Women On the Global Assembly Line

Year Published:  1987  
Pages:  39pp  
Dewey:  331.40971
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3207

Abstract:  WOMEN ON THE GLOBAL ASSEMBLY LINE reveals how First World multinationals exploit Third World countries in the microtech industry. Third World countries invest their labour but rarely get to use the advanced technology they help produce, so no development of their country results. The corporations ignore workers' safety and basic human rights in pursuit of profits.

The most striking fact, however, is that First and Third World women alike are paying the price for our cheap microtechnology. These women are employed because they can be paid less, and be laid off when they gain too much seniorty or are too sick to go on working. Researchers, supervisors, and technicians tend to be men, while women perform the fragmented, repetitive and dangerous labour for minimum wages, few benefits, no job security, and at high risk to their health. Women are sexually harassed by their supervisors, their quotas are monitored by machines, and they are threatened with dismissal or injury when they attempt to unionize for better conditions. "The conditions of women employed in the microelectornics factories in Canada are remarkably similar to women working in Third World plants."

This 39-page illustrated booklet is the second in the PRG's Short Circuit series on microtechnology's effect on Caadian women. It is written for the general public, but especially women microtech workers. It describes the connections between women, corporations and countries across the globe, strategies for change, how women are already fighting back, and how everyone can do something to improve conditions. It emphasizes becoming informed through the resources they list, and by sharing stories, organizing and giving one another support. "It is in women's interest to unite across national boundaries, to exchange information. Equipped with information women will be in a stronger position to organize a struggle."

The Participatory Research Group is a non-profit collective of activists, educators, and researchers who produce analytical and popular materials, operate a library and resource centre for public use, and work with labour. native, women's and community groups in the area of popular and adult education, organizational development, research and evaluation.

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