Social Scientist. v 9, no. 101-02 (Dec-Jan 1899) p. 62.


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Multinational Companies and 7heir Impact on Working Women

I AM an electronics worker from Santa Clara Valley in California (United States of America). There is, of course, a myth in the electronics industry that this is "womcn^s work", that we, as women, do not need a decent wage because we all have husbands somewhere, or we are young people and living with our parents. This, of course, is, in fact, not true. At least half of the people I work with are women who arc either self-supporting or the heads of households.

This was stated in October 1978. A document submitted on "Women and the Multinational Corporation" at the Oil Workers' World Anti-monopolist Conference held in Tripoli (Libya) in March 1980, presents valuable information on the extreme exploitation of working women in the South-East Asian countries by the global corporations, in textiles, pharmaccuticals and mainly in electronics. It is a wellknown fact that the multinational companies arc spreading their tentacles in the Third World very rapidly making huge profits and bringing the South-East Asian countries under their heel as colonies. Today "the top dozen such corporations have combined sales equal to the gross national products of two-thirds of the world's nations combined."

The presence of these multinationals has a great impact on the life of every person there, but it is women workers in the semiconductor industries in Hong Kong, South Korea, Philippines* Malaysia and other places who are the worst affected. It is really astounding how these global corporations, mainly United States-based, exploit the cheap labour of thousands of women with their subtle and invisible methods. It is mainly girls in the age group of 18 to 25 who arc inveigled by these corporations. This semiconductor assembly line extends from California to Pcnang in Malaysia, with 200,000 to 300,000 girls working therein.

A continuous race among the companies to produce the.



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