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Hanging by a thread : industrial restructuring and social reproduction in a Colombian city

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Title:
Hanging by a thread : industrial restructuring and social reproduction in a Colombian city
Creator:
Gladden, Kathleen Ann, 1960-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
x, 214 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Capitalism ( jstor )
Clothing ( jstor )
Employment ( jstor )
Factories ( jstor )
Factory labor ( jstor )
Gender roles ( jstor )
Households ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Workforce ( jstor )
Anthropology thesis Ph.D
Clothing workers -- Colombia ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF
Women -- Employment -- Colombia ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1991.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 196-213).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Kathleen Ann Gladden.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
0026184997 ( ALEPH )
24956944 ( OCLC )

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HANGING BY A THREAD: INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION ENT A COLOMBIAN CITY










BY


KATHLEEN ANN GLADDEN
















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1991














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This research was made possible only through the collaboration of many individuals and organizations. Undoubtedly some will be left out in this recognition. My apologies to those people. So many people have extended a helping hand during various stages of this project, that to name them all would be impossible. First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the women workers in the garment industry (both those who worked in the factory and those who worked in the home). These women took hours out of an otherwise incredibly busy day to talk to a curious ".gringa" who spoke a broken Spanish. These interviews (conversations) provide the basis for the analysis presented here.

In Pereira, Risaralda, the local branch of the National Industrialists Association, ANDI, provided letters of introduction for the large factories. The association of medium and small producers, ACOPI, provided office space as well as introduction to the meduim and small scale enterprise owners. The social workers of the government's vocational school, SENA assisted in finding home based workers and provided me access to the garment classes offered through this government institution. In Pereira, GermAn and Marta Lucia Manfn and Ricardo and Consuelo G6mez opened their homes to a relative stranger, providing a family environment in which I worked and lived for 8 months. Stella Brandt, sociologist of the Technological University of Pereira, and the women of the Casa de la Mujer, provided invaluable support and encouragement as feminists concerned with


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the condition of women workers in the city. Flor Maria Gonzalez and her sister Gloria completed many of the factory worker interviews.
In Bogotd, Elssy Bonilla provided invaluable institutional support at the Universidad de los Andes. She and Magdalena Leon read the initial draft of the survey and assisted me in better understanding the Colombian reality. The women of the Grupo de la Mujer y Sociedad at the National University provided a forum for discussion of feminism in Colombia which greatly enriched my experience there. The Fulbright Foundation provided economic and logistical support throughout the entire process. I wish to thank the entire staff, particularly Dr. Augustin Lombano and Consuelo Valdivieso, of the Fulbright Commission office in Bogota for their financial and personal support.
Adelia Romero opened her home to me in Bogota, and her families generosity facilitated my entry into Colombian society. In Colombia I was fortunate to have the support of friends and North American researchers: Ann Hornsby, Nancy Nelson, Rich Stoller, and Gary Long. Throughout 6 years of friendship, fellow anthropologist Julian Arturo has provided stimulating debates on Colombian events and deepened my understanding of the region tremendously.
My colleagues in the anthropology department and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida have provided support and an arena for intellectual debate helping me to relate the ivory tower concepts of anthropological theory to the experience of fieldwork and data interpretation. In particular, Gay Biery-Hamilton, Avecita Chicch6n, Florencia Pefia, and Vance Geiger read and commented on initial drafts of the dissertation. Gay's wonderful sense of humor helped maintain my sanity throughout the graduate school experience. Lois Stanford provided invaluable support


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through many late night long distance discussions. Augusto G6mez also read and commented on several chapters of the dissertation. His knowledge of Colombia strengthen the history chapter considerably, and his friendship and support at crucial moments helped keep the dissertation process in proper perspective. Chris Canaday's comments on the statistical analysis and his assistance with the maps are greatly appreciated. Gary Shaeff also assisted with the maps. Debbie Dow Marshal and Clara Sotelo, provided significant words of encouragement during various stages of the process. Pamela Starr, Susan Parker, and Donna Wills Green provided long distance support during late night conversations throughout many years of friendship. Maria Roof has been an inspiration to me since my undergraduate days, and I thank her tremendously for her support and the example she provided for women at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.

I also wish to thank my dissertation committee who patiently read and critiqued various chapters of the dissertation at different stages of the process. Although any errors in the final production are my own, the insightful comments of both Dr. Helen Safa, committee chair, and Dr. Marianne Schmink who critiqued each chapter on numerous occasions, were extremely helpful along the way. Dr. David Bushnell also read the entire document several times. His comments, editorial and substantive, were very useful. Dr. Paul Doughty and Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith also provided significant words of wisdom throughout the process.










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Finally, I am grateful to my family (including Betty Richardson, who is like family), whose encouragement throughout my graduate studies has supported me in this lengthy process. My mother, especially, through her example, has taught me the value of perseverance in difficult tasks; without her support, economic and otherwise, this dissertation would not have been completed.














TABLE OF CONTENTS



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................ ii

A B ST R A C T ...................................................................................................................... ix

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
In tro d u ction ................................................................................................................ 1
M eth odology ............................................................................................................... 7
Survey M ethodology ........................................................................................... 9
Q u alitative D ata ....................................................................................................... 14

CHAPTER TWO
WOMEN'S WORK IN HOME AND FACTORY: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE
In tro d u ction .............................................................................................................. 16
The Household as Mediator of Women's Labor Force Incorporation ......... 18
Fam ily or H ousehold ........................................................................................ 20
Female-headed Households ............................................................................ 22
Women's Labor Force Incorporation .................................................................. 23
Women's Labor Force Incorporation and the Development of
Industrial C apitalism .................................................................................. 26
Changes in the Social Relations of Production ........................................... 29
Monopoly Capital and Women's Labor Force Incorporation .................. 31
The New International Division of Labor ................................................... 33
The Inform al Sector ................................................................................................ 37
Subcontracted Industrial Outwork ................................................................. 39
Industrial Outwork and Capitalist Development ....................................... 39
C on clu sio n ................................................................................................................ 41

CHAPTER THREE
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN COLOMBIA
In tro d u ction .............................................................................................................. 43
Development of the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia ........................... 49
Women's Contribution to Industrial Development ................................. 52
From Import Substitution to the Promotion of Exports ........................... 54
Temporary Employment ......................................................... I ........................ 58
Textile Production ............................................................................................. 60


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Export Promotion and Industrial Development ........................................ 62
Antioquefio Colonization of Old Caldas and the Subsequent
Development of Pereira as a producer of consumer goods ..................... 64
Agricultural Development .............................................................................. 64
Industrial D evelopm ent ................................................................................... 68
Regional D evelopm ent .................................................................................... 72
Regional Manufacturing Industry ................................................................. 74
Contemporary Colombian Development .......................................................... 76
C on clu sion ................................................................................................................ 79

CHAPTER FOUR
SUBCONTRACTING AND INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY
In tro d u ction .............................................................................................................. 81
The Subcontracting Relationship ......................................................................... 82
The Subcontracting Relationship in Risaralda ........................................... 83
Subcontracting as Articulation Between Formal and Informal
Secto rs ............................................................................................................. 87
Intermediaries as Agents of Articulation ..................................................... 89
Levels of Subcontracting .................................................................................. 94
Subcontracting and Subordination in the Garment Industry ........................ 95
Access and Control of Markets ........................................................................ 97
Access and Control of Raw Materials ............................................................ 98
Relationships within the Subcontracted Enterprise ........................................ 99
C on clu sion .............................................................................................................. 103

CHAPTER FIVE
PROFILE OF LIFE IN THE GARMENT FACTORY
In trod u ction ............................................................................................................ 105
Material Relations of Production within the Factory .................................... 106
Working Conditions of Women ........................................................................ 108
Mechanisms of Control in the Factory .............................................................. 110
Forms of Resistance within the Garment Industry and Factory N ............. 115
Changes in Organization of Production in Factory N ................................... 119
C on clu sion .............................................................................................................. 120

CHAPTER SIX
HOUSEHOLD STRUCTURE AND WOMEN'S LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION
In trod u ction ............................................................................................................ 122
D om estic C ycle ........................................................................................................ 126
Life Cycle Variables of Women .................................................................... 133
H ousehold V ariables ....................................................................................... 137
C onclu sions ............................................................................................................. 149




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CHAPTER SEVEN
DECISION MAKING AND AUTHORITY PATTERNS IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Introduction ............................................................................................................ 152
H ousehold A uthority Patterns ........................................................................... 154
W orkplace ......................................................................................................... 154
H om e ow nership ............................................................................................. 155
A ccess and Control of Budget .............................................................................. 158
Culture and the H ousehold ................................................................................. 163
Conclusions ............................................................................................................. 168

CHAPTER EIGHT
CONCLUSIONS
Research Findings ............................................................................................ 171
Theoretical Contributions of this Study ........................................................... 173
Prospects for the Colom bian Case ...................................................................... 176

A PPEN D IX A ................................................................................................................ 179
Interview w ith W orkers ...................................................................................... 179

A PPEN D IX B ................................................................................................................. 188
Questionnaire for personnel managers (In Spanish) ................................... 188

A PPEN D IX C ................................................................................................................. 191
Spouse Em ploym ent ............................................................................................. 191

A ppendix D ................................................................................................................... 194
H ousehold Ethnographies ................................................................................... 194

LIST O F REFEREN CES ............................................................................................... 196

BIO G RA PH ICA L SKETCH ......................................................................................... 213

















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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


HANGING BY A THREAD: INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING AND
SOCIAL REPRODUCTION IN A COLOMBIAN CITY By

Kathleen Gladden

May 1991




Chairman: Dr. Helen Safa
Major Department: Anthropology


This study of one sector of the urban labor force describes women's role in social reproduction of the working class in the garment industry. Women's labor force incorporation is considered as one aspect of the broader struggle by households to ensure their social reproduction. Based on 110 interviews with home-based and factory workers, the research analyzes the impact of factors such as the domestic cycle of the household and the life cycle of the women on their participation in the labor force.
Women's domestic responsibilities and social relationships in the household limit her options in the labor market. This study found that women with additional household responsibilities (especially wives and mothers) were more likely to participate in home-based production. However, female heads of household were more frequently found in the factory where they can command higher salaries. Further, differences in





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household composition led to different social relationships which were correlated with different authority patterns within the household.

At the workplace level this research demonstrated how informal methods of contracting labor are increasing due largely to growing international competition which requires cheaper labor to produce less costly goods. Recent restructuring of production in the garment industry in Colombia is a significant mechanism, incorporating home-based workers and small and medium sized factories into the process of production in the garment industry. This increasing informality of contracts affects not only subcontracted industrial outwork but also labor relationships within the factory (especially the factory with solely domestic capital) making them less stable. This increasing informalization of the labor market and utilization of subcontracting leads to increasing subordination of women's position in the labor market.

The research concludes that the restructuring of production at both the national and international level, while increasing employment options for women, reinforces their subordinate position in the labor force. The fact that women are now major economic providers for the household demonstrates the increasing vulnerability of these units. Since women traditionally have been relegated to the most precarious economic positions, it is no surprise that they continue to represent a vulnerable and exploited labor force. As women's economic contributions to the household rises at the same time as factory wages are falling, the possibilities for social reproduction of the working class become more difficult. The households are "hanging by a thread," a slender thread frequently provided by the salary of the women workers.
















CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION



Introduction

Pienso que de pronto que explotaban las condiciones de la mujer. Porque son mas responsables. Hay mas permanencia de las mujeres en los puestos de trabajo por la necessidad...
Dofia Constancia, trabajadora social del SENA en Pereira

I think that, just maybe they exploited the conditions of the women...Because they are more responsible.. .There are more women who stay in jobs because of need...
Dofia Constancia, Social Worker in SENA in Pereira


This research analyzes the relationship between the organization of

gender roles in the household and women's labor force incorporation, in order

to explore the impact of industrial restructuring in one industrial sector (the

garment industry) on social reproduction. This study considers the impact of

internal forces of the household and external forces of the labor market on

women's labor force participation in an intermediate sized industrializing city

in Colombia, South America. The supply of workers cannot be analyzed

completely separate from the demand for workers. Economic pressures on the

household result from a variety of factors including macro-economic factors

such as the current economic crisis inflation, high unemployment and regional





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processes of industrialization, as well as micro-economic factors such as the structure and domestic cycle of the household. Household responsibilities considerably constrain women's labor force incorporation. This analysis of the interaction between the household and the labor market considers 1) the impact of household structure and composition on (a) the availability of female labor (Chapter 6), and (b) new patterns of household authority resulting from women's sources of income (Chapter 7), 2) the impact of factory recruitment strategies on women's labor force incorporation, and 3) the impact of changes in the structure of production, due to both regional and national political and economic pressures on women's labor force incorporation and the composition and structure of the workers' households.

The term internal forces of the household refers to material and ideological pressures generated within the household due to changes in the structure and composition of this unit during the domestic cycle. In other words, as time passes, the socio-demographic changes occurring within the household produced by the birth, migration, and death of its members, lead to changes in their material and ideological conditions (Orlandina de Oliveira, Lehalleru and Salles 1989). For example, growing numbers of dependent family members lead to increasing economic pressure on the household's income generating capacity. Migration can increase or decrease the economic pressure on the household depending on whether the one who migrates is an income generator or not. If the individual who migrates contributed substantially to the household income, their migration (if they do not send remittances) increases economic pressure on the household for other individuals to increase their income generation to fulfill the household's needs. Changing material conditions lead to restructuring social relationships in the household, which may, in turn, lead to changed ideologies. However,






3


these changes are not direct and mechanical. Changes in social relationships within the household reflect new patterns of decision making and the assumption of different authority relationships within the household. Women, whether married, widowed, divorced, or separated are often forced to assume the role of primary income generator. These changes may lead to the women's assuming more authority in the household decision making.

Changing material and ideological conditions of the household strongly influence the way in which women are able to generate an income through their labor force participation, whether as wage laborers, or subcontracted industrial outworkersl. Social relationships within the household (such as those between the husband and the wife, the father and the daughter, the mother and the grandmother) structure home-based production. For example, the number of people available to assist in home-based production dictates to a large extent, the amount of work which can be performed. The work which is performed in the household, further, also alters the relations themselves. When women begin to work in the household, other members may assume the domestic tasks previously performed by these women. This research

hypothesizes that women household heads are less constrained by traditional ideological beliefs of the home as women's primary responsibility as compared to women who were spouses. In addition, wives are under less pressure (economically) to provide an additional income for the household.

Women's labor force incorporation is further conditioned by the demand for laborers as expressed in recruitment strategies of factories and the changing structure of production within the industry. Since June of 1989 the


1Subcontracted industrial outworkers refers to home-based workers whose work depends on contracts with larger industrial enterprises (the details of these contractual relationships will be discussed in depth in chapter 4).






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managers of the multinational garment factory studied in this research expressed the policy practice of hiring only women under 25 years of age with a junior high education, preferably single with no children. Obviously these requirements limit the women who will be hired for work in this factory. This recruitment strategy was not expressed by the domestic factories, only those with mixed (national and international) capital.

In Colombia both the political and the economic situation have encouraged the development of small micro-enterprises subcontracted to the larger factories. In 1984 the government of Betancout introduced a National Plan of Microenterprises in order to increase production and generate employment. This plan was revised in 1988 to assist small-scale enterprises with minimal technological capacity to grow and generate more employment. Political conditions such as the National Plan of Microenterprises fostered changes in the structure of production by facilitating the initiation of new small-scale enterprises. Increasing the number of small-scale enterprises available for subcontracted outwork provided the larger capitalist enterprises with skilled home-based producers looking for a market in which to sell their garments. These changes influenced women"s labor force incorporation, augmenting the prevalence of subcontracting in the garment industry.

The description of home-based workers and factory workers presented in this research compares and contrast variables such as household structure and composition, the women's work history (i.e. when do women enter wage labor production, when do they leave this wage labor production to work in the home), and personal history (i.e. age at marriage or first union, her age at birth of first child, etc.). This study hypothesizes that the manner in which women are incorporated into the labor force (1) weakens organized labor through fragmentation of the labor process, (2) restructures production to the benefit of






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the large industrialists within the garment industry, (3) increases the penetration of international capital into an intermediate industrializing community.

In order to unravel the complex relationships between women's household and workplace activities, this research considers factors at the level of the household, the workplace, and the regional and international economy. The factors at the household level include 1) household responsibilities such as child care, cooking, and cleaning, which constrain women's labor force incorporation (both in the factory and home-based situations); 2) the

relationships of industrial outworkers (once the wide variety of their situation has been described) to the factories; 3) the middlemen and their effect on the working conditions of these women; 4) the effect of women's labor force incorporation on the structure and composition of workers' households (both subcontracted industrial outworkers and home-based workers); and 5) renegotiation of gender relations in the home based on new income sources including the sexual division of labor and authority patterns.

At the workplace level the following aspects are considered 1) the organization of production in the factory; 2) changes in the structure of production, specifically subcontracting, as they affect women's labor force participation; 3) the new emphasis on exportation in the garment industry in this region in the last few years as it affects women's incorporation into the workforce; and 4) the mechanisms used by management to control women's labor in the factory setting.

These factors provide the framework for exploring the following research hypothesis: (1) women's domestic responsibilities limit her participation in the labor force. Therefore women with additional household responsibilities (especially mothers and wives) are more likely to participate in






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home-based production than single women; (2) economic pressures on female headed households leads these women to assume positions in the factory, and

(3) male-and female headed households differ in household composition and household survival strategies, which in turn lead to different patterns of decision making and authority in the household.

At the workplace level, it is hypothesized that (1) informal methods of contracting labor in the factory are increasing due to the increasing competitiveness of the international market, leading to a search for even cheaper labor, and (2) the emphasis on diversification of exports has been accompanied by an increased production of garments, and increased competition in the garment industry.

This chapter provides a discussion of the methodological tools (both quantitative and qualitative) utilized in the study. Chapter Two discusses the theoretical framework, including an analysis of the relationship between industrialization and women's work, the productive and reproductive responsibilities of women, and the changes occurring in the structure of production and women's labor force incorporation with industrial development in Latin America. Chapter Three discusses the history of industrialization in Colombia, focusing on the research sites of Pereira and Dos Quebradas (Dos Quebradas is the industrializing region to the north of the city) in the department of Risaralda. Chapter Four describes the organization of work within the factory, highlighting changes occurring in the relations of production within the factory including mechanisms of control utilized by management. Next, Chapter Five describes the structure of the labor force and subcontracting mechanisms operating within the garment industry. Chapter Six provides a more in depth analysis of the domestic cycle of the households of female workers. Chapter Seven relates the domestic cycle analysis to






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authority patterns in the household. The conclusion, Chapter Eight, details how industrial restructuring affects the structure and composition of households, and the strategies assumed by women in the households to assure the reproduction of these units.



Methodology

The investigative process utilized included both quantitative (such as the design, implementation and analysis of a survey questionnaire, and the analysis of census data including data on manufacturing production) and qualitative research methodologies (such as key informant interviews, both structured and unstructured, participant observation, and historical archival research).

I completed the study in several stages. The first stage involved development and refinement of the research survey which had been devised after a 3-month study in the textile city of Medellin, Colombia in 1986. During this stage, census data was consulted in order to determine the most appropriate city for a study of the garment industry. Experts in the area were also consulted for their comments on the study and the survey instrument. In order to address the social construction and reproduction of gender hierarchies, the questionnaire implemented analyzes the influence of family cycles on women's patterns of wage labor; what resources household members exchange; the difference between pre- and postmarital occupational histories; and current insertion into homework and wage labor.

