THE CHILDREN OF NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexican Border

David Bacon, Author . Univ. of Calif. $27.50 (348p) ISBN 978-0-520-23778-0

Normally rare firsthand accounts from Mexican workers make up most of this examination of labor struggles in the fields and factories along the U.S.-Mexican border in the 10 years since the signing of NAFTA. Bacon, an associate editor with Pacific News Service and a regular contributor to the Nation , provides exhaustive, meticulous retellings of intimidation, violence and voter fraud that reveal a pattern of corporate and government collusion to squash laborers' attempts to organize independent unions. Such tactics are nothing new in Mexican politics, but Bacon argues they have a new significance post-NAFTA: enforcing the government's neoliberal policy of suppressing wages in order to attract foreign investment. While Bacon offers little in terms of substantiating this claim, the testimony of the workers is powerful and compelling (as are Bacon's 24 b&w photos), and the chunks of Mexican labor history Bacon presents along the way are clear and accessible, making this an invaluable book for anyone interested in the human mechanics of globalization. Ironically, despite rampant suppression of workers' organizations, Bacon finds an unintended success of NAFTA in burgeoning ties between U.S. and Mexican workers, in preparation for a large-scale fight for workers' rights that "will take place on the floors of the maquila plants." (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/19/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 978-0-520-90172-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 348 pages - 978-0-520-93872-4
Paperback - 348 pages - 978-0-520-24472-6
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