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Title The central american free trade agreement: Effects on labor in the maguila sector
Publication Date
Discipline/Department International Studies
Degree Level thesis
University/Publisher Depaul University
Abstract The rapid expansion of free trade has challenged workers rights in Central America.  Unions are continuously deprived of customary support and resources to enforce their rights, especially in the maquiladoras. The expansion of maquila production has often been accompanied by an informal agreement between corporations and governments that do not serve to protect workers’ rights. Police and military routinely patrol factories and free trade zones (FTZs) to deter union organizing and women are constantly subjected to sexual harassment. In order to help address labor violations, trade agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) includes workers’ rights provisions in the body of the agreement. Therefore, this thesis asks: will signing CAFTA lead to the protection of labor rights in Central America?  The answer is no   
Subjects/Keywords Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA); World Trade Organization (WTO); International Labor Organization (ILO); Maquiladoras; Labor; Central America; Caribbean Basin Initiative; Guatamala
Country of Publication us
Record ID oai:via.library.depaul.edu:etd-1080
Repository depaul
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2020-01-02
Created Date 2011-06-01 07:00:00

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…specifically in the maquiladoras, need to be recognized as critical components to trade agreements in order to improve labor standards and working conditions for the CAFTA countries. In order to ensure that the link between trade and development works in a way…

…Therefore, this thesis argues that labor rights, specifically in the maquiladoras in Central America, must be enforceable critical components of trade agreements like CAFTA in order to improve labor standards and working conditions for people in the CAFTA…

…workers in the maquiladoras. Ideally, I would have liked to have primary research that involved fieldwork, but that was not possible due to financial limitations. For that reason, my descriptive research method is mainly concerned with secondary research…

…different circumstances (e.g. stronger union protections) in their current labor situation, allowing for varying conditions. However, I believe Guatemala provides a solid demonstration of the struggles workers face in the maquiladoras. A second…

…the progress of the labor conditions in the maquiladoras and the effect of CAFTA in the region. However, I believe there was enough information already available to develop a strong argument for my thesis. The agreement was approved by the…

…composed of to further examine Central American countries’ labor laws and the difficulties facing workers. Chapter 2, “The Caribbean Basin Initiative: A Historical Review during a Time of Change and the Onset of Maquiladoras in Central America” provides a…

…introduction of CAFTA. Following a review of the Caribbean Basin Initiative, I take a closer look at maquiladoras in Central America and how the abundant source of low wage labor has encouraged the growth of EPZs. Examining EPZs in Central American and the…

…Caribbean region as a center for assembly plants allows us to see the growth and expansion of maquiladoras. Lastly, I examine the economic growth in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic over the past few decades…