Presentation on theme: " By Deborah Levinson-Estrada. Trade unionism was rebuilt in the late 1950s and 60s when there was a substantial industrial growth in Guatemala. By."— Presentation transcript:
Trade unionism was rebuilt in the late 1950s and 60s when there was a substantial industrial growth in Guatemala. By the 1970s the growth was concentrated in Guatemala City, and had become the site of labor movement that called for revolutionary change. This caused a increase in violence and a decline industry as working class leaders were either dead or in exile.
Worked in a Japanese owned company called ACRICASA- a thread factory in Guatemala City. Unconventional childhood o Left by her mother and lived with her father. o She was the only women in the house, so she had to take over the women’s duties in the house. o Finished elementary school o Went to live with her aunt so she could go to high school, but her aunt refused and made her work. o Eventually went to live on her own.
Her father was supportive of her desire to have an education, which led her to have a different reality of gender roles. Her awareness of this oppression enabled her to become her own feminist historian. Her leadership in the union enabled her to became the activist that the women need during this time. o Scaled a fence while six months pregnant when they demanded that they get paid overtime o Would bring her day old son to meetings instead of leaving it to the care of another family member, so that they could implement a day care in the factory. o Even left him their over night so that they could have the day care open during night shifts. ( to make a point)
When the union leader was assassinated, Sonia and her son Pavel were kidnapped Sonia was beaten, but they were ultimately only held for fifteen hours before they were released. o On the condition that Sonia leave the country o Which she did
The central drama to their lives where that the fathers were failures in maintaining their family, it was the mothers who were successful. The women were not only domestic servants, schoolteachers, but also had modern employment with capitalistic factories.
Machines received more care and benefits than the workers of the factories. Because there was no transportation to the factories, women were vulnerable walking at night to get to work. o A drive was organized, but was risky because they were at risk for being fired. o Sonia became one of the leaders of this drive which led her to become one of the executives on the union committee o Mainly because no one else would step up and do the job.
Working class was seen as prideful, but dumb. Intertwined with “tough, male worker” Physical labor meant that they were short on mental labor, meaning they were short of brains or “stupid”.
It took nine months to gain legal recognition, then fifteen months to win a contract. Even with the contract they still had to use pressure to get the company do abide by it. Used tactics like putting up signs with the plant of services that they believed they deserved o Like a bus service or a wage increase. o Also put them on the manager’s cars o Their fame as persistent unionists spread.
Sonia Oliva’s story changes the way we see motherhood and womanhood when it comes to the working women. Even with the implementing of the unions, the companies still treated and oppressed their workers. The working class labor isn’t seen as anything but a necessity, they are the low ones on the totem pole.