Stage two of the study involved travel to Pereira, and pre-testing of the survey instrument there (see Figures 1.2 and 1-3). During this stage,






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government officials, local leaders, university professors and union organizers were consulted to determine the appropriateness of the survey and the study site. Other data on the neighborhoods in the region, the urbanization of different cities in the department, and statistics on the production and exportation of garments was also gathered in determining the history of the garment industry in the region.

The first part of the third phase of the study involved interviewing the factory owners, choosing the factories that would be included in the study, and acquiring lists of workers for the interviews. The second part of this phase of the study involved choosing the assistants, training them, and implementing the survey instrument with factory workers. With the assistance of workers of the Servicio Educacional Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA, as will be described in detail later), homeworkers were contacted. By December, 1988 the interviews with 75 factory workers from two different factories had been finished, and reviewed. A preliminary summary of the study was presented in Pereira in November, 1988. A preliminary analysis of the data was presented to the Fulbright Foundation in January of 1989.

The fourth phase of the study was initiated on my return to the site in February 1989. During this time I finished coding the interviews which had been completed with factory workers, and continued working with one interviewer. Through her we located some additional homeworkers and found additional factory workers who had not been on the original lists from the factory. In-depth interviews with these workers were completed during February and March. In March and April I worked with SENA officials interviewing home-based workers. In total, 120 worker interviews were completed. Excluding the 10 pre-test interviews, 110 interviews are utilized in this analysis: 35 interviews were completed with home-based workers, and 75






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interviews with factory workers (40 from the multinational factory, 35 from the national factory). During this time, I also participated in a seminar sponsored by the local unions and was able to interview the leader of the only garment factory union in the department. In March and April I worked with a women's savings and loan cooperative. Although these women were generally not factory workers, they were very active in the community, and helpful in locating other home-based garment workers.



Survey Methodology

The city of Pereira in Colombia was chosen as the site of research due to the predominance of garment production in the region. The study utilized a number of techniques. The interview was the principal method of collecting information about the home-based workers and the factory workers (see Appendix A for a copy of the survey utilized with factory workers and homebased workers). The goal of this interview was two-fold: in addition to describing the structure and composition of these workers' households (emphasizing income generating strategies), a description of the personal and work histories of these women factory workers was obtained. This was done in order to determine the role of the domestic environment and cycle of the household in women's labor force incorporation. The survey instrument was revised and discussed after a month of research by sociologists and anthropologists in Bogotd. The interview was revised one more time after consultation with other professors and professionals in Pereira, and a third time after conducting ten trial interviews in that city. The initial sample list of workers was chosen (every tenth name in the list of workers) by the personnel






10


manager of the large export factory. This list, however, was expanded utilizing the snowball method to discover other workers.

The interview schedule addressed concerns of the women workers (determined, as previously mentioned by pre-tests of the survey with the women workers, discussions with community workers in Pereira, and university professors familiar with the sociology of the region). The interview described and analyzed the women's material conditions, (including factors such as limited access to resources, lower wages, etc) and their ideological constructs (such as household authority patterns) in part through an exploration of the social relationships (such as marriage and the birth of children) which constrain or facilitate women's incorporation into the labor force. Studying women's labor force participation in the home as well as in the factory in a single industrial activity delineates factors which constrain women's labor force participation.

In order to avoid a narrow focus on the household and factors affecting the supply of women workers, the structure of the labor market, and preferential hiring practices of the larger factories were incorporated into the methodology through interviews with the factory owners. These interviews explored factors which influence the demand for women workers and further constrain women's incorporation into the labor force. One aspect of demand for women's labor in Colombia is the governmental policy encouraging the development of small-scale enterprises (first implemented in 1984, and revised in 1988). The impact that this policy has on structuring women's labor force incorporation (wage-labor, as well as home-based) will be analyzed using information from these interviews.
This interview schedule for the factory owners was modified in Bogotd and then again in Pereira (see Appendix B). In total 40 owners were









interviewed. It was applied to all owners of small, medium and large sized garment factories in Pereira and Dos Quebradas (the industrializing region to the north of the city; administratively Dos Quebradas is part of the municipal area of Pereira) who agreed to participate in the study. The goal of this interview was to determine the composition of the work force in these factories, outline the chain of subcontracting in the city, and uncover recruitment strategies of the factories.

The sample of factories was chosen through the assistance of two groups. The major contact with the owners of the large factories was ANDI (The National Association of Industrialists) while the contact with small organizations was ACOPI (the Colombian Association of Popular Industries). A representative of each of seven large garment factories in Pereira and Dos Quebradas was interviewed, and representatives of 80% of those factories registered with ACOPI participated in the study. Some factories which participated in the production process through subcontracting, but did not appear in the list of ANDI nor in ACOPI, were discovered. In other words, during the interview with owners of factories from ANDI or ACOPI, factories would be mentioned as those which were subcontracted to or from which material was received, who did not appear in the original lists. The managers of these factories were then approached for interviews.

After the initial interviews with the managers of the seven large factories, two were chosen for more in-depth studies, in order to compare the production process and women's labor force incorporation, between exportoriented factories with mixed capital and those which were oriented towards the domestic market. The largest export factory in the region was chosen because of its predominance in industrial production in the region. The other factory chosen for the study was one which did not export, but rather produced





12


for the domestic market. The owners of these factories collaborated in suggesting the names of workers for the interviews. (Although it is possible that this collaboration introduced some bias into the sample, it was impossible to interview the workers without the permission of the managers. However, where possible, the social network method was used to uncover friends of these workers, and individuals who had been fired from the factory were sought out for additional information on working conditions in the factories.)

The sample of domestic outworkers was chosen by asking the larger factories to indicate who produced for them (small-scale enterprises, or homebased workers). When the factories did not submit workers' names, a social network of the home-based workers known by workers in other factories was utilized. This method involved asking the workers if they knew other women who worked sewing in their homes. In this way, twenty subcontracted industrial outworkers were found. Also, the SENA (National Vocational Training School) assisted in the location of home-based workers and smallscale garment entrepreneurs. The SENA conducts courses in sewing skills geared to particular factories, as well as providing courses in how to start up a small enterprise in garments, including courses in design, cutting, and marketing. This governmental institution also serves as a placement agency for these workers and small-scale enterprises. The woman responsible for organizing the classes for small-scale enterprises allowed me to accompany her on her home visits. I was also permitted to attend classes in SENA and interview participants outside of class hours. I actually took garment classes for a week (to learn the basic stitches and procedures taught in the introductory courses). I attempted to work in a factory, but this was impossible for insurance reasons (according to the personnel managers). Apparently because of the






13


pressure on the workers, there was a high incidence of work-related injuries in this factory.

Three women, graduates of the local university in social sciences, were contracted to assist in the interviews after finishing with the trial interviews. These assistants were helpful in finding women who worked in the garment industry in Pereira and Dos Quebradas. They completed two 3-hr sessions of training to ensure their understanding of the interview technique. The interviews with the workers in general, lasted from 1 to 1.5 hours. The assistants were initially paid $2.00 an interview; however one interviewer who was exceptionally good and assisted in more depth with other aspects of the analysis was later re-hired at the rate of $3.00 an hour. The assistants completed 50 interviews with the workers in the two larger factories. I completed the trial interviews with the workers (about 15), some interviews with factory workers

(20), interviews with the owners of the factories (41) and the domestic outworkers (35). The final sample consisted of 40 workers of one export factory, 35 operators of one factory producing for the domestic market and 35 domestic outworkers.

Other quantified information, including data from the manufacturing census, and the household census of 1977, 1980 and 1987 was utilized in determining the social structure of the region. Initially this data was used to determine the site of study (i.e. an area where the production of garments was predominant). Later, this information was used to complement the analysis of labor force participation in the areas of Pereira and Dos Quebradas.






14





Qualitative Data

Primary sources of qualitative information included interviews with garment workers and key informants such as local leaders of credit unions, women's organizations, civic societies, labor organizations, and professors in the university. Follow-up unstructured interviews with 3 women workers provided more in-depth information on women's insertion into the labor force, exploring their work and family history in more depth than the initial survey interviews. Newspaper articles of the two major local papers (El Diario del Otun, and La Tarde) were consulted from their initiation in the 1940s till 1989. For this process, two assistants from the National University in Bogotd were hired to help review the papers (only from 1980's on) and collect articles on garment production and industrialization in the area of Pereira and Dos Quebradas.

Secondary sources for qualitative information include books on regional development of the 'Old Caldas' region, several student theses from the Technological University in Pereira, and data from the National Planning Office.

Perhaps the most difficult part of the research was gathering information through interviews. In Colombia, individuals do not grant interviews if they have nothing to gain. The identity of the person who makes the interview contact for the researcher was very important. I was fortunate to have been introduced to the director of the ANDI (Associacion Nacional de Industrias)in Pereira. She later provided me with a letter of introduction for the large factory owners in the region. An introduction by a University of Florida






15


alumnus provided me with contacts to ACOPI (Asociaci6n Colombiana de Populares Industrias) for medium and small factories. This organization further assisted me in Pereira, providing me with a telephone and office space.

In establishing relationships with homeworkers, building trust was the key to successful interviews. Because the interviews intruded into the settings of the women workers and their families, it was important for me to reciprocate their attention towards me with offers of my time, assistance, friendship, or a listening ear for their problems. The initial strategy was to walk in the barrios, spend time getting to know the children, and then ask if their mothers worked in the home. However, even after getting to know the children, the mothers were suspicious of my activities, and few were willing to grant me an interview. It was only after meeting people in a government office which provided training in sewing and garment production for women (SENA) that I was able to make inroads into the production in the home. The SENA had a program for the development of small-scale enterprises, and also a project for assisting women who worked in their homes. SENA personnel allowed me to travel with them on their home visits, and I was able to get to know the women, home-based workers and small-scale entrepreneurs in a more personal way. With the introduction of the SENA worker, the women trusted me more, and we were able to talk about their work in a more favorable environment.
The following chapter considers the theoretical significance of women's labor force incorporation. Women's labor force participation is considered as part of a strategy of industrial capital to incorporate more vulnerable labor, through restructuring and fragmentation of the production process.















CHAPTER TWO WOMEN'S WORK IN HOME AND FACTORY: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE


Introduction



Conoci a mi esposo en Top 10, Yo trabaje como fileteadora, y el cortaba la tela.. Lucia, operaria de confeccion

I met my husband in the garment factory Top 10, 1 was working as a fileteadora (finishing edges), and he worked cutting the cloth. Lucia, factory worker


This chapter begins with an analysis of the impact of industrialization on the sexual division of labor (both in the household and in the workplace). Essential to this analysis is a discussion of women's labor, considering productive and reproductive responsibilities which occur in both the workplace and the home. Because women's labor force participation is conditioned by their household responsibilities, women cannot be considered only as workers, but must also be considered as daughters, wives, sisters, aunts or mothers. Domestic responsibilities often limit women's possibilities for employment in the 'formal sector', concentrating them in the unregulated or 'informal' sector of the economy (Redclift and Mingione 1985). Women's labor force participation is considered as part of a strategy of industrial





16







17

capitalists to incorporate more vulnerable labor, through restructuring and fragmentation of the production process.

The discussion follows with an analysis of informal sector expansion'. The new international division of labor is considered as a mechanism leading to increasing fragmentation of the production process, augmenting 'informal sector' production. Home-based workers (considered part of the 'informal sector' in this research) are 'cheaper' than factory workers; not only are their salaries lower, but they require little or no investment in infrastrucure or social benefits. In order to understand the mechanisms which create, modify and reproduce this 'informalization' a comparison of industrial outwork occuring during the transition to capitalism in eighteenth century Europe is made with that of capitalist development in contemporary Latin America. The introduction of large scale factory production and its impact on social relations in the household are considered. The conclusion discusses the significance of the expansion of the informal sector and increasing




'Many scholars criticize the term informal sector. While its value as a descriptive measure is often conceded, its usefulness as an analytical category is fiercely debated. Researchers argue that the informality observed in the economy is actually a very functional part of the formal sector. However, according to scholars such as Portes and Sassen-Koob, the profound economic crisis of the industrialized capitalist countries (since the mid 1970's) led to the development of new mechanisms to adjust for the lack of demand for products, and avoid substantial reductions in industrial profits. These strategies assumed by capitalists include transferring plants to countries where costs would be reduced, robotization of the factory (industrial conversion), experiments to increase workers productivity, and informalization (Portes 1983). In this case, informalization is a strategy utilized by capitalists to assure their flexibility and adaptation and minimize their costs. In this research, the term informal sector must be understood as a dynamic concept, as part of the global process of restructuring production, facilitating the competition of national and multi-national factories in the international market.







18

fragmentation of the labor force for women's labor force incorporation and the reproduction of the working class household.



The Household as Mediator of Women's Labor Force Incorporation

An analysis of women's labor force incorporation (be it in the factory or industrial subcontracting) must include social relations of production as well as social relations of reproduction (both of the domestic unit and the workplace). Social relations of production in this study refer to the economic ownership of productive forces (land, labor, and capital in strict marxist terms). In other words, while the factory worker only owns her/his labor power, the industrialist owns the machinery and the raw material required for production. These conditions may differ in the case of small scale producers, as will be seen in the discussion of subcontracting in chapter four. Social relations of reproduction in this research emphasize two levels of reproduction: the daily (and the generational) and the biological. The daily level of reproduction includes cooking, child care, washing, cleaning, and maintaining the household which over time leads to the reproduction of a generation of workers (Harris and Young 1981). Women's reproductive labor (involving activities such as giving birth to children, cooking, cleaning, and childcare) influence women's incorporation into the wage labor force. Both productive and reproductive functions of the household change over time (as children grow, enter school, leave school and enter the work force). An analysis of the household and its internal dynamics is essential for understanding the influence of the domestic environment on women's labor force participation. For this reason, when analyzing women's labor force







19

incorporation, this research considers both women's factory based productive

activities, as well as her household responsibilities.

Lamphere (1987) demonstrates the interrelationship between the two

spheres in the following quote:

Production entails reproduction, and there are elements of both productive labor and reproductive labor in the factory and in the household. When women are tending spinning frames or looms, they are producing a product (cloth) but their labor is set in a system of social relations in which they sell their labor for a wage and work for someone who owns the machinery and the factory they work in. . Yet there are also elements of reproduction in the factory or textile mill. The means of production must be reproduced or replaced, that is, the machinery needs to be repaired, the buildings refurbished ... the social relations of production, the divisions between owners, managers, and workers, need to be reproduced through the continuous replacement of individuals in these categories and through the socialization of workers and managers to their jobs, including an acceptance of the system as legitimate (Lamphere
1987 p. 18)

However, the terms production and reproduction must not be used as
synonyms for household and workplace. They are rather analytic concepts

which describe relationships and changes which occur in either place.

There are ways in which productionm" finds its way into the home, even though most productive work does not take place there under either industrial or monopoly capitalism. First, the organization and scheduling of work impinge on and determine the family's schedule for eating, sleeping, and leisure time.
Second, the wages paid to adult male workers determine whether other members of the family will work for wages in order to provide subsistence for the household. Third ... their participation in the labor force may necessitate the reallocation
of reproductive labor within the home.(Lamphere 1987, 18).

As Lamphere demonstrates, the relationship between productive and
reproductive tasks is complex and dynamic. Household activities involved
in the daily reproduction of the labor force generally occur alongside activities







20

oriented towards market production. Since reproductive tasks of the

household are considered women's responsibilities, women's labor force participation is more dramatically affected by reproductive responsibilities than men's. Domestic labor which has traditionally been the women's responsibility constrains women's participation in market oriented production. Therefore women's responsibilities for reproductive activities determine in large part her possible productive activities. These tasks inhibit or constrain women, especially middle aged married women, from selling their labor in the market. Because the labor of these women is consumed within the household, these workers have more difficulty working outside of the home.



Family or Household

Before proceeding with an analysis of changes occurring in the household during capitalist development, the concepts "family" and "'household" must be clearly defined. The term "'household" refers to a coresident group of persons who share most aspects of consumption, drawing on and allocating a common pool of resources (including labor) to ensure their material reproduction (Margulis 1980, Schmink 1984, Yanagisako 1979, Jelin 1977, Harris 1981). Households are not necessarily based on kin relationships, though a family and a household may in some cases be equivalent. "Family" then refers to an institution based on kin relationships governed by established socio-cultural practices. These individuals do not necessarily share a common residence or commonly pool their resources.







21

Historical works document variations in household and family composition through time (Aries 1973; Arizpe 1977; Stolcke 1981). The structure and composition of households also varies with the life-stages and socio-economic income generating strategies of its members. The impact of life cycle (elaborated in more detail in chapter six) on women's production and reproductive responsibilities illustrates that life cycle is a major factor in labor recruitment policies and strongly affects who is hired for particular jobs. For example, as this research will demonstrate, daughters are preferred by the multi-national factories. They are more flexible in their work hours (i.e. more available for unscheduled overtime), and less likely to miss work because of family problems. In addition, life cycle affects the way in which women regard their earnings and the contributions they make toward the household economy (Safa 1990). This case will be discussed in more detail in chapter seven.

The impact of industrialization on families and households can be seen in changing household strategies for income generation. The household organizes labor for productive as well as reproductive tasks. For example, as the ratio of workers to consumers changes over time, the income generating activities of the women also change. It is hypothesized that ideological and time constraints assigning domestic responsibilities to women, pull them back into the home when other household members (especially children) assume their income generating activities. As a result, both the composition and the structure of households have a direct impact on women's lives, on their labor for both market oriented and industrial outworking activities, and in particular on their ability to gain access to resources, to labor and to income.







22

However, the household cannot be conceived of as existing in isolation, but rather is embedded in a specific socio-economic class in a community within a certain geographical region. All these factors affect women's access to and control of resources. Extra-household kin

relationships are also important in regulating women's access to and control of resources. In the case of garment workers in Risaralda, kinship networks are important in obtaining work and machinery for women to perform work in the home (to be discussed in relation to the garment workers in more detail in chapter five).



Female-headed Households

The concept of the female-headed household is growing in importance. According to the household headship reported by the women workers, approximately 30% (35/110), were female headed. However, when women's position within the household was analyzed, over 50 percent of the workers interviewed classified as female household heads, considering the major economic provider as household head (the difference between reported household headship and headship considering economic contribution to the budget will be further analyzed in chapter 6). In the case of Risaralda, Colombia, it appears that rapid industrialization based largely on women's labor force participation has led to a high degree of female-headed households in the urban areas.


International data reviewed on the socioeconomics of women heads of household suggest a direct linkage between processes of modernization -- particularly those stemming from economic development and its policies -- and the rise of households headed by women. . Most studies suggest that explanatory







23
factors for female family headship should be sought in both internal and international migration; mechanization of agriculture; the development of agribusiness; urbanization; overpopulation; lower class marginality, and the emergence of a class system of wage labor -- all of which are integral parts/ consequences of rapid economic transformation. (Buvinic
and Youseff 1978 p.iii, italics mine.)

