When it was founded in 2001 WOMEN ON THE BORDER’S primary mission focused on expanding awareness of how American free trade and immigration law and policy in today’s global economy, and their role in American consumerism play a role in the absence of living wages, safe communities and decent and healthy working conditions for women, migrants and children at the Mexican border. While our primary focus has been on the impact of the maquiladora industries spawned by the North American Free Trade Agreement, the labor and human rights issues surrounding the effects of “free trade” are universal and the education here can provide insights into the situation for workers and migrants worldwide.
EXPANDED MISSION STATEMENT (2018)
WOB has dedicated itself to promote better understanding of how the ideology of “free market fundamentalism,” encouraged the enactment of pro-corporate terms in the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement creating an unfair imbalance of power between employers and workers. The terms were so pro-employer that NAFTA ushered in a period where thousands of U.S. companies moved assembly productions across the border. They increased the hiring of Mexican workers, and generated record profits. But the real beneficiaries of the supposed prosperity went to investors, shareholders and to dramatically high CEO salaries. In turn, Mexican laborers found work but not living wages, and they were and still are exposed to brutal, long workdays of repetitive unskilled tasks, often unsafe or even toxic workplaces, and female workers are still vulnerable to sexual harassment, disrespect and sex-based discrimination.
The bulk of educational materials on this website enhance knowledge of how NAFTA truly affected people’s lives and communities — whether in the borderlands, the domestic U.S. or in the global economy. We have historically also supported the courageous working women of the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (the CFO). CFO volunteers, who are maquiladora workers themselves, teach fellow workers how to exercise their rights under Mexican labor law and hold accountable American companies who don’t pay a living wage, 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.
WOB’s primary mission continues to be educational.
And changes in our society since 2017 urge us to focus that in a true democracy we value the right to hold government and powerful corporations accountable to the people. Where is unregulated power producing extremist violence aimed at the most vulnerable social members of society? Why is the migrant laborer so demonized in current policy? Who benefits from the attacks on minority groups? Are workers benefitting from refashioned “free trade” deals between the U.S. and less wealthy countries? Where can we point out the need for compassionate activism in support of the basic human right of persons to be treated with dignity, respect and equality regardless of their citizenship status, the color of their skin, their religion or their gender or sexuality.
WOB therefore supports domestic and global movements for social reforms promoting the human right to travel, including to find work, to living wages, to shelter, education, health and safety and to dignity, equality and inclusion.
All of the materials on this website are provided to help researchers, activists and allies of people struggling for fair and just treatment in their homes, schools or workplaces. Wherever possible we will continue to gather unique stories from the voices of the defenseless or the disenfranchised members of our interdependent global society. While our historic focus has been on Mexican laborers and migrants along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border, the issues of law, power, militarized border patrol, and harassment based on discrimination against poor people of color along the borderlands can serve as a lens for advancing the global and human rights to dignity, safety, travel and to work in the U.S. or anywhere in today’s complex and interdependent global economy.
TAX EXEMPT DONATIONS
WOB, INC. is a 501c3 tax exempt organization (EIN 74-3003850) founded as a Texas-based non-profit corporation in the year 2000.
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.