Blue Jeans in Torreon Shifting Power: better local development? Commodity chain approach –Production, Marketing, also Social Movements, Governments Gereffi, 2001: “By focusing on the chain or organizational network as the unit of analysis, rather than the firm, interesting questions about power, governance and the dynamics of chains emerge.”
US¯Torreon apparel commodity chain activities and location.
Top 10 apparel manufacturers in Torreon, Mexico ¯¯ July 2000
Changing Labor Conditions?-upside Labor “shortages” due to need for more skilled labor High turnover- Labor wars Higher wages Upscale labels promote improved working condition New factories are often better than US apparel factories Codes of Conduct displayed (but in English!!)
Changing Labor Conditions?-downside according to Bair and Gereffi Concentration of Ownership in few extended families Men more readily promoted to management positions Mexican Government has reduced the power of unions to a minimum Higher wages must be seen in context of 1994 devaluation of peso decline in living standards over last 5 years
Maquila Solidarity Network Critique “Toxic Fashions” and “Blue jean blues” require toxic chemicals Mercerization: Sulphur, caustic soda, acid Tinting and Overdyes-manually crunched, rubbed and sponged Bleaching and Stonewashing: Amylase, Laccase Drying and Baking: Toxic fumes from ovens Pollution of Water Supplies
Code Initiatives in North UK: Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) US/Europe: SA 8000 (Social Accountability 8000) US: Workers Rights Consortium (University Clothing Fair Labor Association (FLA) –Adidas-Salomon, Eddie Bauer, GEAR for Sports, Joy Athletic, Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom, Nike, Patagonia, Reebok, Phillips- Van Heusen, Polo Ralph Lauren and Zephyr Graf-X. WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production) Lower Standards
Steps to Socially Just Production “Network of Central American Women in Solidarity with Maquila Workers” negotiate code of conduct with Nicaraguan Labor Ministry
Torreon Chamber of Commerce http://www.torreon.gob.mx/index2.htm
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