Female household heads may be women who are widowed, separated, abandoned, divorced, or single mothers. In Colombia many women were separated from a legal marriage, but few were divorced. Low wages and high male unemployment contribute to preferences for non-legalized unions as opposed to marriage and to precipitating the break-up of such unions (Buvinic and Youseff 1978). Often female heads of households are part of consensual unions which have dissolved. This research frequently found that women considered themselves "single" after ending a consensual union which had resulted in children. However, to understand the impact that the demand for workers has on women's labor force incorporation, we must now consider how industry pressures households to develop new survival strategies and to devise new patterns of labor allocation.


Women's Labor Force Incorporation

Industrialization has changed the structure of Latin American societies. As women become increasingly incorporated into the labor force, the structure and composition of households is transformed. In Colombia, women provide labor for the development of both national and international industries. Keremitsis (1984) documents how womens labor fueled the development of the textile industry in Mexico and Colombia. As machinery

2Because of Colombia's close tie to the Catholic Church , divorce is difficult.







24

modernized jobs in the textile mills, women laborers were channeled into other directions such as the "informal" labor market (Keremitsis 1984). Since the first textile industries began in the Antioquefto region of Colombia in the early part of this century women's labor has spurred the process of capitalist development.
Women have always constituted a source of cheap labor for industrial capitalism (Saffioti 1978), however, the way in which women are incorporated into the labor force is not homogeneous. Their incorporation into the labor force differs according to a number of variables including their ethnicity, class and the stage of national development of the country (Safa 1977). The characteristics of women workers also differ regionally within the same country. In Pereira, Risaralda, as will be demonstrated in chapter three, the significance of the garment industry in regional development leads to a labor market structure in which female participation in manufacturing industry is higher than it may be in other regions of the country3.

One of the first scholars to provide a comparative analysis of women's work based on data from a wide range of societies, Ester Boserup, emphasizes gender as a significant factor in the division of labor. Boserup (1970) analyzes factors affecting the sexual division of labor in agriculture, fler comparison of male and female systems of farming corresponds to the African system of shifting agriculture and the Asian system of plow cultivation. She was one of the first theoreticians to emphasize that women's subsistence activities are 3in 1985 of 26,031 individuals employed in the manufacturing industry in Risaralda, 30 percent were employed in garment production. Of 11,453 women who worked in the manufacturing industry in the region, 4,394 were women associated with garment production (approximately 40 percent). Sixty six percent of the total work force in garments are women. Of 14,578 men who worked in the manufacturing industry, only 16 percent worked in garment production, the majority as mechanics and supervisors.







25

usually omitted in statistics of production and income (1970:163). In addition, Boserup's comparative analysis projected the different sexual division of labor encountered in farming systems onto patterns of women's participation in non-agricultural activities. Boserup's work has been criticized, however, for neglecting the concept of reproduction (Beneria and Sen 1981). Although Boserup discusses technological changes introduced with commercial agriculture, her modernization perspective leads to the conclusion that this change is generally beneficial to society, if not to women. The assumption that modernization is generally a neutral process, ignores the fact that it generates and intensifies inequalities, making use of existing gender and class hierarchies to subordinate women and men (both within the household and within the workplace). Boserup's analysis focuses solely on women's productive role, neglecting the effect of reproduction on the sexual division of labor.

In order to understand the theoretical importance of women's labor force incorporation, the historical moments when this labor force participation increase, and/or changes its form, must be considered. Women's incorporation into the industrial labor force generally occurred during early periods of industrialization (as in Europe, with England being the classical case); during times of economic and/or political crisis (as in the United States during the Second World War); in situations where extreme competition forces industry to minimize operation costs, and/or restructuring of the labor process (such as the increase in clerical workers in the United States in the 1970s, and more recently the restructuring of manufacturing), and when production remains labor intensive (as in the case of the garment industry). The next section considers women's labor force







26

incorporation and the development of industrial capitalism as it occurred in eighteenth century England.


Women's Labor Force Incorporation and the Development of Industrial Capitalism

Prior to the onset of industrialization, manufacturing and agriculture were performed on a much smaller scale in the home in feudalistic Europe. The home was the physical location of the reproduction of daily life, as well as production for the market. Under these conditions, a division of labor developed within the home or workshop. In the textile industry, for example, women spun thread, while men frequently wove cloth.

As industrialization developed, productive activities were broken down into a series of tasks. The different functions were arranged hierarchically depending on factors such as knowledge of the process, strength, and manual abilities. As production became increasingly technified and modernized, machines began to perform the labor of workers, and production moved out of the home. Under industrial capitalism, initially the location of production shifted from the household to the factory. The factory replaced the household as the center of productive activity because it was better suited to the technified production of larger machinery. Under this arrangement, a new division of labor emerged in which the worker became merely an appendage of the machinery.


Along with the tool, the skill of the workman (sic) in
handling it passes over to the machine . Thereby the technical foundation on which is based the division of labor in manufacture is swept away. Hence, in the place of the hierarchy of specialized workmen (sic) that characteristics manufacture, there steps, in the automatic factory, a tendency to equalize and reduce to one and the same level every kind of work that has to







27
be done by the minders of the machines; in the place of the artificially produced differentiations of the detail workmen, step
natural differences of age and sex.(Marx 1967, p. 420).


Initially industrialization tended to substitute unskilled labor for skilled, female labor for male, young labor for mature (Marx 1967).


In so far as machinery dispenses with muscular power, it
becomes a means of employing laborers of slight muscular strength, and those whose bodily development is incomplete, but whole limbs are all the more supple. The labor of women and children was, therefore, the first thing sought for by capitalist who used machinery. That mighty substitute for labour and laborers was forthwith changed into a means for increasing the number of wage-laborers by enrollingunder the direct sway of capital, every member of the workman's family,
without distinction of age or sex (p.394).

Early theoreticians of women's work generally viewed this labor force incorporation as liberating (Marx 1967; Engels 1972):


Since large-scale industry has transferred the woman from
the house to the labor market and the factory and makes her, often enough, the bread-winner of the family, the last remnants of male domination in the proletarian home have lost all
foundation (Engels 1968, p. 508).


Vogel criticized the notion of separation of reproduction from other productive relations, arguing that although Engels conceptualized the family as a significant analytical category, he failed to specify how the family functioned within the overall process of social reproduction. Vogel (1983) also critiqued this interpretation of women's labor force incorporation as liberating. On the one hand, women"s labor force incorporation provides an income for these women which may permit them to exercise more power in the household (as is explored later in this text). However, the reproductive







28

responsibilities of women in the household (the biological, daily, and generational) continue, especially for women who are mothers and wives. Therefore, she argued, labor force incorporation is not "liberating" for women.

With the development of the factory system, women whose primary responsibility was the household, became dependent on the husband for their income. The household was no longer the unit of production, rather individuals within the household (particularly men) became responsible for the income of the entire household. Both push and pull factors affected women's income generating activities. When factories needed "cheaper" workers, women were pulled into factory employment, often in positions subordinate to men. The significance of the male's primary role as breadwinner, subordinated the role of women workers (and their salaries) legitimizing management's perception of the women workers as "'cheaper". In the lower income brackets, the depressed income of male wage earners necessitates the employment of women. The low household income pushes women into the labor force in these sectors. However, in all cases, these women in the wage labor force were not only income generators, but often also housewives and mothers. Participation in factory labor did not reduce their household responsibilities.

Women's labor force incorporation under industrial development may therefore be described as contradictory (Lim 1983). Benefits derived from income generated by the women who leave the home to work necessitate increasing the women's work load unless other family members assume the household responsibilities. Industrial development further fragmented the production process into a hierarchy of tasks. This increasing technification often led to the replacement of women for men in the labor force,







29

disadvantaging women and leading to changes in the social relations of production. These changes will be discussed in the next section.


Changes in the Social Relations of Production

The gradual displacement of cottage production based in the home with industrial development in eighteenth century England, resulted in the incorporation of young, single daughters of farm families into factory work; often these were women who stopped working as soon as they were able to marry (Fernandez-Kelly 1983). Under these conditions, women's lives were divided into a paid productive phase and an unpaid reproductive phase in which their activities were for the most part directed towards the renewal of the labor force as purely housewives and mothers (Safa 1987).

Braverman (1974) demonstrates how, on the one hand, fragmentation in the labor process degrades labor, breaking down and simplifying tasks which permit the use of less skilled labor in one or more parts of the tasks wrestling control out of the hands of the worker. On the other hand, this leads to increased production for industrialists, cheapening the cost of labor, and therefore increasing profits, as well as increasing control by management over the labor process.

The centralization of work in the factory permitted industrialists to determine the process of production: what would be produced, the rate at which it would be produced, how many of certain articles would be produced, and when they would be produced. Workers lost control of the article they were producing which not only made them more vulnerable to capital, but also increasingly alienated them from their work.







30

The success of work organization in the factory in the United States and European industrial contexts resulted in part from changes in the control of the work process: workers' control over the production process in the household was replaced by management's control in the factory. The intensification of task specialization under monopoly capitalism increases management's control over the work process (Baran and Sweezy 1966). In Colombia, this research demonstrate a similar process. Factory workers perform only one part of the production process one seam, one pleat, one sleeve, cuff, etc. In addition to fragmenting the production of different articles, the workers were also moved from one workshop to another. In other words, when one workshop completed an order of women's dresses, a worker would be moved to a workshop of men's shirts (if she was lucky enough to have her her contract renewed). The fragmentation of production is furthered by the increasing informalization of work in the factory. Workers are hired only for the production of specific garments. .
The assembly line production and the organization of the large-scale enterprises at the turn of the century in Europe was organized specifically to increase control and profits for capital (Baran and Sweezy 1966). Contrary to the idea that specialization increases the skills needed by each worker so that they may be more knowledgeable and in greater control of the production process, in a society based on the purchase and sale of labor power, dividing the craft actually cheapens the cost of labor for producing the individual parts. In this way, subcontracting part of the work further divides the labor (outside the factory setting whereas the assembly line divides it within the factory setting), once again cheapening the labor costs involved in producing the garment.







31


Monopoly Capital and Women's Labor Force Incorporation

During the latter half of the twentieth century a substantially different structure of industrialization has emerged. Baran and Sweezy (1966) elaborate on this new stage of development called monopoly capitalism. While monopoly capitalism decreases the need for workers in certain sectors of the labor force, it creates demands for workers in new production branches. Under the stage of monopoly capital, big businesses use all available methods
- organizational and technological to decrease their risks and losses (Sokoloff 1980). Under monopoly capitalism there is a systematic tendency for surplus to increase dramatically (Baran and Sweezy 1966). By controlling prices among the few major corporations in a field, the large companies maximize their profits more efficiently. Management increases its control over the production process (including decisions regarding production and sale of commodities such as the type, price, quantity and quality of products.) However, control over markets and increased control over production by large corporations are not the only new elements of monopoly capitalism. Monopoly capitalism also leads to new forms of social organization.


With the rise of monopolies, new forms of social
organization began to appear. The expanding commodity market of products and services effected a historic break in the relationship between women and industry. It is possible that monopoly capital was more decisive for the lives of most working-class women than the rise of capitalism itself. The need for controlled markets demanded a mobilization of all social resources for potential profit (Blaxandall, Ewen and Gordon
19xx).







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According to Edwards, Reich, and Gordon (1980), the development of monopoly capitalism in the United States divided the working class:


The central thrust of the new strategies (to divide and
conquer workers) was to break down the increasingly unified worker interests that grew out of both the proletarianization of work and the concentration of workers in urban areas. As exhibited in several aspects of these large firms operations, this effort aimed to divide the labor force into various segments so that the actual experiences of workers would be different and the basis of their common opposition to capitalists would be
undermined (p. xiii).

Theoreticians concerned with the impact of monopoly capitalism on women's labor force incorporation argue that the creation of large amounts of surplus value under monopoly capitalism led to the creation of new industries which employed primarily women. Among these new industries was the development of the service sector which led to increasing incorporation of women into the labor force. However, women were not only increasingly employed in the service industries under monopoly capitalism, but also in the industrial sector. In certain aspects of this sector (especially the garment industry), unskilled tasks continued to dominate production, and women's labor force incorporation increased.
While women generally are increasingly incorporated into the labor force during the twentieth century in low waged and unskilled tasks, some women are being pushed out with the development of more capital intensive techniques of production. While monopoly capitalism has pulled women increasingly into the labor force, new levels of technological development organized to maximize profits and the accumulation of surplus have contradictory consequences for women's labor (Sokoloff 1980, p. 91). Some of these contradictory consequences can be seen in more detail in the analysis of







33

the new international division of labor. The new international division of labor represents yet another phase of monopoly capitals increasing control over the production process. No longer bound by national sovereignty, these entities continue to maximize profit generation by reorganizing the production process on a global level.


The New International Division of Labor

The new international division of labor refers to the restructuring of production on a global scale. Traditionally the international division of labor consisted in the exportation of raw materials by Third World countries to more industrialized countries where they were processed and marketed. These "Third World" countries then bought manufactured goods from the "First World" at a much higher price. The next phase, import substitution industrialization was promoted by the Economic Council on Latin America in the 1960s. Import substitution industrialization encouraged the domestic production of goods formerly imported. As Safa (1990) notes, in many Latin American countries this industrialization was financed by dividends earned from agricultural production or by foreign capital. In the past decade, the policy of import substitution industrialization has been replaced by one of export promotion. This represents a new stage in the international division of labor, and therefore the name, the New International Division of Labor.



* Export manufacturing represents a new stage in the
international division of labor in which developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are becoming exporters of manufacturing goods to advanced industrial countries ... Contrary to import substitution, the new trend seems to encourage foreign investment by minimizing the importance of national







34
boundaries and allowing market mechanisms to operate without constraint. Import substitution required the development of an internal market, which had to be supported through the extension of domestic purchasing power to the middle and working classes. In export manufacturing, however, the market is entirely external. It demands the maximum reduction of production costs, principally wages, in order to
compete effectively on the international level (Safa 1990a, p. 2).


The new international division of labor fosters women"s employment

(because they are "cheaper") by multinational corporations (Nash and

Fernandez-Kelly 1985). This employment generates contradiction by

providing economic opportunities for these women (Lim 1983) while also

intensifying and reinforcing their subordinate position in society through

the way in which they are incorporated into the labor process (Elson and

Pearson 1981, Ward 1990).


From plants in the Third World, multinational
subsidiaries export manufactures to their home countries. From their home countries they import capital and technology in exchange. Cheap labor, combined in many cases with government subsidized capital costs, including tax holidays and low interest loans from government banks give these countries a comparative advantage in world trade in labor intensive
products.
It is labor intensive industries, then, that tend to relocate
manufacturing plants to developing countries, thereby becoming multinational in their operations. This is a rational competitive response to changing international comparative cost advantages
(Lim 1983: 72).

An example of women's labor force incorporation in order for

industries to minimize operation costs can be seen in the relatively recent

expansion of export processing zones, and the development of factories which
perform only assembly operations. This offshore manufacturing represents a
new strategy of capital investments which is linked to a reorganization of the







35

international division of labor (Frobel, Heinrichs, Kreye 1979; Nash and Fernandez-Kelly 1983).

Offshore manufacturing enables the transfer of labor intensive aspects of the productive process to peripheral areas, with the incorporation of large numbers of women into direct manufacturing activities in these areas (Nash and Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Safa 1982). Historically the first example of this offshore production occurred in Puerto Rico during the 1950"s in Operation Bootstrap (Safa 1974). More recent examples of this can be seen in Asian countries (Lim 1983; Mies 1988; Sen 1980), the Mexican-American border (Fernand ez-Kell y 1985) and off-shore production characteristic of the Caribbean (Safa 1981). These industries demonstrate a preference for young, single, women who are perceived as cheaper and more docile than men.

The so-called "feminization of the labor force" results, in large part, from an emphasis on labor flexibility in both developing and industrialized economies (Standing 1989). Not only are women being substituted for men, but men's jobs are also being transformed into low wage, unstable employment, typical of traditional women's jobs. Standing (1989) traces this "'feminization of labor" to the global economic situation beginning in the late 1970's. The rise in low income countries' participation as manufacturing exporters, increasingly rapid rates of lending, increased technological innovation, and more intense international competition reinforced the supply side ideology focusing on market mechanisms and cost competitiveness as key determinants of economic development. Increased trade liberalization and export promotion policies result from this emphasis. Therefore, in order to increase profits, governments are removing labor market regulations, eroding union strength, and increasing the use of temporary, part time, and subcontracted workers. Colombia is no exception.







36

These policies further reduce worker's (both men's and women's) possibilities
for skilled employment and income securities. The following quote

demonstrates this trend:


At the same time, industrial enterprises have been
introducing modern technologies that have been associated with changing skill and job structures. The debate over the deskilling or upgrading effects of modern technology is unresolved, but the evidence seems to support two pertinent trends. The use of craft skills learned via apprentices and prolonged on-the-job learning have declined; such crafts have traditionally been dominated by male "labor aristocracies."
Second, there is a trend toward skill polarization, consisting of an elite of technically skilled, high status specialist workers possessing higher level institutional qualifications, coupled with a larger mass of technically semiskilled production and subsidiary workers requiring minor training typically imparted through short term courses of a few weeks or even by on the job
learning. (Standing 1989, p.938 )

Lim (1983) states that third world women workers are the most heavily
exploited group of workers in the world, both relative to their output

contribution and relative to other groups. Although all experience capitalist
exploitation, third world women workers are additionally subject to what she

terms "imperialist exploitation" and "patriarchal exploitation".


Imperialist exploitation the differential in wages paid to workers in developed and developing countries for the same work and output arises from the ability of multinationals to take advantage of different labor market conditions in different parts of the world a perfectly rational practice in the context of world capitalism. In the developing countries, high unemployment, poor bargaining power vis-a-vis the foreign investor, lack of worker organization and representation and even the repression of workers' movements, all combine to depress wage levels, while the lack of industrial experience, ignorance and naivete of workers with respect to the labor practice in modern factory employment enable multinational employers to extract higher
output from them in certain unskilled operations.







37
Patriarchal exploitation-the differential in wages paid to
male and female workers for similar work and output-derives from women's inferior position in the labor market .(Lim 1983:
80)


In the context of the current international economic and political situation in the late 1980's, Latin American countries (including Colombia) must reorganize their economies in response to increasing international financial problems. Reduced reliance on salaried workers earning fixed wages and fringe benefits enables factories to cut production costs in order to meet international competition. Increased reliance on 'cheaper' sources of labor such as women working at home, and reduction in factory wages increase international competitiveness. As noted above, these economic problems have resulted in a shift from direct to indirect employment. In other words, this restructuring has led to a revival of industrial outwork and subcontracting increasing production in the "informal sector".


The Informal Sector

Scholars of industrialization in Latin America debate the degree to which informal sector production and employment can be isolated and analyzed as separate from that of the formal economy (Portes 1983, Portes, Castells and Benton 1989)4 Although the informal sector was originally equated with the traditional subsistence sector opposed to economic modernization which occurs in the "market" (Geertz 1963), this dualistic

4Portes states that a substantial "informal proletariat" provides the urban formal sector with the extra-market means of production. According to his hypothesis, the urban informal proletariat is readily identifiable since it a) does not receive regular money wages; b) does not receive the indirect wage of social security coverage; and 0 does not retain contractual relations with its employers.







38

perspective has been strongly criticized. Scholars who criticize this perspective emphasize the close articulation between formal and informal sectors, the way in which this articulation cheapens labor, and the importance of this unregulated production for social reproduction (in terms of both production of goods for the market and a source of employment) (Safa 1987).

