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The fight for improved labour standards: women labour organising on the Northern Mexican border and El Salvador

Journal article
Authors Edme Dominguez
Cirila Quintero
Published in Third World Thematics, A TWQ journal
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 27-43
ISSN 2380-2014
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Global Studies
Pages 27-43
Language en
Keywords Gender, labour organising Mexico-US border El Salvador
Subject categories Gender Studies, Economics and Business


There has been an unending discussion on global labour standards without reaching an agreement as to how to achieve these standards worldwide while the race to the bottom has continued. At the same time, neither the gender perspective nor the experience of small labour organisations has been given much attention. This paper con- tributes to the debate by presenting the experiences of two cases where women workers have been supported in sectors and countries profoundly immersed in global capital and global chains of produc- tion. These are the cases of two NGOs on the Mexican Northern border and two trade unions and one NGO in San Salvador in El Salvador. In these cases, women have been, at a certain moment, the majority of the workers. Through these experiences we want to test in what degree the discussion regarding labour standards and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) affected this labour force organising. Concrete examples are important for there are few studies comparing the advances and limits of these responses to capital in different countries. The material for both of these experiences is taken from our own fieldwork, which took place at different times from 2004 to 2012, and from materials published up to 2017.

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