Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
Her last name is Ortega, she was part of the Farah Strike at El Paso, Texas. She says that the Union was getting stronger because more people were getting involved. When she was working, she will notice cases of harassment and she says that many of the supervisors were trying to get advantage of other workers. She was part of the strike that many other people participated because they were fighting for their rights and for a better wage. When she was working at the company, she says that many workers will get fired for no reason or reasons that wasn’t enough to get fired. She mentions that many people rely on that income to support their family as well as getting their bills payed. She mentions that there was a church were many people will attend to. She says that the union when it first started many people trusted them and they wanted to be part of the union but after some time people realized it wasn’t as good as it looked. She says that in those days people will see on the newspaper that Farah was hiring employees and that many people were updated by the newspaper. She says that as a woman you need to fight for what you want and what you fight for that is what you will get in return. Her family and her have had economic problems and before and after the strike the conditions did not get better. She says that she wants her kids to have that financial freedom and can be indented in the future. She is trying to mentor their kids of how things work in real life. She says that the union was not taking care of their people and she knew before the strike that something was going to happen because many people were complaining about the union and its employees. She says that many of her coworkers had problems with some of the supervisors. Many people were getting fired and other employees will have to substitute the position that they had left and they didn’t even know how to do the job correctly. She says that her friends from work will have a hard time at Farah because for them it wasn’t that easy to adapt to a new job, because the safety protocols did not work. She says that she. Is not a person that will allow anyone to be rude to her or try to take advantage of her, and that includes any family members, supervisors and co-workers? She says that back in the day divorce was more common due to the economic citation and how people managed their money was not as good as they should have done it. She says that many people will try to get something from you and they can appear to be friendly but they are just trying to get what they want for their own benefit and she says that those citations can teach you a very good lesson for life and she is trying to pass that to her children and other family members because it’s a reality. She says that many people will look for help at the union but they will get ignored even before the strike, and after the stir because many things did not get better. She says that she wanted to be more involved in the changes after the strike. She says that she comes from a hard work family and when they were young, they will have to take care of their sibling because most of the time their parents were and they couldn’t be at home. They learned that hard work will pay off at the end of the day, because you get what you fight and work for.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
1 hour, 45 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Ortega by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1754," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.
Roberto Cristoforo transcribed the coversheet of the interview. There is no transcription of the interview.