Portes and Benton estimated that in 1984, 40 percent of Colombia's urban labor force was in the informal sector. For intermediate Colombian cities such as Pereira, informal sector participation in production has been estimated to be 61 percent (Lopez 1987). Recent studies on the process of expansion of the informal sector and the restructuring of the labor process demonstrate that the most exploited segments of the paid labor force are female (Nash and Fernandez-Kelly 1983, Sassen Koob 1984, Fernandez-Kelly 1985, Beneria and Roldan 1987, Safa 1990).

Portes (1983) distinguishes between three types of production within the informal sector: (1) direct subsistence (including subsistence agriculture and home production), (2) petty commodity production and exchange (based on the labor of the self-employed who produce goods and services for the market); and

(3) backward capitalist production, which includes small enterprises employing unprotected wage labor. The first two may be considered traditional methods of incorporating labor in the informal sector, while the third is relatively new in Colombia and elsewhere. This research considers subcontracted industrial outwork (which Portes terms backward production) as a mechanism for incorporating women's labor in a more vulnerable (less protected, more unstable or insecure) position.







39




Subcontracted Industrial Outwork

Subcontracted industrial outwork has recently received renewed interest by researchers, largely as a result of the decentralization of production since the 1970s (Beneria and Roldan 1987).


At the conceptual level, homework involves a mixed organization of production in which capital takes advantage of the prevalent social and economic relations within the household. The jobber, the workshop, or the factory gives the materials to the worker who is paid by the piece wages for the work, but has no control over the product since it is returned to the jobber. There is appropriation of labor on the part of the jobber, much along the lines based on capitalist relations of
production (Beneria and Roldan, p.66 1987).


However, in order to understand the implications of subcontracting for social relations of production and women's labor force incorporation, we must distinguish between the putting out system of the early European transition to capitalism, and industrial outwork performed in contemporary Latin America.


Industrial Outwork and Capitalist Development

Although striking similarities exist between the development of the putting out system in Europe and subcontracted industrial outwork in Colombia, significant differences also exist. Women's labor force incorporation under capitalist development in Colombia is more subordinate to both national and multinational capital than it was in Europe. Women, in Colombia, maintain less control of the production process, and less frequently own the means of production.







40

In order to better understand the way in which macro-economic processes influence women's labor force incorporation and the household, it is important to study these differences between the European case and the Colombian case. In general, during the transition to capitalism in Europe, the putting out system was controlled by commercial capital, while in Colombia today it is controlled by industrial capital. In the garment industry, even when production is performed in the home, the large factories maintain control of cutting and finishing the product.

In addition, the accumulation process initiated by commercial capital in Europe facilitated the development of national industrial capital (Beneria and Roldan 1987). However, in Colombia, this production contributes to the accumulation of both national and multinational capital. Though

subcontracting into the home was less frequent among the factories with multinational capital, other forms of contracting works to small workshops outside the factory did persist (these will be discussed in detail in Chapter Four). Thus small scale entrepreneurs' production contributes to the generation of surplus profits by the large multinational factories.

Further, the ownership of the means of production was different in the two cases. At least initially, the putting out system in Europe utilized independent producers who owned the means of production (such as sewing machines and looms). In Colombia, the machines, as well as the locale where production takes place (if it does not occur in the workers home) are often owned by the larger factory. In Colombia, the entrepreneur (manager of a small scale enterprise) may have the rent for the machines or locale taken out of her meager earnings for this subcontracted production.







41




Conclusion

This chapter discussed the impact of capitalist development on women's labor force incorporation. Women's labor force incorporation in eighteenth century Europe was compared to present day Colombia, emphasizing the change in location of production as it affects women's productive and reproductive responsibilities. The reorganization of social relations within the home as a result of the transition from craft production to factory production highlighted women' increasing marginalization within the production process. The increasing penetration of international capitalism in Third World Countries has led to a deskilling of the work force under contemporary monopoly capitalism conditions. The increasing feminization of the labor force illustrates the search for increasingly more vulnerable labor by industrial capitalists.

This discussion demonstrates that industries (even those which traditionally utilized female labor) such as the garment industry are restructuring production to reduce labor costs and to incorporate workers in a cheaper, more vulnerable position, with less job security and fewer benefits. Both subcontracted industrial outworkers and factory workers are relegated to "informal" types of production. The factory workers work becomes "informal"' when these workers are contracted as temporary workers, for less than 90 days, prohibiting them from receiving the benefits of legal contractual workers. This incorporation occurs at a time when male unemployment is increasing, wages are low, and women's contribution to the household income is highly significant.







42

Women's labor force incorporation in the new international division of labor, is becoming increasingly subordinate to the interests of national and multinational capital. However, this incorporation does not occur in a vacuum. Women's labor force incorporation is mediated by their household responsibilities. The household adapts to the changing forms of women's labor force incorporation by assuming new strategies for household sustenance. As households (both male and female-headed) jockey for their survival, and for a more advantageous position in the work force, they reorganize and reallocate their labor. This reallocation of labor is in part the result of households' responses to the structure of the labor market (this is discussed in depth in chapter 6) and to the current economic crisis.

In order to understand the mechanisms governing this incorporation of female labor in increasingly subordinate positions, it is necessary to link the household, and the family with the wider regional, national and international patterns of development, including social, economic, political and ideological processes, within which they are embedded. The next chapter discusses the process of industrialization in Colombia emphasizing the increase in temporary labor contracts, and the growth of the informal sector along with women's increasing labor force participation.
















CHAPTER THREE INDUSTRIALIZATION IN COLOMBIA


Introduction



...Se utilizan solo la mano de obra de la region, y dentro del Plan Vallejo se trabaja para enviar ...De los EEUU mandan todo la material los patrones y aqui se trabaja .. se ponen la mano de obra al estilo Taiwan. Pereira es el epicentro del Plan Vallejo al nivel de la confeccion en este sentido.
Dona Blanca, Tecnologa del SENA

They utilize only the labor of the region, under the Plan Vallejo they work to export... From the United States they send all of the material, the patterns, and here they assemble it, using the style they use in Taiwan. Pereira is the epicenter of the Plan Vallejo in the garment industry in this sense.
Dofia Blanca, Technologist from the SENA.



This chapter begins with a discussion of the origins of the

manufacturing industry in Colombia emphasizing the relationship

between state policy and industrialization in Colombian economic

development. A description of the structure of the labor force in

Colombia discusses the historical importance of women's labor force



43






44


incorporation. Next, a brief review of the Antioquefio colonization of the Old Caldas region (which today is Risaralda, Caldas and Quindio) provides the background for a discussion of the capitalist development of the Risaralda region (see Figure 3.1, 3.2). Finally, an exploration of the contemporary structure of the manufacturing industry in the department of Risaralda focuses specifically on the role of the garment industry in the process of industrialization of Pereira and Dos Quebradas (see Figure 3.3).

In order to understand the origins of the manufacturing industry in Colombia, we must first consider the extraction of primary products which provided the initial capital for industrialization. From the midnineteenth century, the export sector has been considered the principal source of capital accumulation for the country. According to Jose Antonio Ocampo, a prominent Colombian economist: "The export experience of the nineteenth century was, in the long run, discouraging and in terms of specific markets, very unstable (1979: 25)". Ocampo delineates three elements which explain the limits to expansion of exports in the Colombian case: (1) the position of Colombia in the world economy, which tended to generate strong competitive disadvantages for the Colombian producers, (2) the presence of backward forms of production and (3) the tendency of Colombian capitalists to behave as speculatorsrs. (1979: 26). During the last century, investment by Colombians was concentrated in commercial and speculative activities or in buying certain goods (such as land or cattle) which could be rapidly liquidated, serving as a type of money. Investment in productive activities was only attractive when world prices for the products were high. Consequently, Ocampo states, the expansion of the export sector






45







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Figure 3.1 Map of South America, Colombia highlighted.







46


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47















DEPARTAMENT OF RISARALDA SCALE
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Figure 3.3 Municipality of Pereira, including Dos Quebradas.






48


only occurred when almost any type of production was acceptable in the world market. For this reason, the producer exporters, did not have much incentive to maintain a high level of investment of fixed capital in industrial development. Their role was more that of speculators.

Gold was the major export product until the mid nineteenth century. During the second half of the nineteenth century, coffee assumed increasing importance as a product for exportation. According to Alvaro Lopez Toro (1975) gold production for export in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries generated disequilibrium between Antioquia's dynamic mining economy and its stagnant traditional agriculture. A powerful merchant class emerged to balance this disequilibrium through trade. Lopez argues that merchants supplied the export sector with food, tools, and clothing, and collected gold for export. Capital accumulation in the hands of merchants enabled them to displace the cultural, social, and political influence of the class of large landowners engaged in traditional agriculture in the highlands around the region's capital, Medellin.

Charles Bergquist (1986) demonstrates how the boom and bust of export agriculture structured the political history of the nation during the nineteenth century. During the first three decades of this century, despite considerable growth of gold, banana, and petroleum exports (after 1925), coffee exports rose from 40 to more than 70 percent of the value of Colombia's total exports. The remarkable expansion of the coffee export economy enabled the Colombian government to become a major recipient of the flood of finance capital emanating from New York banks in the years preceding the Great Depression (Bergquist 1986: 297).





49


From an early stage, rural coffee producers depended on industrially based textile production for their own use. This explains, in part, why coffee producing regions often become centers of textile and garment production.

Small coffee farmers never engaged in home textile
production as rural families in other sectors of the Colombian economy traditionally did. Unlike the small tobacco farmers in Santander during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who produced textiles in their homes for distribution in other regions, and the wool spinners and weavers of highland Boyaca and Cundinamarca, coffee farmers depended from the beginning on industrially manufactured (and initially imported) cotton cloth for most of their clothing needs. Women and female children did, however fashion much of their own clothing by hand until the use of imported treadle sewing machines became widespread in recent decades. Males customarily had their cotton pants made by tailors in the towns, a practice that continues to this day, . Small children, especially among the most impoverished coffee families,
often still wear little or no clothing. (Bergquist 1986: 322)



Development of the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia

Until the end of the 1880's, industry in Colombia was basically artisanal, concentrated in the production of clothes, chocolates, candles, and beer located mainly in Bogota. It was only during the first years of the twentieth century that industrialization of consumption goods, focused in Medellin and Bogota, was begun on a large scale.

The textile industry in Medellin was a major leader in industrial development in the Antioqueflo region (of which Medellin is the capital). Capital accumulated in coffee exports funded the dynamic expansion of this sector in the Anqioquefio region. From 1910 till 1930 coffee exports increased at a rate superior to 10 percent yearly. Textile industrialization flourished in Medellin after 1907 under protectionist






50


measures first introduced by the Reyes government. Further, capital accumulated through coffee production in this region expanded and consolidated the internal market for textiles, assisted in the formation of large enterprises in the industrial sector, and through these activities strengthened the creation of a salaried workforce in the cities (Montenegro and Ocampo 1985). Coltejer and Fabricato, two of the largest textile factories in the country were developed through efforts of the largest family of coffee merchants (Echavarria).

Colombian industrialization was assisted by economic and fiscal reforms of the administration of Pedro Nel Ospina (1922-27). The reorganization of public finances made possible a greater access to external credit, while the creation of a central bank provided the base for the formation of a monetary system and modern capital market. The immediate effects of these reforms were to reduce the interest rates and provide a more secure access to sources of financing for new investments. The increase in the physical infrastructure put forth by the same administration further stimulated more investment in industry (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).

Colombia was, relatively speaking for Latin America, a late-comer to industrialization. However, the industrial growth in Colombia between 1931 and 1939 was, on the average 12.4 percent, not only the highest in Latin America in that decade, but also the highest in the industrial history of Colombia. The process of Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) began during the later years of the Liberal governments (1940-44), reaching its peak in the late 40's and early 50's when Antioquefto industrialists wielded great influence in the Conservative Administration. Nevertheless, this rate of growth was






51


reduced to 5.4 percent between 1939 and 1945, only to recuperate to 10.2 percent in the 1950's. While industries such as threads, textiles and cigarettes were concentrated in Antioquia, cement and beer were centralized in the province of Cundinamarca, and the processing of sugar was centralized in Cali.

With the initiation of industrialization, workers organizations also began to flourish. In 1931 worker's organizations were legitimized by the government. In 1936 the creation of the CTC (Confederacion de Trabajadores Colombianos) promoted advances in the area of social security legislation such as law 53 of 1938 which allowed for sick leave and maternity leave for workers. The Union of Colombian Workers (UTC) was founded in 1946 with assistance from the Catholic church.

In the years 1945-1950, significant changes in the structure of production occurred. The processing of foodstuffs (Galletas la Rosa, Cicolac, Fruco) and production of artificial fibers (Pantex, Tejicondor) began the diversification of consumer goods. Further, the expansion of intermediate goods, mainly in the industries of leather, chemicals, paper, and metal products increased dramatically. Growing consumer demands made investments in this sector more profitable (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).

The acceleration of import substitution industrialization (ISI) after the Second World War supported by state intervention fostered the development of large national textile factories that met most of the demands of the internal market. Policies established during this period encouraged national production of manufactured goods and reduced the need for imports (i.e., ISI). Between 1950 and 1958, an increase in the production of intermediate goods was accompanied by a decrease in the





52


expansion of consumer goods. The most dynamic industrial activities were those of wood, paper, leather, chemicals, petroleum derivatives, basic metals and non-electric machinery. Although, in general, intermediate goods provided the motor for industrial development in the 1950s, the situation varied in each region, depending on the structure of production in the region; on the integration of factory activity in this structure; on modifications given by the installation of new enterprises; and on the expansion of markets. In other regions, such as Antioquia and Old Caldas, industrial development continued to focus on consumer goods (79 percent to 90 percent respectively), although the participation of these in the total production of other manufacturing regions was decreasing (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).


Women's Contribution to Industrial Development

In the 1945 industrial census of Colombia, there were 135,000 workers registered in the industrial sector, of those 90.111 were men and 45.289 women (approximately 33 percent female). Approximately one third (34.5 percent) of these workers were distributed among 6 occupations: thread spinners, 3.7 percent, garment workers, 7.6 percent, folders, 2.5 percent, packers, 5.6 percent, weavers, 8.5 percent and yarn knitters, 6 percent. The occupations most often associated with female employment were those which were extensions of the women's domestic role, such as textiles, garments, food, and tobacco. This early census demonstrates that women's employment was not only limited to specific industries, but also to specific occupational categories within these industrial categories. Women were much more frequently






53


relegated to the category "obrera" (worker) as opposed to the category of "empleada" (salaried wage worker). The payment for work completed by empleadas was greater than that paid to "obreras" because the work of empleadas supposedly required a higher level of formal education, and therefore more 'technical expertise"(Sandroni 1982).

The situation of women in these early years of industrialization in Bogota, bears some resemblance to the daily lives of the garment workers today, in Pereira. In a thesis at the Universidad Nacional, Gabriela Pelaez Echeverry (1944) notes:


The women who work in the factories in this study are single
and without children because of the personnel selection process of the factory. . This is not found in the 'trilladoras' of coffee, who represent the other extreme. It is difficult to find among them, a woman who is single without children... In these 'trilladoras' one finds married women, single, women of all the marital states, with children of various ages. Mothers carried their children to work at their side... (p. 72, cited in Sandroni 1982, my translation).

She further notes that:

Of the women who worked only 1 percent, do so to dedicate part of their salary to personal expenses. Even those women who are alone, orphaned or widowed, need their work in order to live...
There are fewer cases in which the women must work because of death or abandonment by the husband (p.72, cited in Sandroni
1982, my translation).


The similarities between women's proletarianization in the 1940s and proletarianization in the 1980s demonstrate the continuous search by capital for a cheap, vulnerable labor force.1


1Statistics for Colombia show that the population of economically active women increased between 1951 and 1978 from 18.7 percent to 28.8 percent (Flores, Echeverri and Mendez 1987). However, the rate of female labor force participation in 1951 (18.7 percent) was close to five times less than the






54



From Import Substitution to the Promotion of Exports

Colombia's first two National Front governments (1958-1962; 1962-1966) faced economic problems stemming from the low world price for coffee and the shortage of foreign capital with which to import consumer goods. Towards the end of the 1960s, under the government of Lleras Restrepo, the industrial policy of ISI was reconsidered, and a shift towards export promotion began. During this time, the goverment assumed a protectionist policy towards the internal market and supported exports through exchange (fiscal) policies and the creation of tax incentives. Worker benefits established during the 1960's include: Cajas de Compensacion Familiar (family compensation) in 1962 and legislation regulating benefits for old age, death and disability in 1967.

The Instituto de Fornento Industrial (IFI), created in 1941, received increasing financial support during this period. The IFI was originally created to assist entrepreneurs wishing to purchase new technology. Total credits extended by the IFI rose from $35 million in 1958 to $2,157


masculine rate (89.3 percent). In 1978, the increase in female activity had reduced the difference with a rate of 29 percent for women and 71 percent for men. This increase in women's labor force participation results in part from the increasing urbanization of the population in the last few decades. In 1984 there was a greater percentage of women than men in urban areas (53 percent versus 47 percent) while the reverse is true of rural areas (48 percent versus 52 percent [Flores, Echeverri and Mendez 19871). This may be due, in large part, to the employment available in cities for women, mainly domestic servants.
Marital status also affects the female labor supply in a market with
preferences for single women. The highest rate of women's economic activity is in the group of separated women. This group increased its participation from 4.1 percent (1976) to 8.5 percent (1984) which explains in part, the increase in female labor force participation (Maldonado and Lozano 1987). These figures, however, only reflect female labor force participation in what has been termed the 'formal sector'.





55


million in 1969, and $4,935 million in 1972. In 1959, Decree 1345 provided increased tariff protection for industrial capital goods and intermediate manufactured goods produced in Colombia. The

protections applied to the manufacture of paper, iron, glass, electrical equipment, fertilizers, synthetic fibers and other high technology products. These protectionist policies encouraged the national production of textiles from cotton as well as synthetic fibers.

Another policy effecting technological change in Colombian manufacturing was Law 81 of 1960 which gave industrial tax exemptions and write-offs of up to 10 years for investments in a wide variety of heavy and high technology industries, as well as providing tax incentives for exports of these products. This policy was intended to expand import substitution beyond consumer durables to include "intermediate" industrial products which served as inputs to the manufacture of consumer goods. Thus these policies were designed to protect national industry, reduce imports, and promote exports in an attempt to improve Colombia's balance of payments and decrease the need to borrow foreign capital. These programs encouraged production in larger factories, although the degree to which these factories relied on smaller enterprises and outwork is not known.

Few programs were established to provide credit to smaller, more labor intensive industries. Some funds from the IFI, especially those from the Inter-American Development Bank brought in after 1969, were specified for small and intermediate-sized manufacturing plants. Another initiative was the establishment in 1967 of the Corporacion Financier Popular (CFP) which provides credit to small industrial enterprises that employ less than 100 individuals and have a minimal






56


reserve of capital for production. In Risaralda, the CFP has been significant in fomenting small scale production in the garment industry.

The creation of the Fondo Financiero Industrial (FF1) in 1968 initiated a special means of credit extension to small and medium-sized industrial establishments. The FF1 provides capital for these establishments, decentralizes credit to less developed regions, and attempts to create new opportunities for employment.

