Maquiladora factory system keeps workers in poverty
By Tim Johnson / McClatchy Newspapers
By day, Sergio Martinez labors in a modern air-conditioned factory in Ciudad Acuna a few miles from the Texas border, a human cog in the global supply chain that helps build pickups and tractor-trailer cabs. He wears a smart uniform at work.
At night, he comes home to a dirt-floor shack with a bare lightbulb and no indoor plumbing. He and his family live like poor dirt farmers.
Martinez, 35, is emblematic of Mexico's industrial sector. Some four decades after welcoming foreign assembly plants, known as maquiladoras, Mexico has seen only a trickle of its factory workers join the ranks of those who even slightly resemble a middle class.