When it was founded in 2001 WOMEN ON THE BORDER’S primary mission focused on expanding awareness of the impact of NAFTA and American consumerism in the working and living conditions for women in the maquiladoras.
The principles of “free trade” reflected in the NAFTA favored the interests of corporations. The ideas behind a revised NAFTA under the new USMCA (2017-18) still largely favor employer interests rather than labor. Meanwhile the US- Mexico borderlands are still a site of conflict over the right to work, to travel, to seek liberty and safety, to living wages and to not being presumed criminals for crossing the border in order to seek asylum.
In fulfillment of our expanded mission our website materials focus on two broad areas — 1) Women and Globalization, i.e., giving a human face to NAFTA’s impact with workers’ stories; and 2) Immigration and Detention, i.e., critically examining the impact of the militarized border, increased border wall construction and anti-migrant Zero Tolerance policies in the Trump era on undocumented residents, people of color, migrants and asylum seekers.
WOB was founded with the goal of using women’s stories to give a human face to the real consequences of NAFTA in workers’ lives: The terms in NAFTA and the labor side agreement (NAALC) were so pro-employer that NAFTA ushered in a period where thousands of U.S. companies shut down operations through the historic rust belt regions of the U.S. and outsourced assembly to the Mexican border. They increased the hiring of Mexican workers, and generated record profits.
In some cities social chaos and increased gender violence followed in the wake of rapid industrialization. Global economy star cities at the Mexican border like Ciudad Juarez, became famous for the femicides called the Maquiladora Murders. The factories brought in jobs but not living wages, and workers today are still exposed to brutal, long workdays of repetitive unskilled tasks, often unsafe or even toxic workplaces, and female workers still complain of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Unfortunately, the real beneficiaries of the prosperity promised by NAFTA were not the workers; it was the investors, shareholders and big corporations.
THE WEBSITE MATERIALS — We have historically supported the courageous working women of the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (the CFO) whose 1999 report identified well the terrible conditions and pay for female maquiladora workers.
CFO volunteers, who are maquiladora workers themselves, continue to teach fellow workers how to challenge sex discrimination and harassment in the workplace, how to file grievances under La Ley Federal del Trabajo and challenge employers who engage in wage theft, blacklist those who fight for better working conditions and deny workers the human rights to dignity and safety at work and at home.
Our online materials are here to help researchers, activists and allies of people struggling for fair and just treatment in their homes, schools or workplaces.
TAX EXEMPT DONATIONS
WOB, INC. is a 501c3 tax exempt organization (EIN 74-3003850).
TO DONATE: either submit through NETWORK FOR GOOD , donate at our FACEBOOK PAGE or you can send a check to: WOB, Inc., P.O. Box 303338, Austin, Texas, 78703-0056. Provide name and a valid mailing address for tax exempt receipts.