What is going on in Mexico? A Perspective from Maquiladora Workers:
From NAFTA to Plan Merida
Wednesday, Nov 7, 2012
San Diego City College
Room A 213
|TRW Workers, Tams, Mexico|
Martha Ojeda is a leader of a unique movement of union, community and religious activists, who are creating a new kind of cross-border solidarity, an answer from below to the globalization of the world's economy. As executive director of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, Ojeda has organized thousands of maquiladora workers in some of the poorest barrios in Mexico, a stone's throw from the U.S. border. Challenging the maquiladora border bosses, she takes on some of the world's biggest corporations, running some of Mexico's most miserable sweatshops. David Bacon, Hellraiser
You can tell straight away that Martha Ojeda is a force to be reckoned with. The passion in her ringing, rapid-fire Spanish is infectious as she describes the lives of the half-million maquiladora (a literal translation means 'assembled by machine') workers who labor in the low-wage assembly plants tucked inside the Mexican border. She has been an activist, organizer and worker in the maquiladoras herself for nearly 20 years. Wayne Ellwood, New Internationalist magazine
For Martha Ojeda, the daunting is routine; the impossible simply takes a little longer. For twenty years, a production worker and labor activist in Mexican maquiladora factories, Martha is now executive director of a remarkable transnational organization, the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras (CJM). Petra: Victories for Justice
Martha Ojeda, director of the Coalition pro Justice in the Maquiladoras since 1996 is also editor of the book “NAFTA From Below: Maquiladora Workers, Farmers, and Indigenous Communities Speak Out on the Impact of Free Trade in Mexico” together with Prof. Rosemary Hennessy.
In testimonies from scores of maquiladora workers, campesinos, and indigenous communities from across Mexico, NAFTA From Below details the impact of free trade on those it has most severely affected. These first-hand accounts of workers organizing for their rights, of farmers and indigenous peoples fighting to preserve their land, and of efforts north and south to build alternatives document the courage of ordinary people who dare to join together and stand up for decent work conditions, just salaries, a clean environment, and lives with dignity.