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Fires on the BorderThe Passionate Politics of Labor Organizing on the Mexican Frontera$
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Rosemary Hennessy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816647583

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816647583.001.0001

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Labor Organizing in Mexico’s Entangled Economies

Labor Organizing in Mexico’s Entangled Economies

(p.3) 1 Labor Organizing in Mexico’s Entangled Economies
Fires on the Border

Rosemary Hennessy

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter introduces readers to the maquiladoras of Mexico and some of the earliest labor uprisings in the factories. It also tells the story of neoliberal capitalism in Mexico as a political economy and shows that the history of labor organizing in the maquiladoras is rooted in the dawning of neoliberal capitalism and accompanies the restructuring of two economic sectors, one legal and the other extralegal, in the last half of the twentieth century. It considers how the economy on the Mexican side of the border is controlled by the maquiladoras and the drug cartels, whose interests range over a web of overlapping investments and institutions. The chapter first reviews the history of labor unrest that frames the inauguration of the maquilas and women workers’ little-known organized resistance before discussing how the histories of the maquiladoras and the drug trade converged and set the context for maquiladora workers’ lives and organizing efforts.

Keywords:   maquiladoras, Mexico, neoliberal capitalism, political economy, labor organizing, drug cartels, labor unrest, maquilas, women workers, drug trade

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