During the years 1959-1968, the process of diversification was strengthened along with the expansion in the production of intermediate goods and of consumer durables. Further, the division of work at a regional level was accentuated giving rise to what became known as the "golden triangle".2 Industrial development in the Old Caldas region, the major coffee producing zone in the country, focused on the two major urban centers of Manizales and Pereira. This region demonstrated a tendency towards specialization in the production of consumer goods, and the rate of growth of the sector of intermediate goods surpassed that of the national average (Jimenez and Sideri 1988).

In 1964 the Sindical Confederation of Colombian Workers (CSTC) was founded as a rival to the CTC and the UTC. In 1971 the General Confederation of Workers (GCT) originated. This group began in a meeting of Antioquefio activists (Accion Sindical Antioquefla ). The ideological and political division of the union movement and the


2The golden triangle refers to the development of Medellin, Bogota, and Cali as three major industrial centers of the country. Pereira, Risaralda is centrally located providing advantageous access to national as well as international markets. This regional development is significant in the development of the city of Pereira, first as a major commercial center, and later as a producer of consumer goods.






57


changes which have been expressed in the last 30 years are manifested in:
(1) the growth of new centers, the CSTC in 1964 and the CGT in 1970, (2) the loss of power of the CTC to the UTC, and (3) more recently the considerable growth of the unions not affiliated with any confederation (Gomez, Perry, Londofto 1986).

A legal system of contracting workers for selected periods of time, or items of production was accepted in 1965 with decree 2351 of the Colombian Labor Code (Corchuelo 1987). Article 4 of this decree practically institutionalized this contracting method. These unprotected workers may actually appear to participate in "'formal" sector production when they are hired as workers within the factory for periods of less than 90 days. Under these contracts, workers do not receive any social security benefits, and have no guarantee of job security. This may be interpreted as "inform alizing the "formal" sector by contracting labor for production in a much more 'casual' manner (Bromley and Gerry 1978). Article 4 of decree 2351 states that contracts for less than one year are possible in order to replace workers on vacation, for increases in production, or increases in sales.

However, according to a representative of the Union of Colombian Workers, the CUT,


The managers of the factory have abused this article and made
this practice a custom. This type of contract has been increasing since 1970, very sporadically contracts are made for 1 year especially in the garment industry. All contracts are made for 2 or 3 months. This practice has been institutionalized to the detriment of the workers. Every year workers' benefits are liquidated and the worker signs a new contract starting from zero. Another year passes and the same thing occurs. This practice has generated much unemployment, among other
things ... (personal interview May 20 1989).






58





Temporary Employment

Considering both the salaried work force and independent workers, temporary employment represented 16 percent of total employment in 1984, a rise from 10 percent in 1980 (DANE 1984). The productive activity which relies most heavily on the generation of temporary work in Colombia is the manufacturing industry (Corchuelo 1987). Subcontracting is a specific case of contracting where the labor demand is generally oriented towards home-based workers or smallscale enterprises. The utilization of the subcontracting arrangement is usually based on the relatively cheaper labor costs, the evasion of labor norms in these work places, the technological level of the home-based worker or small-scale enterprise, and the flexibility in the contracting and firing of workers due to changes in the level of economic activity.

At the national level, the number of temporary workers in private employment in Colombia increased from 10.5 percent of the labor force in 1980 to 16.5 percent in 1987.3 According to the Colombian labor code, there are two styles of labor contracting: contracts for fixed terms, and contracts for an indefinite term. The stipulations for fixed term contract include:


31n this region, temporary employment has increased as owners of the largest exporting factory rehire workers under new contracts. Recently this enterprise bought another large factory in the region. Management then began to move the workers from one factory to another. When the workers, who had a contract for a fixed period of time circulated from one factory to the other, they signed new contracts changing the status of their work from a fixed time period, to a shorter period of time, less than 90 days -- or solely for the production of a specific article (interview with union leader).






59



(1) The contract for fixed term must always be written, their
duration cannot be less than 1 year or greater than 3 years, but it is renewable indefinitely; (2) Temporary or occasional workers can be used to replace workers on vacation, to meet increases in production demand, etc. (this is discussed in more detail under temporary workers); (3) If prior to the expiration date of the contract, neither party advises the other party in writing, of their intentions to not prolong the contract with anticipation of 30 days, the contract will be understood to be renewed for one year; (4) a contract requiring highly specialized or technical work may be for less than a year (personal interview May 1989 with union official).


The contract of indefinite work is subject to the following conditions:

(1) The contract not stipulated to be under a fixed contract will refer to one of indefinite time, the duration of this work is not determined by the nature of the task, and does not refer to casually contracted labor. (2) The indefinite contract is valid as long as the conditions which gave rise to its origin and the material of work are available. The worker can terminate the contract through a written notice of 30 days. If this advance notice is not given, then article 8 number 7 will apply for the entire time, or for the lapse of working time which was not completed (personal interview May
1989 with union official).
Often temporary workers are hired under the fixed term contracts.

According to the Colombian work code, temporary employment is

classified into two groups: that constituted by temporary workers
contracted directly by the factory, and temporary workers contracted by an

independent agency called "Bolsas de Empleo". The most prevalent

form of employment in the garment industrial branch of manufacturing

activity in Colombia is contracted directly by the factory. Two of the
three modalities involve work within the factory, the third is contracted
outside the factory. The types of work encountered in this group

include:






60

1) Contracting occasional workers these contracts are generally for only one month and are distinct from the normal workings of
the factory.
2) Contracts of a definite term contracts of less than one year, temporary replacement, labor related to requirements caused by production increases, including labor related to the transportation
of goods or the sale of production due to this increase.
3) Contracts to home workers contracts related to the completion of certain phases of the production process performed outside of
the factory. This work is generally paid by the piece.



Textile Production

To understand the implications of changes in the structure of production and the social relations of production we now turn to a study of the specific example of the textile industry. From the initial phases of industrialization, textile production flourished in the Antioquefla region. In 1920, 13 companies existed in the region. By 1945 only four of the original 13 factories remained; the small factories were absorbed by the larger ones. Until 1974, textile production developed fairly rapidly, stimulated by the dynamism of the internal market and the progressive opening of the export sector. Between 1970 and 1973 production and employment in textiles grew at an average annual rate of between 13 percent and seven percent respectively (Londofto 1986). This rate was superior to the industrial average, and the average of the total economy. After 1974, the expansion of the textile industrial sector began to decline, initially as a consequence of the reduction in the domestic sales, an increase in internal prices of 60 percent, and a deterioration in the ability of the majority of the population to purchase textiles (Paus 1982). Although total exports grew by 65 percent, during this year (1974) contribution of the textile sector to exports was reduced to eight percent.






61


In the textile sector, inventory represented up to 13 percent of production in contrast with five percent in previous years.

The overvaluation of the peso due in part to the 1970s coffee bonanza and the beginning of the drug trade resulted in a decrease in textile exports. The influx of coffee and drug earnings was also inflationary resulting in a large increase of contraband and legal imports, and a loss of industrial and export possibilities. At the height of the textile crisis (1979-82) the repercussions for workers began to be seen through collective and individual firing, indemnification of workers and forced retirement. The increase in the internal prices for textiles, as part of the decrease in exports, especially in the first part of the crisis had further ramifications in the garment factories. Many of these garment factories were forced to close during this period in part because of the increasing price of textiles..4

In 1975, the world recession, and the dramatic drop in exports worsened the situation. Competition from countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea decreased the demand for Colombian industrial exports. In general, the factory owners blame the government of Lopez Michelsen for this decrease.5 Other scholars, however, state that aspects such as the monopolistic and overprotective structure of the

41n. Bogota and Barranquilla 9 garment factories closed down, leaving approximately 4,900 workers without jobs. In Pereira 2 large enterprises Galex and Jarcano also closed (Londofto 1986). These factory closings in Pereira will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6.
5 The government's liberation of interest rates, decrease in the rate of monetary devaluation, and liberation of imports produced an increase in the financial costs of the industry, and an increase in the inputs and labor which affected the ability of the industry to compete with contraband on the internal market, and with other industrializing nations in the external market (Londofio 1986).






62


industry leading to low productivity have been determinants in the loss of competitiveness of the industry in the international market (Morawitz 1989).



Export Promotion and Industrial Development

Emphasis on export promotion continued with the conservative government of Misael Pastrana Borrero (1970-1974). During this period spatial concentration of industrial development continued in eight major centers including: Bogota, Cali and Medellin, and on a lesser scale, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Pereira and Manizales. When considering the industrial growth of the regions by sectors, Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquill a, Pereira and Manizales demonstrated growth rates of the production of intermediate goods superior to those of the rest of the country. In regard to capital goods, Medellin, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Pereira and Manizales present superior growth levels. The greater dynamism of the sectors of intermediate and capital goods in the eight industrial centers confirms the progressive transformation of the productive industrial structure of the country, as well as the unexpected and rapid growth of Cartagena, Manizales, Pereira, and Bucaramanga during the 1970's (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).

The importance of Medellin, Bucaramanga, Manizales and Pereira in the production of consumer goods can be seen in specific activities: textiles for Medellin, tobacco in Bucaramanga, garments in Pereira, and foodstuffs in Manizales, areas in which these cities have been specializing since the late 1960's. Specifically in the case of Manizales






63


and Pereira, the industrial centers of Old Caldas, the determining factor in the industrial expansion appears to be the new investment of foreign capital. Contrary to what happened in the Antioquefto region, the local industry of Pereira has grown without a strong connection to the agricultural coffee barons in the region. This differs from the development of the textile industry in Medellin, and has led to investment of the capital accumulated in industrialization in the region, to other geographical areas (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).

At the national level, despite a decline in coffee income, the export sector grew in 1989 with a 16 percent increase in earnings over the previous year. Coffee accounted for just 23 percent of export earnings, approximately the same percentage as petroleum. Textiles and garments were among the fastest growing sectors doubling their value in 1989 to an estimated 507 million, eight percent of total exports (Colombia Today 1/91).
More recently, Colombian industrial enterprises have been affected by the international economic recession, and the Latin American debt crisis. Although Colombia's foreign debt ($16,500 million by 1988)6 was manageable by Latin American standards, it placed a large drain on scarce resources, as the debt cost the country seven percent of the GNP for that year.








60f this 16,500 million dollars, 13,100 was owed by the public sector; 40 percent by electricity and coal and oil sectors alone.






64



Antiogueflo Colonization of Old Caldas and the Subsequent Development of
Pereira as a producer of consumer goods

The foundation of Pereira in 1863 was an important event in the Antioquefto colonization of Western Colombia, causing profound economic, social and cultural changes in the country. Prior to the nineteenth century, the lack of successful colonization of this region was attributed to the physical difficulties of the area. By the end of the eighteenth century, groups of peasants and merchants from the eastern area of Medellin (Rionegro and Marinilla) began to migrate southward. For over 100 years, this migration opened up the southeastern part of what is today the Antioqueflo region, and all of the Old Caldas region. A combination of factors led to the opening of the southern border of the Antioquefio region including: (1) the search for other sources of gold, (2) the expansion of agricultural cultivation to satisfy the needs of the growing population, (3) the search for new and more fertile lands for the production of coffee.



Agricultural Development

The economy of the Old Caldas region was initially based on agriculture, mining, and cattle raising. Cocoa, leather, and gold were the principal commercial articles. Coffee, introduced into the region in 1865, only became a fundamental pillar of the Old Caldas economy during the beginning of the twentieth century. The production of coffee in this region was based on small-holder plots. However, in recent years there has been an increasing concentration of land into large latifundios.






65



In 1930, 73.7 percent of the coffee fincas occupied less than five
hectares and produced only 26 percent of the final crop, while seven percent of the fincas occupied more than 20 hectares and produced 46 percent of the crop. Thirty six years later, the large fincas represented 85 percent of the total and had increased their participation in production to 65 percent
(Christie 1974).

Although an Agrarian Reform Program was begun in 1961, by the end of the 1960's its goals for small peasant groups was far from being realized. Land concentration and the weakening of the progressive peasant organization (ANUC) implemented during Pastrana's

government contributed to the unsuccessful implementation of the agrarian reform.
Statistics from 1970 demonstrate that in Risaralda, units of less than 10 hectares composed 73 percent of the total arable land, and 7.2% of its surface area, while units with over 100 hectares composed only 4 percent of the units, and covered 67 percent of the surface area (Fajardo 1980). According to statistics from the National Federation of Coffee Growers in Colombia (FEDERACAFE) the area occupied by productive coffee in 1970 was distributed as follows: Antioquia 14.5 percent, Tolima 12.8 percent, Valle 12 percent, Cundinamarca 9.6 percent, Caldas, 8.3 percent, Cauca 7.4 percent Quindio 7.9 percent, Santander 7.9 percent, Risaralda 5.8 percent and the rest of the sections of the country 13.9 percent, placing Risaralda in eighth place. In 1980 the situation had not changed considerably. Antioquia increased its participation by 14.7 percent within the superficies of coffee production, Caldas 9.9 percent and Risaralda to 6.5 percent.






66


In the department of Risaralda, from 1932 to 1970 the number of coffee farms relative to the municipal areas increased slightly in the areas of Marsella Apia and Guatica, a bit more in Pueblo Rico, Pereira, Balboa Santa Rosa de Cabal, and Belen de Umbria, and in the other three administrative units (Mistrato, Quinchia and Santuario), it decreased:


Those who have acquired coffee lands are from a class
which is not linked directly to agriculture, rather it is the professional class. If you go to Marsella, a typical municipio, one finds coffee land owned by engineers, lawyers, dentists because, through this mechanism, they pay a high price for the coffee lands... They are changing a peasant class for an industrial class which does not have any peasant ancestry, but which is joining, with a great force, the cultivation of coffee at the national level
(Lopez 1988: 108, my translation).

Table 3.1 shows the concentration of coffee lands in the department. In 1970, for example, the coffee fincas with less than 4 hectares represented 53.8 percent of the total and comprised only 10.1 percent of the land. Coffee lands with less than 10 hectares (77.7 percent of the total of the producers) constituted 26.7 percent of the land. In the other extreme, 346 coffee fincas (2.5 percent of the total) had coffee areas based on the size of 50 hectares occupied 29.1 percent of the land. The rest, or 44.2 percent of coffee land was managed by medium sized producers (from 10 to 49.99 hectares) which constituted 19.8 percent of the total of coffee units.

This brief discussion of the coffee economy in the department reveals the growth of an agrarian economy in which the large capitalist coffee enterprises assume an important role in coffee production, with a tendency to exclude the small producer (Lopez 1982). The relationship


























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68


between coffee production in the rural areas, and the industrial growth manifested in the urban sector will be considered next.



Industrial Development

In the 1920's the first large industrial establishments appeared in Pereira. This period coincided with one of economic prosperity for Colombia. In part this was the consequence of the price of coffee which reached high levels between 1924 and 1927. After 1940, the garment industry developed rapidly based on existing artisanal activities. Clothing production in the 1930's and 1940's had been realized primarily by artisans in small factories. The following quotation demonstrates the type of relationship which existed between the outworkers, agents, and factory owners in the 1930's:


As agents we contracted seamstresses who worked in their homes.
Monday we gave them the cloth, already cut, thread, buttons, and other materials. Friday we received the merchandise to take it to the market on Saturdays and Sundays. The relationships with the workers were informal, based on friendship and mutual trust. For example it was a common practice to advance money to the workers in times of economic necessity. It was also common to loan money to workers so that they could buy sewing machines
(Manuel Rodrigo Becerra, 1979: 23, my translation).

Almost all of the garment factories of Pereira were established by merchants or individuals who had worked as laborers in garment factories. Some were merchants who started their factories based on a small workshop located in the back of their stores. Some of these owners were operators of garment factories, who, based on modest savings from the profits of their work, established small workshops.






69


According to a study comparing the industrial development of Pereira and Manizales by Manuel Rodriguez Becerra (1979), 75 percent of the garment factories in Pereira today are the product of individuals or a family who promoted and supported their own industry. In the rest of the cases, the factories generally belonged to the action of a small group of commercial businessmen.

In 1935 two industrialists from the Antioquefio region of Colombia, Carlos and Israel Restrepo, initiated the Charles shirt factory. Later, two gentlemen, Jaramillo and Cano, owners of the largest imported goods store, opened a factory in the back of their shop called jarcano&. The jarcano shirt became a very respected label, and though it was originally produced for the Garantia factory, they eventually became independent, and a small workshop was opened in the home of jaramillo.

Foreign investment in the industrial development of Pereira began in 1936 with the establishment of the garment factory La Garantia. Foreign investment continues to provide substantial employment for the region. In 1973 factories dominated by foreign capital employed 20 percent of the personnel incorporated in manufacturing industry (Arango 1989).






70



Table 3.2

Pereira-Dos Quebradas: Foreign capital in local Industry, 1988


Enterprise Year Capital Percent of Personnel
Founded Origin Foreign capital Employed Panos Omnes 1950 Panama 21 467
(Textiles) France
United States

La Rosa 1950 England 100 700
(Foodstuffs)

Hilos Cadena 1952 Sweden 100 817
(Thread)

Papeles
Nacionales 1960 Canada 92 600
(Paper)

Colpapel 1967 United States 50 400
(Paper)

Nicole 1975 United States 80 900
(garments)

Suzuki 1982 Japan 85 311
(Motors)

Valher 1969 United States 51 500
(Garments)

Source: Jaime Arango Gaviria, 1989.


In the 1950's three factories of foreign capital initiated production in Pereira: the factory Panos Omnes (1950), a subsidiary of a French textile factory; the factory of Confites and Galletas La Rosa, 1950, subsidiary of an English multinational, and the factory Hilos Cadena






71


(1954) subsidiary of a Swiss multinational. In the 1960's the presence of foreign capital increased in Pereira with the addition of the following factories: (1) Papeles Nacionales, which began in 1962 as the subsidiary of a Canadian firm; (2) a car assembly firm (Roa Hispano Colombiana) founded by a group of Spaniards and a group from Pereira, a project which later failed.

In the 1960's several different projects were developed to foment manufacturing industry in the city. These projects were promoted by a groups of Pereirano industrialists (one third of whom were garment factory owners) who actively participated in the promotion and strengthening of industries different from the traditional ones and the foundation of the group "Promotora Industrial". This group provided the base for the creation of the Corporaci6n Financiera del Occident which provided economic assistance and credit to large scale factories. The foundation of a local branch of the Corporacion Financiera Popular in Pereira in 1969 significantly advanced manufacturing production in the city by providing credit to small scale producers. This organization has played a central role in the development of small scale industries, especially in the garment industry.

The exportation of garments in Colombia is regulated by the Plan Vallejo first implemented in 1967. The Plan Vallejo is one of the most important tools in the promotion of exports and in international commerce for the region. This decree defines the operations in which individuals, societies, exporters, or merchants can import raw materials destined for assembly in the country, and later export the assembled materials. The raw material or disassembled pieces imported under this plan, must be used exclusively in the production of goods destined for






72


exportation. Through this process, the importers acquire the right to bring into the country, on a second occasion, the same quantity of raw material previously imported without having to pay taxes.
The majority of exports under the Plan Vallejo are destined to the United States. Further, more than 80 percent of imports which come from the United States for assembly in Colombia are destined to garment production. In Pereira, more than 20 firms participate directly in production for exportation under the Plan Vallejo and about 25 garment factories participate either indirectly (subcontracted) or directly.


