed attempts
– Worker protests and demands for independent unions have increased in recent years
– Neoliberalism in the U.S.-Mexico border region is stratified by race, class, and gender
– Racialization of individuals living south of the border reinforces the prosecution of illegal aliens
– Maquiladora workplace is racialized and gendered, putting Mexican women and children at risk
– Violence against women in Ciudad Juárez has been a longstanding issue
– Worker activism has decreased due to violence against women

Environmental Effects and Improvement
– Maquilas are required to provide an environmental impact statement
– Many maquiladoras exceed Mexican waste treatment standards
– The New River, flowing from Mexicali, Mexico, is considered the dirtiest river in America
– Toxic waste from maquila factories has led to negative health outcomes for nearby communities
– Children in Juarez were born with brain defects due to toxic chemicals from factories
– Around 90% of maquiladoras obtained an environmental certification in the early 2000s
– The push for environmental policy improvement was led by the Mexican government
– The EPAs US-Mexico Border 2012 Program aims to address environmental issues along the borderSources: