The rule of law and the enforcement of the law: Workers' understanding of labor rights in the central highlands of Guatemala

Liliana Goldín, Courtney Dowdall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research with hundreds of mostly indigenous Maya workers in the export processing plants (maquilas) of highland Guatemala has revealed a disconnect between working conditions in the factories, perceived rights, national and international labor laws, and law enforcement. Because of this disjunction, efforts to address the plight of workers must engage the complex conditions of the current labor regimes. Maquilas operate in contexts that are virtually exempt from regulation and conflate national and global orders, precluding a clear perspective on issues of rights and legal claims. In the new geographies of power, workers in transnational factories fall into the interstices between state and nonstate spaces and lose their rights and entitlements in the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-154
Number of pages22
JournalLatin American Perspectives
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Guatemala
  • Industrial work
  • Labor laws
  • Maquilas
  • Workers' rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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