Regional Development

Pereira, the capital of Risaralda, is a city which has grown from 115,000 to 287,00 inhabitants between 1951 and 1985. In 1951, 66 percent of the population of the Risaralda was rural and 34 percent urban. In 1985, only 19 percent of the population lived in the rural areas and Pereira figured as the tenth city in national importance for its urban population. However, the industrial development of Pereira must be evaluated in direct relation to the changes and evolution of the population in Dos Quebradas (the industrial zone to the north of the city). Dos Quebradas doubled its population between 1973 and 1985 passing from 50,000 to 103,000 inhabitants. Dos Quebradas grew notably in its density from 700 inhabitants /square km to almost 1500 inhabitants /square km. Pereira had a moderate increase with the population in its total area increasing from 346 to 438 inhabitants per square km. In the two municipal areas, the "rural" density also doubled.






73


These facts demonstrate the tendency of the population of Risaralda to be concentrated in these two cities. While in 1973 Pereira and Dos Quebradas maintained approximately 55 percent of the Risaralda population, in 1985 this proportion had grown to almost 63 percent.7 In 1973 the rate of in-migration was 35 percent for Quindio, 30 percent for Risaralda and 17 percent for Caldas. In the same year, Pereira presented a high rate of immigration with 56 percent. As with other large cities (Bogota, Ibague, Cali and Armenia among others), Pereira maintains a rate of immigrants to natives greater than I.

In order to understand these processes of redistribution and relocation of the population, we must consider the material conditions in which the regional economy develops. As previously mentioned, coffee production dominates the regional economy. In the last few years, coffee production has decreased its importance because of the rapid decline in international prices (e.g. the breaking of the London Pact in 1989), the invasion of a bacteria called roya, and the increase in the price of the inputs and fertilizer required. All of these factors contribute to the precarious condition of the small coffee farmers who can hardly afford to


7Census data from 1973 and 1985 for Pereira and Dos Quebradas demonstrate that salaried workers (empleados, obreros and jornaleros and empleados domesticos) who made up 73 percent of the labor force in 1973 maintained this level of participation in 1985. However, independent workers grew from 12 percent in 1973 to 19 percent in 1981 demonstrating that the informal sector of the economy continues to expand while the formal sector maintains its level of productivity. During the past decade, economic concentration in the Pereira Dos Quebradas region has led to an increase in the economically active population, especially in the category of independent worker. The increasing number of productive small scale enterprises in the region demonstrate some of the variety of ways in which workers are increasingly incorporated into the labor force in a disadvantaged state, with few benefits and no protection.





74


produce their traditional coffee. In 1989 a 40 percent fall in coffee prices led to the impoverishment of many small producers (Pearce 1990). Decreases in regional production and commercialization of coffee eliminated considerable regional employment in the rural areas. The development of capitalist agriculture has affected the relations of production in the rural areas. These rural workers, displaced by technified machinery in the coffee fincas, migrate initially towards Pereira and Dos Quebradas, forming part of the growing urban proletariat and labor for import substitution.

Charles Bergquist describes the situation in the region as follows:


. In the decades since mid-century there has been steady
concentration of landholding patterns in Colombian agriculture, an increase in mechanization and capitalist investment in agriculture, and a corresponding growth in the number of landless wage workers in the countryside. Even coffee production, which historically proved so resistant to pure capitalist forms and favored the growth and maintenance of small producers and the family owned and operated farm, has witnessed in recent decades a revolution in production techniques, tenancy and labor systems.
The application of capital and advanced techniques to coffee production has, since mid-century slowly undermined the
competitive position of smallholders. (Bergquist 1986:371).

Undoubtedly developments in rural agriculture have affected urban industrial developments. The growing urban population, in part, determines the structure of the potential labor force.


Regional Manufacturing Industry

In Pereira, formal sector industrial production is dominated by five industries: foodstuffs, beverages, textiles, garments and paper. Table 3.3 describes the structure of industrial production in the region. As this






75


table demonstrates, foodstuffs generated the most production, as well as employed the largest number of personnel. However, garments maintained the largest number of establishments and were not far behind foodstuffs in 1981 with 26.5 percent of the personnel employed. Further, because the nature of subcontracting within the garment industry hides many workers in clandestine workshops or their homes, the total number of employees, and actual production figures are probably higher than census estimates.

------------------------------------------------Table 3.3


Pereira-Dos Quebradas. Manufacturing Industry.
General Summary: Percent Participation, 1981

------------------------------------------------Industrial Number of Gross Product Percentage of
Classification Establishments Millions of Dollars Total Workers
Foodstuffs 18.6 34.3

Beverages 2.2 9.7

Textiles 7.4 11.4

Garments 24.7 14

Paper 2.2 10.9

Others 44.9 19.7

Total 231 (100%) 201,525 (100)%
-------------------------------------------------Source: Arango, 1989.

Major indicators of manufacturing industrial activity in Colombia situate the metropolitan area of Pereira-Dos Quebradas as the sixth in importance in value added, number of establishments, production,






76


intermediate consumption, salaries, and benefits. In 1982 Pereira occupied the fifth place in quantity of personnel occupied with the most active industrial activities including food, drinks, textiles, garments, and paper. Garments, together with foodstuffs, account for over 50 percent of the industrial activity in the region. The active presence of foreign investment in the large factories reinforces the concentration of capital in the industrial sector. This foreign investment is often consolidated to the point that many establishments (including those involved in garment production), have less than 20 percent Colombian participation (Arango 1989). The increasing foreign participation in the regional economy demonstrates their increased dependence on international forces for generating the capital for local and regional industries.



Contemporary Colombian Developmen

Recently the Colombian economy has begun a process of "opening". This process is part of a plan to internationalize the Colombian economy and modernize their productive capacity. The liberalization of exports and flopening up" of the Colombian economy to foreign investors affects all industrialists (large, medium and small).

This so called "opening up" of the Colombian economy will allow products from the exterior to compete with Colombian products. This opening involves (in addition to changes in foreign commerce policy) a variety of entities (including "proexpo" the Colombian entity involved with regulating Exports, and Incomex, the agency involved in regulating Imports) and a series of structural reforms in financing, foreign exchange, transportation and labor (Semana 12/21/1990). The goal of this process is to






77


increase the growth rate of the economy, limited by the size of the national economy. One theory is that if industrialists become more competitive in the international market and succeed in selling their product, their growth possibilities are greater and they will be able to generate more employment.

However, this "economic opening" must occur gradually in order to allow the industrialists to prepare for competition in the foreign market. This involves "industrial conversion" or the modernization of the machinery in the factories. Often this modernization results in the utilization of machinery which replaces the work of several individuals. This "industrial conversion" contradicts the above mentioned theory of employment generation which should accompany the industrial opening. If, in order to compete in the international market, workers are replaced with machines (which supposedly do the job faster and more efficiently) where is the employment generation?

While these policies may be beneficial to the large scale producer, the small scale producers are in a disadvantaged position. Their lack of independent access to a market (without being subcontracted) their lack of access to capital, their limited access to technology, and their lack of knowledge of the production process subordinate these producers to the larger capitalist enterprises. The weakest link in this chain of development (which begins with increasing production of the large scale capitalist and ends with employment generation) are the workers. Even though the Colombian Congress has approved "the most ambitious labor reform in forty years" the degree to which these reforms actually protect the workers, and the degree to which they can be adequately enforced are debatable.
These labor reforms modify four aspects of the labor regime: (1) the individual's rights to work, (2) the collective rights of workers, (3) the






78


management of temporary work agencies and (4) norms regarding the closure of factories. In the regulation of labor laws the most important changes related to the "cesantias" or pensions of the workers. Cesantias are pensions (or an extra month of pay) received by workers. The new labor reform eliminates the retroactive nature of pensions. The pensions of the workers was set when they were hired and, and was subject to the cost of living at that time. Under this plan workers were disadvantaged because while the cost of living rose, their pension rate was fixed much lower. However, the new law which goes into effect in 1991 guarantees the workers a profit equal to the market rate. The pensions which are not used by the workers will further be guaranteed 12 % interest. One of the major drawbacks of this new law is that it only affects workers who are hired in 1991.

In addition, a new law was introduced which introduces the "integral salary" a salary which covers more than just the basic needs of an individual (equivalent, perhaps to what we call in English the family wage). This "integral salary", however, is only available for those who make more than 10 minimum wage salaries (only four percent of the Colombians population earn this wage). However, the limited worker benefits provided by the new 11cesantias" laws are minimal, especially when one considers that only those who work in the "formal" sector are affected by this legislation.

In order to consider how these political changes affecting industrial development impact on women's labor force incorporation and household strategies for income generation, we must return to a consideration of the garment workers households. As previously stated, declining wages

accompanied by rising unemployment have led to women's assuming a primary role in income generating strategies for household survival. Ina addition the continuing declining value of the peso, coupled by sustained






79


violence in rural areas has lead to increased prices for food, and a rising cost of living, adding to the economic pressures at the household level.


Conclusion

This chapter began with a discussion of the origins of the manufacturing industry in Colombia emphasizing the relationship between state policy and industrialization in Colombian economic development. The evolution of industrial development in Colombia was characterized by certain regions specializing in the production of consumer goods, with other regions assuming dominance in the production of capital goods. The development of a "golden triangle" provided Pereira with an advantageous position for the production of consumer goods. The increasing technification of coffee production in the last few years and the industrial growth in the Metropolitan Area of Pereira (including Pereira and Dos Quebradas) have led to high rates of migration from the rural to urban areas. Finally, an exploration of the contemporary structure of the manufacturing industry in the department of Risaralda demonstrated the predominance of the garment industry in the process of industrialization of Pereira and Dos Quebradas. The dominance of garment production (which utilizes mainly a female labor force) in the history of industrialization of this region highlights the importance of women's labor force participation in regional development.
In the next chapter I consider the structure of the labor market of the garment industry in more detail, focusing on the mechanism of subcontracting within the process of production. The process of






80


subcontracting determines the context within which the home-based workers and micro-entrepreneurs produce for the garment industry.














CHAPTER FOUR
SUBCONTRACTING AND INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY



Introduction


The future generations laid
waste by the hunger of capital
for higher rates of accumulation
are yet to be known ... The present
victims of its capacity are all
too frequently women...
Elson and Pearson 1981


Chapter Three discussed the socioeconomic aspects of regional development responsible for the increase in subcontracting. This chapter examines the structure of production within the garment industry as it conditions women"s labor force participation. "Putting-out" part of the production process, through a formal or informal contract, is called subcontracting. Subcontracting is a mechanism which fragments and

decentralizes production creating a hierarchy of better paid, more secure jobs in the factory, which contrast in general with low-paying home-based production. The linkages created by the process of subcontracting are discussed as mechanisms which create and reproduce subordinate hierarchical social relationships in the garment industry. A discussion of the variety of linkages (intermediaries who obtain home-based workers for the factory who are external to factory, factory workers who serve as intermediaries, or no intermediaries) utilized to link subcontracted producers to different types of

81






82


enterprises (subcontracted industrial outworkers, family small-scale enterprises, and non-familial, small-scale enterprises) follows, emphasizing the autonomy and/or subordination of the producer in relation to the larger capitalist factories.

The role of intermediaries, their characteristics, and the control which they exercise over subcontracted producers' access to, and control of, key resources are discussed. The significance of the division of labor by gender can be seen in that the majority of the intermediaries are men. These

intermediaries, in turn, control the labor of subcontracted industrial outworkers, who are generally women. The work of an intermediary requires traveling alone and working with male factory owners. For these reasons, the majority of the intermediaries are men. In this research, only one woman intermediary was encountered. This woman was a widow, free from the ideological constraints which prohibit most women from traveling alone as intermediaries.



The Subcontracting Relationship

Watanabe (1983) distinguishes two types of subcontracting: (1) those factories that contract out production without raw materials (in other words, the home-based worker is responsible for providing the raw materials) and (2) those that provide raw materials and other inputs. Beneria and Roldan (1987), in their study of subcontracting relationships in Mexico, refer to the first as "vertical subcontracting" and the second as "horizontal". Both methods of subcontracting were encountered in this Colombian study. The majority of the subcontracted industrial outworkers, however, participated in horizontal






83


subcontracting which utilized intermediaries. The high percentage of subcontracted industrial outworkers in the category of horizontal subcontracting is due in part to the cost of the raw materials. In horizontal subcontracting the subcontracted industrial outworkers do not have to provide these raw materials, facilitating entrance into this sector. In general, vertical subcontracting (which requires enough initial capital to purchase raw materials on the part of the worker) was done directly with the small-scale enterprises and subcontracted industrial outworkers; intermediaries were not involved.
Horizontal subcontracting accentuates the differences between the factory and the subcontracted industrial outworkers. Generally the control of the raw materials and structuring of the process of production remains with the large factory. Under vertical subcontracting, the price for the final garment is significantly higher, and the subcontracted industrial outworked maintains more control of the production. This control ranges from designing the garment and cutting it to finishing it off.

Production which occurs in the home as subcontracted industrial outwork is usually small-scale, unregulated, and labor intensive, which places it in the category of "informal sector" production. Whether we are discussing sub-contracting relationships between the first world and the third world, within a country, or within a city, subcontracting represents a fragmentation and decentralization of the labor process.


The Subcontracting Relationship in Risaralda

The subcontracting relationship structures a considerable amount of production in the garment industry in this region. According to this research,






84


70 percent of the garment factory owners in Pereira and Dos Quebradas participate in the subcontracting chain, either directly or indirectly. In other words, 70 percent of the owners stated that they work for other factories, meaning that they produce part or all of a garment for the other factory during certain times of the year. Fifty percent said that they send work to others, meaning that they send work out to other factories, small-scale enterprises, or subcontracted industrial outworkers, while 40 percent of the factories participate in both forms of contracting, that is, they work for other factories and send work to other factories. These data demonstrate the importance of analyzing the industrial mechanism of subcontracting in order to accurately analyze the structure of the labor force in the industry (see Figure 4.1).


LARGE AND MEDIUM SIZED FACTORIES WHICH CONTRACT OUT TO OTHERS
50% of Owners interviewed


MEDIUM AND SMALL FACTORIES WHO RECEIVE WORK, AND
SUBCONTRACT WORK OUT TO OTHER FACTORIES 40 % of Owners Interviewed


SUBCONTRACTED INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS
70-80 % of total workers in garment industry (Estimate) Figure 4.1
Diagram of Subcontracting Chain in Pereira, Risaralda



Subcontracting work to homeworkers occurs most frequently at the end of the year (Christmas holiday season), father's day, and mother's day. These are times of the year when the demand for clothing as gifts is highest. In this case, subcontracting offers the possibility of transferring the risks of






85


fluctuations in production and the costs associated with temporary increases in the production, both in machinery and personnel, to homeworkers.

Subcontracting extends fragmentation of the labor process beyond the factory. The process of decentralization within the factory lowers the cost of the labor force through deskilling of the workers (Braverman 1974). This occurs through the breaking down of jobs into smaller and smaller tasks, and the utilization of workers with less skills who work for a lower salary. This division can also be seen between large, medium, small factories and subcontracted industrial outworkers. The organization of production through subcontracting not only minimizes labor costs, but also wrestles control from actual producers over their products. Fragmentation of the labor process, therefore, is extended beyond the factory (Beneria 1989).

The garment industry makes women's work invisible by contracting it out into the home. The main mechanism by which this process is pushed underground and made invisible is through organization of production through subcontracting. Subcontracting decreases the infrastructure investment necessary on the part of the large capitalist enterprise in machines, electricity, and building space. There is also a reduction in the number of workers for whom the factory is responsible in terms of social security payments and other benefits. Key informants of this research stated that approximately 80 percent of workers participating in the garment industry perform their jobs outside the formal factory setting. The research of Florencia Pefia (1989) for Mexico supports this, stating that for every factory worker there are at least three homeworkers. Violeta Sara-Lafosse (1985) estimates that, for Peru, approximately 80 percent of workers in the garment industry are hidden in their homes.





86


The main characteristics of subcontracting include the supplying of raw material to the producers (who remain in their houses) by agents who afterwards collect the finished goods and pay the producers their wages on a piece rate basis. Although this system has existed since garment production began in the late 1920's in Risaralda, the new element is the extreme horizontal and vertical division of labor, reorganizing women's work on what has been called "an invisible assembly line" (Mies 1982). By the horizontal division of labor, I refer to the fact that the labor of these homeworkers is appropriated by middlemen and larger factory owners in such a manner that the women are isolated in their homes, isolated not only from factory production, but also from other women who produce the same garment. This isolation reinforces the women's vulnerability and prohibits the formation of solidarity and class consciousness.

The assembly line created by subcontracting work is called invisible because the women workers do not see how it operates. Only the middle men (who, as previously mentioned, are men) or factory owners (also generally men) know how the putting-out system functions, and who performs which operations. The knowledge of how to make an entire garment is often unavailable to these women. In addition, the subcontracted industrial outworkers do not know for which exporters agents work, they do not know anything about the agents' margin of profit, and in many cases they don't even know the names of the agents. Although the homeworkers see and talk with the agents, they don't understand the relationship between agents and the factory. To the extent that the women never know how the entire garment is produced, or what their relationship with the intermediary means, they do not totally understand the process of production.





87



Subcontracting as Articulation Between Formal and Informal Sectors

Small-scale enterprises rely on family labor and local resources, low capital investment, labor intensive technology, high competition, ease of entry, utilization of an unskilled work force, and acquisition of skills outside of the formal educational system. In this research, subcontracted

microenterprises fall within the sector of economic activity that is generally not registered with government agencies, is unrepresented by official statistics, and does not comply with regulations governing labor practices, taxes, and licensing. These 'informal sector' activities are informal in terms of their internal organizational structure, and in terms of their relationships with the social structure which surrounds them (Sethuraman 1976). Of the

subcontracted industrial outworkers interviewed in this study, fewer than five percent signed any type of written contract with an intermediary (because there were generally no formal contracts with the intermediaries).


In all cases, the articulation is part of a highly integrated system of production segmented into different levels and of an overall process of accumulation that encompasses all of the levels. In this sense the conceptualization of formal, informal dichotomy is not appropriate insofar as the two sectors are viewed as separate and independent of each other. (Beneria and Roldan:
187).


In the informal sector, production fluctuates greatly. Because informal sector business operators have little access to capital, they often must stop production when they run out of the raw materials needed for production. In general, they cannot accumulate an inventory, or purchase the necessary technology or machinery that would enable them to secure their position in






88


the market. They often depend on intermediaries to bring them work from factory owners. Their dependency may force them to take work at a lower pay rate, or for only a short period of time, with the hope that more steady work will become available for them in the future.

In cases of horizontal subcontracting, this study encountered four methods of articulation between subcontracted industrial outworkers and the larger factory. Three of these are described by Beneria and Roldan (1987). Beneria and Roldan describe the first type of articulation, "direct articulation", as that in which a regular firm sends production to subcontracted industrial outworkers and small-scale enterprises without intermediaries. In the Colombian sample, this articulation was found among small-scale enterprises which have direct contact with the home-based producers. The second type is described as "mediated articulation". This takes place through an intermediary unit that establishes the connection between large and medium sized factories and subcontracted industrial outworkers. Generally no production occurs at the intermediary level, although the intermediary may distribute and transport the raw materials and gather the final products. The third type that they describe is "mixed articulation", where production is centered in a store that sells garments, but the production of garments is clandestine in the basement.

