Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
When Arieta initially started working there, she said that everyone at Farah detested their jobs. She didn't get the issues at Farah in Paisano that made every employee dread reporting to work each day. After a few days had passed, she received her first check and found she had been paid very little before the manager informed her that her pay would be increasing. She came to the realization that the contract she signed when she first started working there was also a complete fabrication that the bosses didn't regard.
She initially believed that Farah employed anyone who was willing to work and that the recruiting process was quite simple. Arieta soon became aware that her contract was being violated and that the business and its management were treating her horribly. The managers at Farah were the worst part of the business since they lacked retail skills and were incapable of taking charge. Arieta alleged that her superiors were callous and unconcerned if you were burned or hurt by the machinery. Accidents were frequent since there was little training provided to the personnel before using the equipment. Before using the equipment, Arieta had no prior training and had no idea how to use it, which resulted in her having multiple accidents.
The Farah employees decided to start a strike that lasted two years after working there for three arduous years without being represented by the union. Arieta learned about the strike when some of her female coworkers discussed joining it. Arieta made the decision to join the cause after hearing what they had to say to her about the strike and the need to be represented by a union. The walkout also got started because the Farah company offered low wages, forced its workers to work harder and faster, routinely disregarded health and safety regulations, and promptly fired any employee who raised concerns. Arieta observed that 85% of the strikers were Chicana women as the action got underway. Following swift action by other American workers to support the Farah workers, the strike was deemed to be an unfair labor practice strike. A national boycott of Farah items was launched a month later. The strikers in El Paso started to assemble outside the factories and neighborhood shops that sold Farah goods. After a protracted twoyear strike, the Farah firmrehired sacked workers, including Arieta. To enhance the working environment, the organization also negotiates a contract. The Farah strike, as Arieta noted, will always serve as motivation for Chicana women.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
1 hour, 19 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Arieta by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1768," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.
Andrea Santos transcribed the coversheet of the interview. There is no transcription of the interview.