Addressing Workplace Challenges in Ciudad Juárez

Addressing Workplace Challenges in Ciudad Juárez

On November 4th, Global Care Experts presented the advantages of workplace-focused crisis response and counseling services to about 100 HR representatives of area employers and members of Index Juárez Maquiladora Association. The timing of the presentation was prompted by recognized needs of this community, as well as recent federal legislation (NOM-035) requiring employers in Mexico to identify trauma and psycho/social risks within their companies. Pictured above is Index Juárez Executive Director, Martin Flores, along with presenter Dr. Sandra Sanjenis of EAP LatinA, Cecilia Levine, President of MFI International, and David Levine(sin relación) from Global Care Experts.

The following day, Index hosted an award breakfast recognizing top employees of Index member companies, including Nidec Automotive, Johnson & Johnson, Mercury Marine, Bombardier, Delphi, and Cardinal Health. The awards were distinguished by community leaders, including mayor Armando Cabada, Municipal President of Ciudad Juárez (in sweater, third from left on the dais in photo).

Border towns in Mexico face unique challenges of population growth, narco- and human-trafficking, gang violence, environmental pollution, and immigration issues that have impacted communities over the past 30 years.  Over the same time, maquiladoras or assembly plants were established by many US, Canadian, Japanese, and European companies to take advantage of the strong work ethic, low wages, and accessible transportation available along the US border.  Begun in the mid-1960s, maquiladoras have grown significantly and contribute to the competitiveness of global companies as well as the Mexican economy. Companies vary in their product focus from automotive, technology, medical, and other industries, and today employ over a million people in more than 3000 maquiladoras.

Given the many challenges in Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, Matamoros, and other US-Mexico border towns, the time has come to increase the support employees face in response to trauma, increased family violence, and stress and other challenges faced by workforces in Mexico and around the world.  The NOM-035 regulations will help quantify traumatic experiences and psycho/social risks, and workplace-based employee can address many of the identified risks.