09 June 2015
Maquiladoras: a Binational Economic and Environmental Detriment
Carcinogenic and corrosive chemicals coupled with poor air ventilation, dangerous heavy machinery with inadequate safety information or training, and noise levels high enough to damage human hearing, along with numerous other health hazards, are what the underrepresented Mexican workers of the maquiladoras are constantly exposed to. For these maquiladora laborers, workdays can be longer than 12 hours, with very little time for breaks, if any, and the wages provided by the exploitive monetarily-driven companies barely cover minimum living expenses for an individual, making it virtually impossible to support a family. While having to…show more content… Many Mexican workers lost their jobs when the U.S. program ended, and with the sweep of globalization moving throughout these neighboring countries, “maquiladoras were to provide an employment alternative in the manufacturing sector” for these unemployed agricultural workers (Gruben 12). Although the concept of the maquiladoras was centered on the positive idea of stimulating industrialization in Mexico and developing a mutually beneficial economic partnership with the United States, with the failures associated with NAFTA, maquiladoras are costing American manufacturing jobs while immensely decreasing the standard of living in a rapidly-polluted Mexico. Rather than creating binational economic prosperity, NAFTA has made it possible for many American manufacturers to conveniently cross the border lines into Mexico to take advantage of the plummeting labor costs, exploit defenseless workers who are unaware of their rights, and destroy Mexico’s seemingly disconnected environment, obliviously thinking that it will not be a detriment to their own as water and air pollution travels freely into the United States.