A fourth type of articulation encountered in this Colombian study was seen predominantly in the large factories. This articulation demonstrates another way in which the labor force is expanded without direct contracts. This "unmediated articulation" involved using garment workers (of the factory) as intermediaries and also owners of small-scale enterprises in their homes. These workers performed garment work in the factory during low periods of demand, while during periods of high demand, they worked in





89


their homes subcontracted by the large factory. The large factory provided them with training on how to deal with the employees in their small-scale enterprises and low-interest loans for buying machines. The workers themselves were the intermediaries in this case. In fact, this method of subcontracting was the only one encountered in the large factory because of problems with quality control. The women who are permitted to open their own small workshops (or what they call 'boutiques') work in quality control in the larger export factory. These women are hand-picked by factory management and given courses in the administration of micro-enterprises. These women start their own microenterprise during peak production. When the demand for garments slackens, workers in the small-scale enterprises are let go, but the women administering the small-scale enterprises retain their positions in quality control in the larger factory.



Intermediaries as Agents of Articulation

The intermediaries play a key role in establishing the relationship between the factory and the subcontracted industrial outworkers (or smallscale enterprise). This research encountered three types of intermediaries: those who were only involved in distributing cut cloth to producers and returning the final product to the factory; those who bought the cloth, distributed it to be cut, and then redistributed it for sewing; and those who distributed part of the cut cloth which they had received to other subcontracted industrial outworkers, and performed part of the production process in their homes. In this case, access to, and control of, raw materials plays a significant role in determining the autonomy of the intermediaries. Those






90


intermediaries who bought, as well as distributed, the cloth were more autonomous than those who only distributed the cloth, although the capital to buy the cloth generally (though not always) came from the owner of the store where the final product was sold. In all cases, the intermediaries were employed in only the small- and medium- sized factories. The larger factory had individuals who managed the small-scale enterprises, who were employees of the factory. In this way, the factory owners were able to expand production and maintain considerable control of the labor force.

The relationship between the factory owner and the intermediary also varies between the types of larger enterprises which subcontract. On the one hand, a factory owner may organize the work within the factory and also be responsible for distributing work to intermediaries and subcontracted industrial outworkers. On the other hand, a factory owner may only provide a point to sell the finished goods, giving the intermediary the responsibility for organizing the production process and distributing the work to the subcontracted industrial outworkers and micro-enterprises.

The relationship between the factory owner and intermediary determines the control which the intermediary exercises over the process of production. Those owners who allow the intermediaries to distribute cloth and pick up the finished product (providing only the store front for selling) maintain much less control over the process than those who design the garment, cut the fabric, and finish it in their centralized shop. By maintaining this control, these owners are able to pay lower prices to home-based workers (because the workers perform fewer tasks), charge higher prices for the finished product, and maintain a larger profit by accumulating more of the surplus generated by subcontracting out the production.




Full Text
174
ideological justification of women as secondary or supplemental income
earners (see also Beneria and Roldan 1987, Safa 1990).
This research contributes to the literature on women and
development. The analytical perspective provided here critiques the
modernization framework which states that development increases
women's status. Though with the new international division of labor,
women (as opposed to men) are more frequently incorporated into the
labor force of the multinational industries, these jobs pay poorly and offer
little advancement. This new international division of labor is part of
industrial restructuring on the international level which places firms with
domestic capital at increasingly disadvantageous positions. These firms
with domestic capital more frequently resort to subcontracting in a chain
like fashion (as described in Chapter Four) to cut costs in both labor and
infrastructure. At the national level women working in factories or as
subcontracted industrial outworkers are also subordinated to the needs of
both national and international capitalists.
In considering the impact of industrial restructuring on social
reproduction, this research emphasized how fragmentation of the labor
process contributes to women's subordination in the workplace and in
subcontracted industrial outwork. Integral to the fragmentation of the
production process are studies which document the impact that the new
international division of labor has on women's work. This study
contributes further to research documenting the employment of women
as a cheap source of labor utilized by multinational and national factories
throughout the world (Frobel, Heinriches and Kreye 1980, Elson and
Pearson 1981, Safa 1981, 1990, Nash and Fernandez-Kelly 1983, Beneria and
Roldan 1987).


30
The success of work organization in the factory in the United States
and European industrial contexts resulted in part from changes in the control
of the work process: workers' control over the production process in the
household was replaced by management's control in the factory. The
intensification of task specialization under monopoly capitalism increases
management's control over the work process (Baran and Sweezy 1966). In
Colombia, this research demonstrate a similiar process. Factory workers
perform only one part of the production process one seam, one pleat, one
sleeve, cuff, etc. In addition to fragmenting the production of different
articles, the workers were also moved from one workshop to another. In
other words, when one workshop completed an order of women's dresses, a
worker would be moved to a workshop of men's shirts (if she was lucky
enough to have her her contract renewed). The fragmentation of production
is furthered by the increasing informalization of work in the factory.
Workers are hired only for the production of specific garments. .
The assembly line production and the organization of the large-scale
enterprises at the turn of the century in Europe was organized specifically to
increase control and profits for capital (Baran and Sweezy 1966). Contrary to
the idea that specialization increases the skills needed by each worker so that
they may be more knowledgeable and in greater control of the production
process, in a society based on the purchase and sale of labor power, dividing
the craft actually cheapens the cost of labor for producing the individual parts.
In this way, subcontracting part of the work further divides the labor (outside
the factory setting whereas the assembly line divides it within the factory
setting), once again cheapening the labor costs involved in producing the
garment.


49
From an early stage, rural coffee producers depended on
industrially based textile production for their own use. This explains, in
part, why coffee producing regions often become centers of textile and
garment production.
Small coffee farmers never engaged in home textile
production as rural families in other sectors of the Colombian
economy traditionally did. Unlike the small tobacco farmers in
Santander during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who
produced textiles in their homes for distribution in other regions,
and the wool spinners and weavers of highland Boyaca and
Cundinamarca, coffee farmers depended from the beginning on
industrially manufactured (and initially imported) cotton cloth for
most of their clothing needs. Women and female children did,
however fashion much of their own clothing by hand until the
use of imported treadle sewing machines became widespread in
recent decades. Males customarily had their cotton pants made by
tailors in the towns, a practice that continues to this day,. . Small
children, especially among the most impoverished coffee families,
often still wear little or no clothing. (Bergquist 1986: 322)
Development of the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia
Until the end of the 1880's, industry in Colombia was basically
artisanal, concentrated in the production of clothes, chocolates, candles,
and beer located mainly in Bogota. It was only during the first years of
the twentieth century that industrialization of consumption goods,
focused in Medellin and Bogota, was begun on a large scale.
The textile industry in Medellin was a major leader in industrial
development in the Antioqueo region (of which Medellin is the
capital). Capital accumulated in coffee exports funded the dynamic
expansion of this sector in the Anqioqueo region. From 1910 till 1930
coffee exports increased at a rate superior to 10 percent yearly. Textile
industrialization flourished in Medellin after 1907 under protectionist


Export Promotion and Industrial Development 62
Antioqueo Colonization of Old Caldas and the Subsequent
Development of Pereira as a producer of consumer goods 64
Agricultural Development 64
Industrial Development 68
Regional Development 72
Regional Manufacturing Industry 74
Contemporary Colombian Development 76
Conclusion 79
CHAPTER FOUR
SUBCONTRACTING AND INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS IN THE
GARMENT INDUSTRY
Introduction 81
The Subcontracting Relationship 82
The Subcontracting Relationship in Risaralda 83
Subcontracting as Articulation Between Formal and Informal
Sectors 87
Intermediaries as Agents of Articulation 89
Levels of Subcontracting 94
Subcontracting and Subordination in the Garment Industry 95
Access and Control of Markets 97
Access and Control of Raw Materials 98
Relationships within the Subcontracted Enterprise 99
Conclusion 103
CHAPTER FIVE
PROFILE OF LIFE IN THE GARMENT FACTORY
Introduction 105
Material Relations of Production within the Factory 106
Working Conditions of Women 108
Mechanisms of Control in the Factory 110
Forms of Resistance within the Garment Industry and Factory N 115
Changes in Organization of Production in Factory N 119
Conclusion 120
CHAPTER SIX
HOUSEHOLD STRUCTURE AND WOMEN'S LABOR FORCE
PARTICIPATION
Introduction 122
Domestic Cycle 126
Life Cycle Variables of Women 133
Household Variables 137
Conclusions 149
Vll


35
international division of labor (Frobel, Heinrichs, Kreye 1979; Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1983).
Offshore manufacturing enables the transfer of labor intensive aspects
of the productive process to peripheral areas, with the incorporation of large
numbers of women into direct manufacturing activities in these areas (Nash
and Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Safa 1982). Historically the first example of this
offshore production occurred in Puerto Rico during the 1950's in Operation
Bootstrap (Safa 1974). More recent examples of this can be seen in Asian
countries (Lim 1983; Mies 1988; Sen 1980), the Mexican-American border
(Fernandez-Kelly 1985) and off-shore production characteristic of the
Caribbean (Safa 1981). These industries demonstrate a preference for young,
single, women who are perceived as cheaper and more docile than men.
The so-called "feminization of the labor force" results, in large part,
from an emphasis on labor flexibility in both developing and industrialized
economies (Standing 1989). Not only are women being substituted for men,
but men's jobs are also being transformed into low wage, unstable
employment, typical of traditional women's jobs. Standing (1989) traces this
"feminization of labor" to the global economic situation beginning in the late
1970's. The rise in low income countries' participation as manufacturing
exporters, increasingly rapid rates of lending, increased technological
innovation, and more intense international competition reinforced the
supply side ideology focusing on market mechanisms and cost
competitiveness as key determinants of economic development. Increased
trade liberalization and export promotion policies result from this emphasis.
Therefore, in order to increase profits, governments are removing labor
market regulations, eroding union strength, and increasing the use of
temporary, part time, and subcontracted workers. Colombia is no exception.


36
These policies further reduce worker's (both men's and women's) possibilities
for skilled employment and income securities. The following quote
demonstrates this trend:
At the same time, industrial enterprises have been
introducing modern technologies that have been associated with
changing skill and job structures. The debate over the de
skilling or upgrading effects of modern technology is
unresolved, but the evidence seems to support two pertinent
trends. The use of craft skills learned via apprentices and
prolonged on-the-job learning have declined; such crafts have
traditionally been dominated by male "labor aristocracies."
Second, there is a trend toward skill polarization, consisting of
an elite of technically skilled, high status specialist workers
possessing higher level institutional qualifications, coupled with
a larger mass of technically semiskilled production and
subsidiary workers requiring minor training typically imparted
through short term courses of a few weeks or even by on the job
learning. (Standing 1989, p.938 )
Lim (1983) states that third world women workers are the most heavily
exploited group of workers in the world, both relative to their output
contribution and relative to other groups. Although all experience capitalist
exploitation, third world women workers are additionally subject to what she
terms "imperialist exploitation" and "patriarchal exploitation".
Imperialist exploitation the differential in wages paid to workers
in developed and developing countries for the same work and
output arises from the ability of multinationals to take
advantage of different labor market conditions in different parts
of the world a perfectly rational practice in the context of world
capitalism. In the developing countries, high unemployment,
poor bargaining power vis-a-vis the foreign investor, lack of
worker organization and representation and even the repression
of workers' movements, all combine to depress wage levels,
while the lack of industrial experience, ignorance and naivete of
workers with respect to the labor practice in modern factory
employment enable multinational employers to extract higher
output from them in certain unskilled operations.


38
perspective has been strongly criticized. Scholars who criticize this perspective
emphasize the close articulation between formal and informal sectors, the way
in which this articulation cheapens labor, and the importance of this
unregulated production for social reproduction (in terms of both production of
goods for the market and a source of employment) (Safa 1987).
Portes and Benton estimated that in 1984, 40 percent of Colombia's urban
labor force was in the informal sector. For intermediate Colombian cities such
as Pereira, informal sector participation in production has been estimated to be
61 percent (Lopez 1987). Recent studies on the process of expansion of the
informal sector and the restructuring of the labor process demonstrate that the
most exploited segments of the paid labor force are female (Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1983, Sassen Koob 1984, Fernandez-Kelly 1985, Beneria and
Roldan 1987, Safa 1990).
Portes (1983) distinguishes between three types of production within the
informal sector: (1) direct subsistence (including subsistence agriculture and
home production), (2) petty commodity production and exchange (based on the
labor of the self-employed who produce goods and services for the market); and
(3) backward capitalist production, which includes small enterprises employing
unprotected wage labor. The first two may be considered traditional methods
of incorporating labor in the informal sector, while the third is relatively new
in Colombia and elsewhere. This research considers subcontracted industrial
outwork (which Portes terms backward production) as a mechanism for
incorporating women's labor in a more vulnerable (less protected, more
unstable or insecure) position.


71
(1954) subsidiary of a Swiss multinational. In the 1960's the presence of
foreign capital increased in Pereira with the addition of the following
factories: (1) Papeles Nacionales, which began in 1962 as the subsidiary of
a Canadian firm; (2) a car assembly firm (Roa Hispano Colombiana)
founded by a group of Spaniards and a group from Pereira, a project
which later failed.
In the 1960's several different projects were developed to foment
manufacturing industry in the city. These projects were promoted by a
groups of Pereirano industrialists (one third of whom were garment
factory owners) who actively participated in the promotion and
strengthening of industries different from the traditional ones and the
foundation of the group "Promotora Industrial". This group provided
the base for the creation of the Corporacin Financiera del Occident
which provided economic assistance and credit to large scale factories.
The foundation of a local branch of the Corporacin Financiera Popular
in Pereira in 1969 significantly advanced manufacturing production in
the city by providing credit to small scale producers. This organization
has played a central role in the development of small scale industries,
especially in the garment industry.
The exportation of garments in Colombia is regulated by the Plan
Vallejo first implemented in 1967. The Plan Vallejo is one of the most
important tools in the promotion of exports and in international
commerce for the region. This decree defines the operations in which
individuals, societies, exporters, or merchants can import raw materials
destined for assembly in the country, and later export the assembled
materials. The raw material or disassembled pieces imported under this
plan, must be used exclusively in the production of goods destined for


79
violence in rural areas has lead to increased prices for food, and a rising cost
of living, adding to the economic pressures at the household level.
Conclusion
This chapter began with a discussion of the origins of the
manufacturing industry in Colombia emphasizing the relationship
between state policy and industrialization in Colombian economic
development. The evolution of industrial development in Colombia
was characterized by certain regions specializing in the production of
consumer goods, with other regions assuming dominance in the
production of capital goods. The development of a "golden triangle"
provided Pereira with an advantageous position for the production of
consumer goods. The increasing technification of coffee production in
the last few years and the industrial growth in the Metropolitan Area of
Pereira (including Pereira and Dos Quebradas) have led to high rates of
migration from the rural to urban areas. Finally, an exploration of the
contemporary structure of the manufacturing industry in the
department of Risaralda demonstrated the predominance of the garment
industry in the process of industrialization of Pereira and Dos Quebradas.
The dominance of garment production (which utilizes mainly a female
labor force) in the history of industrialization of this region highlights
the importance of women's labor force participation in regional
development.
In the next chapter I consider the structure of the labor market of
the garment industry in more detail, focusing on the mechanism of
subcontracting within the process of production. The process of


57
changes which have been expressed in the last 30 years are manifested in:
(1) the growth of new centers, the CSTC in 1964 and the CGT in 1970, (2)
the loss of power of the CTC to the UTC, and (3) more recently the
considerable growth of the unions not affiliated with any confederation
(Gomez, Perry, Londoo 1986).
A legal system of contracting workers for selected periods of time,
or items of production was accepted in 1965 with decree 2351 of the
Colombian Labor Code (Corchuelo 1987). Article 4 of this decree
practically institutionalized this contracting method. These unprotected
workers may actually appear to participate in "formal" sector production
when they are hired as workers within the factory for periods of less than
90 days. Under these contracts, workers do not receive any social security
benefits, and have no guarantee of job security. This may be interpreted
as "informalizing" the "formal" sector by contracting labor for
production in a much more 'casual' manner (Bromley and Gerry 1978).
Article 4 of decree 2351 states that contracts for less than one year are
possible in order to replace workers on vacation, for increases in
production, or increases in sales.
However, according to a representative of the Union of Colombian
Workers, the CUT,
The managers of the factory have abused this article and made
this practice a custom. This type of contract has been increasing
since 1970, very sporadically contracts are made for 1 year -
especially in the garment industry. All contracts are made for 2
or 3 months. This practice has been institutionalized to the
detriment of the workers. Every year workers' benefits are
liquidated and the worker signs a new contract starting from
zero. Another year passes and the same thing occurs. This
practice has generated much unemployment, among other
things...(personal interview May 20 1989).


172
relationships which are correlated with different authority patterns within
the household.
Marriage and childcare also affect women's labor force incorporation.
Single women and female household heads worked more frequently in the
factory, while married women are more likely to work in subcontracted
industrial outwork. Industrial outworkers also have more children. In
addition, women's contribution to the household budget was higher if she
was the household head. This research provides tentative findings related to
patterns of household extension. Female headed households tend to become
extended by incorporating workers, while male headed households more
frequently incorporate consumers.
At the workplace level this research has demonstrated how informal
methods of contracting labor are increasing due largely to increasing
international competition which requires cheaper labor. This increasing
informality of contracts, includes not only subcontracted industrial outwork
but also labor relationships within the factory (especially the factory with
solely domestic capital) making them less stable. This increasing
informalization of the labor market and utilization of subcontracting leads to
increasing subordination of women's position in the labor market.
The relationship between the household and workplace is quite
complex. Both the structure of the labor market and the structure of the
household determine women's labor force incorporation, but not in
isolation. The structure of the household affects the supply of workers
available to meet the labor market demand for workers. This includes such
factors as the age and marital status of women, their position in the
household, and their household composition.


159
allocation, and (5) household authority patterns as expressed in the worker
interviews.
As shown in Chapter Six, the main economic provider of the
household varies depending on the workplace of the women. This
relationship is statistically significantly at the .05 level. Table 7.3
demonstrates that while 37 percent of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers workers cite their spouse or another male in the family as the
main economic provider, only 12 percent of factory workers do.
Table 7.3
Major Economic Provider by Workplace
Economic
Provider
Home
Factory
Spouse
37%
12%
or other male
Self
37%
55%
Both
14%
11%
Family
3 %
5%
Other
6%
17%
Total
100% (35)
100% (75)
Thirty seven percent of the home-based workers said they were
primarily responsible for the household income, compared to 55 percent of
the factory workers. This data further supports the hypothesis that women are
incorporated into the wage-labor force during phases of the domestic cycle
when they experience economic pressure to generate an additional income;
economic pressures leading to breaking of the cultural tradition which
relegates women solely to household (domestic) chores.


48
only occurred when almost any type of production was acceptable in the
world market. For this reason, the producer exporters, did not have
much incentive to maintain a high level of investment of fixed capital
in industrial development. Their role was more that of speculators.
Gold was the major export product until the mid nineteenth
century. During the second half of the nineteenth century, coffee
assumed increasing importance as a product for exportation. According
to Alvaro Lopez Toro (1975) gold production for export in the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries generated disequilibrium between Antioquia's
dynamic mining economy and its stagnant traditional agriculture. A
powerful merchant class emerged to balance this disequilibrium through
trade. Lopez argues that merchants supplied the export sector with food,
tools, and clothing, and collected gold for export. Capital accumulation
in the hands of merchants enabled them to displace the cultural, social,
and political influence of the class of large landowners engaged in
traditional agriculture in the highlands around the region's capital,
Medellin.
Charles Bergquist (1986) demonstrates how the boom and bust of
export agriculture structured the political history of the nation during
the nineteenth century. During the first three decades of this century,
despite considerable growth of gold, banana, and petroleum exports (after
1925), coffee exports rose from 40 to more than 70 percent of the value of
Colombia's total exports. The remarkable expansion of the coffee export
economy enabled the Colombian government to become a major
recipient of the flood of finance capital emanating from New York banks
in the years preceding the Great Depression (Bergquist 1986: 297).


