North American workers find their jobs more pressured and precarious but turn on the television and find pundits praising the glories of the global economy. Their counterparts south of the Rio Grande find themselves forced into the arms of global corporations that barely pay them their daily bread for work in dangerous plants that refuse to observe minimal safety or environmental standards. No wonder inequality is increasing in both countries. Although North Americans are told that Mexicans are stealing their jobs, workers can find "allies across the border."
Like the U.S. labor organizers in the early part of the 20th century who created the C.I.O. in response to A.F.L. corruption, Mexico's F.A.T. (Frente Autentico del Trabajo or Authentic Workers' Front) is building a historic movement to create an alternative to Mexico's notoriously co-opted labor unions and collusion with government international capital. Allies Across the Border, the first book on F.A.T., analyzes this important group in the context of the globalization of capital and the necessary globalization of labor struggle. Dale Hathaway shows how F.A.T.'s dedication to worker education and self-management, union independence, and community development are key, not only in Mexico, but worldwide.
Allies Across the Border includes detailed descriptions of F.A.T.'s growth from its liberation theology origins, through the Worker's Uprising and student movements of the late 60s, Mexico's debt crisis of the 70s and 80s, and F.A.T.'s work with women's groups, peasants, and consumer co-ops in the 90s. Hathaway's Allies Across the Border shows how F.A.T.'s dedication to worker's dignity offers lessons for North American workers who are fighting to keep corporations from pushing for greater exploitation of workers and environment in their home countries and worldwide.