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Living in America our perceptions of the tribulations of other countries tend to be blinded Unless it is shown in the news or we are introduced to it in some other form we may never become acquainted with issues that do not directly involve us as Americans Such is the situation in the area of Mexico known as the Maquiladoras The Maquiladora is an area of Mexico that extends along the United States and Mexican borders Fig 1 In this area companies from other countries such as Korea Japan and the United States Fig2 embark to build their assembly plants and flourish on the low labor rates Maquiladoras are foreign owned manufacturing plants that rely on cheap Mexican labor The unemployment rate was high in Mexico in the 1960s To fix this issue the plan was to draw in American corporations that would build their companies in Mexico In order to ascertain new businesses in this area Mexico had to make changes that resulted in lower wages and a lower standard of living than the United States were accustomed to This Mexico hoped would create enough of an incentive to draw in bigger corporations that would create new jobs As of May 2003 the average Maquiladora wage was roughly 225 a day averaging about 44000 monthly In some companies the wages could be up to 385 per day even though the mandated minimum wage is 420 per day At the same time while compared to US wages 225 a day was low the average wage had already risen 7 in the first half of 2002 If the trend continues this way it will make it even harder to compete with Asians that average only 075 a day in wages Some of the Maquiladoras have attempted unionization in their choice of union nevertheless there have been unconfirmed reports of terrorization Some workers were intimidated into voting for the union with closest ties to the government
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