Essay by Reems411College, UndergraduateA, January 2008

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Maquiladoras, foreign owned export assembly plants, have been both beneficial and problematic to men and mainly women working near the U.S.-Mexico border. The maquiladora program is a world wide economic issue affecting many people that must be addressed to the public.

Mainly women make up the workforce in maquiladoras. Although the maquiladoras have been able to supply many women with jobs, the women, however, have faced many adversaries in the factories such as: sexual harassment, harsh working conditions and discriminatory hiring practices . Although the environment is problematic, the factory work found along the border cities tends to offer somewhat better wages than those found in Mexico’s countryside.

Furthermore, men and women working in the factories (majority women) face problems both directly and indirectly related to the maquiladoras. The presence of very low wages for the amount of labor a person puts into one’s job is very common according to the according to PBS POV website.

For example, an average work week for a maquiladora worker lasts about 65 hours with an estimated pay at $5.75 per day. Comparing this to employed Texas workers, the minimum wage is $5.85/hour, so a typical work week of 40 hours/week comes to a minimum of $234. The maquiladoras would have to work two continuous months to ever come close to this salary! Also, maquiladoras workers tend to live in colonias made from industrial scraps which consist of many Mexican migrants. The scrap material does not adequately keep out natural causes such as wind or water. However, colonias provide a home closer to the jobs in the maquilas and provides an immediate solution to the housing predicament.

Moreover, I believe the maquiladora is an unfair labor practice in which there is an unequal balance between the dominant groups such as the foreign...