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Maquila textile and manufacturing: Minimum wages in Central America

Photo: Honduran Independent Monitoring Team (EMIH). Group of garment workers protesting the government's failure to pay the COVID subsidy.

In December 2020, the El Salvador-based Labour Research Team (Equipo de Investigaciónes Laborales -- EIL) published its annual report comparing inflation rates and increases in the monthly minimum wages for maquila workers in Central America’s four garment-producing countries.

Fighting COVID and defending workers’ rights in Northern Mexico

Workers at CFO's garment manufacturing co-operative Maquiladora Justicia y Dignidad (Photo: CFO)

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Mexico hard. As of mid-November, the country has almost one million confirmed positive cases and over 95,000 official deaths. Since the pandemic started, maquila factories in the northern states experienced waves of infections among workers, with little protection provided by factory owners and management.

Global week of action calling on Primark, H&M and Nike to pay their workers

When global garment and footwear brands first responded to the pandemic by cancelling orders already placed with factories, workers across the globe bore the brunt through unpaid wages, pay reductions, and mass dismissals. Workers are owed between US$3.19 and $5.79 billion for the first three weeks of the pandemic alone. In response, since March, workers have been taking to the streets in protest and to demand what they are legally owed.

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