Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
She was working at Farah and she says that they will treat them really bad and that they were told that this was the best job that they could ever had. The least they can do was to continue to work but they eventually got tired of how they were abused. Her responsibilities at Farah included cleaning and cutting, which was a labor-intensive task. She claims that prior to the union, they had no one to turn to for assistance. They believed that the union would improve their situation, but it didn't work out that way. When they were employed, supervisors watched over them to ensure that you did your job properly, but occasionally they were overbearing and would fire plenty of individuals for either taking too long on a task or going above and beyond what was required. One day she was hurt and had to go to the hospital. The medical care provided inside the factory was terrible, and everyone who need any kind of medical care was treated quite rudely. She believes this was due to a shortage of supplies for any kind of medical operation. There was a time when everyone was depressed over the poor living conditions they experienced, the long hours they put in, and the meager pay they received to make ends meet. According to her, they will continue to work at the plant since they need to support their families in order to have a place to live and food to eat each day. Many workers were reluctant to participate in the strike since they knew they may go without pay for months and many of them had dependents who relied on the money. The Union and its supervisors targeted a lot of people during the strike by fining them and threatening them that they would regret participating, despite the fact that hundreds of people took part. Some employees choose not to strike due to financial concerns, but she claims that the strike was essential and that they will bear the costs because they were standing up for their rights. She claims that protesting wasn't simple because those who weren't affiliated with Farah were also suffering but they couldn't quit their jobs. She claims that after a few months of employment, they were meant to receive a rise, but the supervisors have refused to implement those raises, which is another reason behind the strike. They had huge speciation's that the company wasn't happy with, but they were hopeful that after the strike many people would get rises and the working conditions would get better. She claims that although supervisors were meant to offer guidance, they only thought about their own advantages and didn't support any of the employees. She claims that the strike was beneficial because many businesses realized the importance of workers in keeping the factory running, but Farah was a place where they didn't care about their workers and posed a challenge for them. Women were the majority of the working population there, and they claimed that the supervisors every now and then mistreated them. Many people were left jobless or without any other form of financial assistance after the strike. And for many employees who had dependents, that was extremely stressful. Despite the fact that the strike only had a minimal impact on the situation, the employees finally managed to achieve some adjustments after an extended period of protest.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
2 hours, 3 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Perez by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1772," 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.