Comité Fronterizo
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CFO

For the labor rights and all human rights of the maquiladora workers

 
   
   
   
Home> CFO in the Media 2002
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The Human Face of Globalization

AFSC-TAO
June 2002

By Judith Rosenberg
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera

On May 24-26, an Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (Austin So Close to the Border, or ATCF) solidarity delegation visited Nuevo Laredo for the first time. Our sister organization, the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (Border Committee of Women Workers, or CFO) worked there in the mid-1990’s and has renewed its organizing as of November 2001. Two experienced organizers, Jorge Zertuche and Juan Pablo Hernández, are already getting results. We could see this from the enthusiasm of their new contacts and the hunger the Laredo workers have to learn the Mexican Labor Law and to advocate for themselves.

For example, we met and heard the story of a worker named Paula who is already acting as a volunteer organizer. Paula works with a woman named Olga Alicia. They work 12 hours a day, seven days a week stuffing envelops for Readers Digest "junk mail." They earn $20 a week. Olga Alicia began to suspect that her employer was planning to fire her. Paula brought Olga Alica to a CFO meeting where the CFO conducted a workshop the Mexican Labor Law and its definition of a legal firing. Then in a roll play, Olga Alicia faced the manipulations of the plant manager and spoke effectively for her rights.

On the last day of our delegation, several first-time ATCF delegates reminded us how delegations are an education that reading or TV cannot duplicate. Linda Ferreira-Buckley, a UT professor, said, "We saw much that is sad here but also much determination, laughter, and love." Dan Pearson, AFSC’s new Regional Director for the Central Region, said to the CFO, "You join the struggle with globalization without being over- come by it. What you do is simple. You share your lives and trust that people will find power, the simple power of people. Behind politics and theory, there is the human face."

 


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Comité Fronterizo de Obrer@s (CFO)
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C.P. 26010, México