Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
Her last name is Herrera and she used to work for Farah. She says that when she was working in there the supervisors where very racist with Mexicans and Latinos, and they treat them like slaves. She says that the instability of the workers and the company was because of how supervisors did their job. She says that as a woman was very difficult to defend herself from a man and she says that the best thing to do was quit. After she was thinking of quitting her job, she heard people talking about a protest against the company that in that time was the Farah strike. Many people were caught before the strike and they were told that if they spoke about that they will be fired. She was really trying to get out of there but she knew that the problem was the supervisors so they had to do something to change the attitude of the supervisors. One day she was working as every other day and everyone went out to protest and she was trapped inside the company because the supervisors closed the door when she wanted to go out, next day she told everyone that she was going to protest and her reason was because the miss treatment from the supervisors and they stared saying that they will change their attitude but they knew it was a fake statement just to keep the workers in the company. When she was protesting thousands more workers were as well protesting. When the strike was over the supervisors where better, but many things were left to change like the pay rate. The supervisors will lie to you in order to get what they want and they were very abusive to all workers including men and women. When she finished her job, the supervisors will complain for everything and they wanted a perfect job but that was not human possible and they were being forced to give more. She says that many people during the strike had a hard time economically because they didn’t work so they didn’t get payed and they were suffering because they had families and they needed that income. The supervisors will get to work at the time they want and they will leave early as well but if they were late for minutes they will get fired. She says that there was a lack of communication with supervisors and the workers because if there is communication you can have better results. After the strike many agents came to the company and review the petitions from the works to solve the problems that were going on and they were supposed to have or create a solution. As it was expected the agents with the vicepresident and his son were reviewing the contact the workers wanted and they were in disagreement with most of the contract and they see that coming and they changed many other things. They were arguing for 2 weeks and they will exchange things form the contract to new ones and at the end there was a contract that was signed by the workers and the superiors, at the end the company in New Mexico closed as part of the agreement. She was part of a group that was representing all of the workers and the workers trust them to close the agreement and of course there was many people that wasn’t happy with the final contract. Some of the things that they received it was that there will be engineers on the site to check the machine because they had to do that themselves and it was very hard for them so that was a huge relive for them. She says that overall, many of the things were being made but there were many things that weren’t being done and she will have to remind the supervisors all of the agreement because of them their attitude was still wrong. She says that many people were just working one day per week and they were being told to not to come to work but that was because there was a lack of work. The workers needed a longer break and that includes people sewing, cutting, cafeteria and other positions but they get an hour for every 8 they worked but the hours they work it was way too much for them so they had to spoke to the supervisors but they didn’t understand how was to be in their shoes. She says that something that helped her was to be a very good speaker because she could communicate what they needed and that why she was chooses as one of the few people that where representing the workers. She says that there should be a union that is a national union that will help very worker because just like them many other workers were going thru the same. The supervisors wanted the worker to work as robots that are perfect with no margin for errors. She says that her father was just like she was with the company because back in the day when he was in Mexico he was protesting agains the schools because they didn’t have a place where they could have fun like a soccer field or something fun to do so at the end they ended up with filds and recreational areas and she identified that situation with this strike.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
2 hours, 10 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Herrera by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1759," 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.