WOB’s mission began as an effort to expand awareness of the impact of NAFTA and American consumerism on the working and living conditions for women in the maquiladoras at the Mexican border.
The US- Mexico borderlands have been and 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. Neither NAFTA nor Trump’s new USMCA have delivered on improving the lives of workers on either side of the border.
This website offers materials focusing on two areas —
1) Women and Globalization, i.e., supporting the workers who voice concern for the ways U.S. trade policy with Mexico exposes them to toxicity and poverty;
2) Immigration and Detention, i.e., examining the impact of the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, of restrictive immigration rules such as Trump’s Zero Tolerance programs, ICE harassment of undocumented residents and workers, people of color, migrants and asylum seekers.
- OUR HISTORY: WOB historically relied on working women’s stories to show how NAFTA actually affected them at work, in their health and at home.
- By the late 90s NAFTA was showing its negative effects in workers’ lives. And the labor side agreement (NAALC) denied workers the right to file a lawsuit against an employer whose production methods and demands exposed them to toxic materials and contributed to chronic illness and stress.
- Meanwhile in the U.S. vast areas of the historic “rust belt” lost factories and jobs to outsourcing under NAFTA. The jobs have not come back. Outsourcing, whether to Mexico or other countries devastated the U.S. working classes.
- In Mexico, rapid industrialization in small border towns produced social chaos, corruption, discrimination, toxicity and gender violence. Important global economy centers like Ciudad Juarez became famous for the femicides called the Maquiladora Murders.
- “Free Trade” created jobs but not living wages, and in 2019 workers at the Mexican border are still paid non-living wages, are exposed to systematic toxicity, repetitive and high stress tasks and hours, retaliation for seeking reforms in the workplace and sexual harassment or discrimination.
THE WEBSITE MATERIALS — WOB supports the activist teaching of the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (the CFO) whose 1999 report identified well the terrible conditions and pay for female maquiladora workers. WOB also supports the learning tool of a weekend delegation to meet maquila workers. These are produced quarterly by the CFO and ATCF. The delegations provide first-hand stories about working conditions, current labor struggles and about the positive impact from their gender empowerment workshops.
CFO volunteers, use popular education tools to learn and share their understanding of workers’ rights un La Ley Federal del Trabajo . They help workrs file grievances to challenge wage theft, harassment or retaliatory blacklisting and firing of those who advocate worker safety, living wages and toxic-free lives.
We invite researchers, activists and allies of people struggling for fair and just treatment in their homes, schools or workplaces to use our educational materials.
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.