167
"No, I don't have more authority because the man is the one
who controls the household and makes the orders." (Interview
#48)
"No, the man should always be the one to rule in the
household." (Interview # 114)
Others expressed another culturally traditional belief that parents should rule,
demonstrating the significance of age in determining household authority
patterns.
"The authority always belongs to the eldest person" (Interview #
118)
"No, in any case one always has to ask permission from mama
for everything." (Interview #121)
"No, mama has always been the boss." (Interview #126)
"No, the parents should have the authority, both should rule"
(Interviews, #102, 113).
However, by far, the majority of those who did not feel they had more
authority interpreted the concept of authority to mean dominance in
household decision making. They did not perceive their work as giving
them more "dominance" in the process of household decision-making, but in
some cases it contributed to more egalitarian relationships in the household.
In this sence, their concept of the ideal model of power relationships in the
household was more democratic than those who reflected the traditional
"machismo" ideology of authority in which men dominate.


88
the market. They often depend on intermediaries to bring them work from
factory owners. Their dependency may force them to take work at a lower pay
rate, or for only a short period of time, with the hope that more steady work
will become available for them in the future.
In cases of horizontal subcontracting, this study encountered four
methods of articulation between subcontracted industrial outworkers and the
larger factory. Three of these are described by Beneria and Roldan (1987).
Beneria and Roldan describe the first type of articulation, "direct articulation",
as that in which a regular firm sends production to subcontracted industrial
outworkers and small-scale enterprises without intermediaries. In the
Colombian sample, this articulation was found among small-scale enterprises
which have direct contact with the home-based producers. The second type is
described as "mediated articulation". This takes place through an
intermediary unit that establishes the connection between large and medium
sized factories and subcontracted industrial outworkers. Generally no
production occurs at the intermediary level, although the intermediary may
distribute and transport the raw materials and gather the final products. The
third type that they describe is "mixed articulation", where production is
centered in a store that sells garments, but the production of garments is
clandestine in the basement.
A fourth type of articulation encountered in this Colombian study was
seen predominantly in the large factories. This articulation demonstrates
another way in which the labor force is expanded without direct contracts.
This "unmediated articulation" involved using garment workers (of the
factory) as intermediaries and also owners of small-scale enterprises in their
homes. These workers performed garment work in the factory during low
periods of demand, while during periods of high demand, they worked in


75
table demonstrates, foodstuffs generated the most production, as well as
employed the largest number of personnel. However, garments
maintained the largest number of establishments and were not far
behind foodstuffs in 1981 with 26.5 percent of the personnel employed.
Further, because the nature of subcontracting within the garment
industry hides many workers in clandestine workshops or their homes,
the total number of employees, and actual production figures are
probably higher than census estimates.
Table 3.3
Pereira-Dos Quebradas. Manufacturing Industry.
General Summary: Percent Participation, 1981
Industrial
Number of
Gross Product
Classification
Establishments
Millions of Dollars
Workers
Foodstuffs
18.6
34.3
Beverages
2.2
9.7
Textiles
7.4
11.4
Garments
24.7
14
Paper 2.2
10.9
Others
44.9
19.7
Total
231 (100%)
20,525 (100)%
Source: Arango 1989.
Percentage of
Total
Major indicators of manufacturing industrial activity in Colombia
situate the metropolitan area of Pereira-Dos Quebradas as the sixth in
importance in value added, number of establishments, production,


138
marital status alone. For example, a single woman could be a daughter who
is contributer to the household budget, but not a major providor, a daughter
who is a major providor, or a single mother. This distinction cannot be made
from the classification of marital status or age alone. Table 6.4 demonstrates a
statistically significant difference (at the .035 level) between the women
workers' economic position in the household according to the workplace.
Women who are the major income providers of the household are
concentrated in factory positions. The economic pressures these factory
workers experience to enter the labor force are considerable. Although
subcontracted industrial outworkers, as well as factory workers, experience
economic pressures to enter the work force, factory workers are more often
major economic providers as the following table demonstrates.2
However, women do not always perceive factory work as more
economically feasible. In addition to child care responsibilities and
autonomy, several women who operate their own micro-enterprises, stated
that they made more money working at home. As discussed in Chapter Four,
a subcontracted industrial outworker's salary is generally considerably less
than that of factory workers. Sometimes, however, home-based workers can
use their knowledge and experience to their economic benefit.
2For a description of the employment of spouses and fathers, see appendix 3.


173
Theoretical Contributions of this Study
In light of the research presented in this dissertation, we now return
to some of the initial questions presented in Chapter One. This research
describes the impact of industrial restructuring and fragmentation of the
production process (which facilitates capital accumulation in the large
enterprises) on social reproduction of the household. It considers both
material (i.e. economic contributions to the household budget) and
ideological (i.e. patterns of household decision making) factors affecting
household patterns of interaction. This study confirms the hypothesis
stated by Beneria and Roldan (1987) and Safa (1990) that women's control
over their incomes (as measured in contribution to the household budget)
contributes to their perception of their authority in the household.
In theoretical discussions of women's work, it is important to
emphasize the role played by ideology in analyzing economic reality,
while also considering the material bases of ideological processes. For
example, the concentration of wives and mothers in subcontracted
industrial outwork is, in part, the consequence of conditioning factors that
include ideological elements such as the "proper" role of wife and mother,
and material elements such as the household's division of labor, and the
husband's contribution to the household income (Beneria and Roldan
1987). Also, these women can afford to earn less because they generally
have a male wage earner. In the workplace, the interaction between
material and ideological factors are also in evidence. For example, lower
wages for women are related to occupational segregation and also to an


73
These facts demonstrate the tendency of the population of
Risaralda to be concentrated in these two cities. While in 1973 Pereira
and Dos Quebradas maintained approximately 55 percent of the
Risaralda population, in 1985 this proportion had grown to almost 63
percent.7 In 1973 the rate of in-migration was 35 percent for Quindio, 30
percent for Risaralda and 17 percent for Caldas. In the same year, Pereira
presented a high rate of immigration with 56 percent. As with other
large cities (Bogota, Ibague, Cali and Armenia among others), Pereira
maintains a rate of immigrants to natives greater than 1.
In order to understand these processes of redistribution and
relocation of the population, we must consider the material conditions
in which the regional economy develops. As previously mentioned,
coffee production dominates the regional economy. In the last few years,
coffee production has decreased its importance because of the rapid
decline in international prices (e.g. the breaking of the London Pact in
1989), the invasion of a bacteria called roya, and the increase in the price
of the inputs and fertilizer required. All of these factors contribute to the
precarious condition of the small coffee farmers who can hardly afford to
7Census data from 1973 and 1985 for Pereira and Dos Quebradas demonstrate
that salaried workers (empleados, obreros and jornaleros and empleados
domsticos) who made up 73 percent of the labor force in 1973 maintained this
level of participation in 1985. However, independent workers grew from 12
percent in 1973 to 19 percent in 1981 demonstrating that the informal sector of
the economy continues to expand while the formal sector maintains its level of
productivity. During the past decade, economic concentration in the Pereira -
Dos Quebradas region has led to an increase in the economically active
population, especially in the category of independent worker. The increasing
number of productive small scale enterprises in the region demonstrate some
of the variety of ways in which workers are increasingly incorporated into the
labor force in a disadvantaged state, with few benefits and no protection.


153
position within the household. Major variables utilized to analyze women's
increasing authority in the household include: the woman worker's age,
marital status, and her position in the household. It is hypothesized that
older women have more authority in the household; married women have
more authority in household decision making than single women; and that
female workers who are members of female headed households exhibit more
authority than women members of male headed households.
As Chapter Six demonstrated, subcontracted industrial outworkers
households have different structures from the households of factory workers.
This research further hypotheses that these different household structures
will lead to differing authority patterns. The households of subcontracted
industrial outworkers are more frequently members of nuclear male headed
families while factory workers households are more frequently female
headed (Table 6.8). Ethnographic information from the interviews is
provided to demonstrate that increasing women's income alone does not
directly increase her authority within the household. Rather a combination
of factors (including the women's age, her position within the household, her
work experience, and educational level) contribute to the degree of authority
which she exercises within the household.
Much research has shown that access to monetary income is an
important basis for the development of relationships of power in the
household (Bruce and Dwyer 1989; Roldan 1985; Safa 1990; Beneria and
Roldan 1987; Safilios-Rothschild 1976). For this reason, an analysis of the
access and control of income entering the household is a useful way of
uncovering mechanisms which reproduce and/or modify relationships of
domination and subordination.


120
on the other section isn't able to meet her quotas. All of this
affects one's work. Every day they pressure us more. .
In addition to increased pressure to produce, the women mentioned
changes in the organization of the material for production.
Before, when I first started work (10 years ago) all production was
done in a series. One person, for example hemmed and cuffed
sleeves for the blouse production for the entire factory, another
placed the collar, and another assembled the blouse. But now
there is one workshop which does the blouse. Of course, now
there is much better quality.
The aforementioned changes in the organization of production facilitate the
addition of new workshops to meet fluctuating production demands, as well
as increasing management's control of the quality of production.
Conclusion
This chapter has considered the material conditions of production in
the garment industry emphasizing the organization of production in
workshops as opposed to working in series. A description of the technical
organization of production in the shirt making industry followed,
demonstrating how industrial capitalism breaks down the process of
production into numerous parts, each of which requiring a different skill,
though not generally highly specialized. A description of working conditions
was provided through excerpts from worker interviews. Mechanisms of
control exercised by management over the workers described strategic points
of conflict between operators and supervisors, and supervisors and
technologists or workshop leaders. Strategies for organization and resistance
to management's control were considered through the description of union
activities in the region. Finally, changes in the organization of the




31
Monopoly Capital and Women's Labor Force Incorporation
During the latter half of the twentieth century a substantially different
structure of industrialization has emerged. Baran and Sweezy (1966) elaborate
on this new stage of development called monopoly capitalism. While
monopoly capitalism decreases the need for workers in certain sectors of the
labor force, it creates demands for workers in new production branches.
Under the stage of monopoly capital, big businesses use all available methods
- organizational and technological to decrease their risks and losses (Sokoloff
1980). Under monopoly capitalism there is a systematic tendency for surplus
to increase dramatically (Baran and Sweezy 1966). By controlling prices
among the few major corporations in a field, the large companies maximize
their profits more efficiently. Management increases its control over the
production process (including decisions regarding production and sale of
commodities such as the type, price, quantity and quality of products.)
However, control over markets and increased control over production by
large corporations are not the only new elements of monopoly capitalism.
Monopoly capitalism also leads to new forms of social organization.
With the rise of monopolies, new forms of social
organization began to appear. The expanding commodity
market of products and services effected a historic break in the
relationship between women and industry. It is possible that
monopoly capital was more decisive for the lives of most
working-class women than the rise of capitalism itself. The need
for controlled markets demanded a mobilization of all social
resources for potential profit (Blaxandall, Ewen and Gordon
19xx).


193
Table C.l
Spouse Employment by Workplace
Workplace
Home
Factory
Watchman
5
4
Construction Worker
0
3
Cafeteria Worker
0
2
Chauffeur, Bus Driver
4
3
Metal Factory Worker
0
3
Accountant
0
1
Solderer
3
1
Musician
0
1
Artisan
1
3
Furniture Worker
0
3
Mechanic
3
2
Merchant
2
2
(Agricultural)
Fisherman
0
1
Agriculturalist
1
0
Garment Store
2
0
Journalist
1
1
Shoe Repair
1
0
Design/Garments
2
1
Textiles
0
1
Spouse Absent/no info
10
43
Total
35
75
Further, Table C.2 demonstrates that type of spouse employment had little
influence on authority.


209
Rubin, G.
1975 The Traffic in Women. Notes on the Political Economy of
Sex. Pp. 157-210. in Reiter, ed., Towards an Anthropology of
Women. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Sacks, K.
1974 Engels Revisited: Women, the Organization of Production,
and Private Property. In Towards an Anthropology of
Women, ed. R. Reiter. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Safa, H.
1974 The Urban Poor of Puerto Rico: A Study in Development and
Inequality. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
1977 The changing class composition of the female labor force in
Latin America. Latin American Perspectives 9:4:126-36.
1981 Runaway shops and female employment: the search for
cheap labor. Signs 7:2:418-33.
1983 Women, production, and reproduction in industrial
capitalism: a comparison of Brazilian and U.S. factory
workers, pp. 95-116 in J. Nash and M.P. Fernandez-Kelly, eds.
Women, Men, and the International Division of Labor.
Albany: SUNY Press
1985 Female employment in the Puerto Rican working class
pp. 84-106 in Nash, J. and Safa, H. Women and Change in Latin
America. S. Hadley, MA: Bergin and Garvey Press.
1987 Urbanization, the informal sector and state policy in Latin
America. In M. Smith and J. Faegin eds. The Capitalist
City. New York: Basil Blackwell.
1990 Women and industrialization in the Caribbean.
In S. Stichter and J. Parpart eds., Women, Employment and the
Family in the International Division of Labour. New York:
MacMillan Press.
Safa, H. (ed.).
1982 Towards a Political Economy of Urbanization in
Third World Countries. Delhi: Oxford University
Press.


11
interviewed. It was applied to all owners of small, medium and large sized
garment factories in Pereira and Dos Quebradas (the industrializing region to
the north of the city; administratively Dos Quebradas is part of the municipal
area of Pereira) who agreed to participate in the study. The goal of this
interview was to determine the composition of the work force in these
factories, outline the chain of subcontracting in the city, and uncover
recruitment strategies of the factories.
The sample of factories was chosen through the assistance of two groups.
The major contact with the owners of the large factories was ANDI (The
National Association of Industrialists) while the contact with small
organizations was ACOPI (the Colombian Association of Popular Industries).
A representative of each of seven large garment factories in Pereira and Dos
Quebradas was interviewed, and representatives of 80% of those factories
registered with ACOPI participated in the study. Some factories which
participated in the production process through subcontracting, but did not
appear in the list of ANDI nor in ACOPI, were discovered. In other words,
during the interview with owners of factories from ANDI or ACOPI, factories
would be mentioned as those which were subcontracted to or from which
material was received, who did not appear in the original lists. The managers
of these factories were then approached for interviews.
After the initial interviews with the managers of the seven large
factories, two were chosen for more in-depth studies, in order to compare the
production process and women's labor force incorporation, between export-
oriented factories with mixed capital and those which were oriented towards
the domestic market. The largest export factory in the region was chosen
because of its predominance in industrial production in the region. The other
factory chosen for the study was one which did not export, but rather produced


76
intermediate consumption, salaries, and benefits. In 1982 Pereira
occupied the fifth place in quantity of personnel occupied with the most
active industrial activities including food, drinks, textiles, garments, and
paper. Garments, together with foodstuffs, account for over 50 percent of
the industrial activity in the region. The active presence of foreign
investment in the large factories reinforces the concentration of capital
in the industrial sector. This foreign investment is often consolidated to
the point that many establishments (including those involved in
garment production), have less than 20 percent Colombian participation
(Arango 1989). The increasing foreign participation in the regional
economy demonstrates their increased dependence on international
forces for generating the capital for local and regional industries.
Contemporary Colombian Development
Recently the Colombian economy has begun a process of "opening".
This process is part of a plan to internationalize the Colombian economy and
modernize their productive capacity. The liberalization of exports and
"opening up" of the Colombian economy to foreign investors affects all
industrialists (large, medium and small).
This so called "opening up" of the Colombian economy will allow
products from the exterior to compete with Colombian products. This
opening involves (in addition to changes in foreign commerce policy) a
variety of entities (including "proexpo" the Colombian entity inovlved with
regulating Exports, and Incomex, the agency involved in regulating Imports)
and a series of structural reforms in financing, foreign exchange,
transportation and labor (Semana 12/21/1990). The goal of this process is to


14
Qualitative Data
Primary sources of qualitative information included interviews with
garment workers and key informants such as local leaders of credit unions,
women's organizations, civic societies, labor organizations, and professors in
the university. Follow-up unstructured interviews with 3 women workers
provided more in-depth information on women's insertion into the labor
force, exploring their work and family history in more depth than the initial
survey interviews. Newspaper articles of the two major local papers (El Diario
del Otun, and La Tarde) were consulted from their initiation in the 1940s till
1989. For this process, two assistants from the National University in Bogot
were hired to help review the papers (only from 1980's on) and collect articles
on garment production and industrialization in the area of Pereira and Dos
Quebradas.
Secondary sources for qualitative information include books on regional
development of the 'Old Caldas' region, several student theses from the
Technological University in Pereira, and data from the National Planning
Office.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the research was gathering information
through interviews. In Colombia, individuals do not grant interviews if they
have nothing to gain. The identity of the person who makes the interview
contact for the researcher was very important. I was fortunate to have been
introduced to the director of the ANDI (Associacion Nacional de Industrias)in
Pereira. She later provided me with a letter of introduction for the large
factory owners in the region. An introduction by a University of Florida


208
Poveda Ramos, G.
1979 Polticas Econmicas, Desarrollo Industrial y Tecnologa
en Colombia. Bogot: Colciencias.
Redclift, N. and E. Mingione
1985 Beyond Employment: Household, Gender and Subsistence.
Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Reiter, R. (ed.)
1975 Towards an Anthropology of Women. New York:
Monthly Review Press.
Revista de Planeacin y Desarrollo
1985 Ritmo y Patron de Crecimiento de la Pequea y Mediana
Industria: El Sector de Confecciones. XVII: 2: 95-224.
Rey de Marulanda, N.
1982 La unidad produccin-reproduccin en las mujeres del sector
urbano en Colombia. Pp. 56-71, In Leon, Magdalena, ed., La
Realidad Colombiana, Volume 1. Bogot: ACEP.
Rodriguez Becerra, M.
1979 El Empresario Industrial del Viejo Caldas. Bogot:
Universidad de los Andes Press.
Roldan, M.
1985 Industrial Homework, Reproduction of working class
families,and gender subordination. In Redclift and
Mingione, Beyond Employment. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
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1986 Conflictos de la Pareja y la Familia. Bogot: Publicaciones de la
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Rubbo, A.
1975 The Spread of Capitalism in Rural Colombia: Effects on
Poor Women, Pp.333-54, in Reiter, R. ed., Towards an
Anthropology of Women. New York: Monthly Review Press.


117
enterprise overnight. They had contracted vehicles to transport
the machinery to Medellin, but we (the union) took over the
enterprise overnight. A night watchman told us of their plans.
We took over the enterprise and set up a tent, and maintained
the struggle for approximately five months. We were about 77
workers. After we took over the enterprise, there we also cooked
our food. There is a supermarket there now. We demanded the
machinery from the factory, because the factory didn't even have
five cents and had quite a few debts. We took this to a lawyer
and this claim has lasted over five years.2 (Interview with union
official).
The conflictive relationship between workers and management in the region
has led to a distrust of union organization not only by management, but also
by other workers.
In general, the workers who have been able to obtain work
again don't want to hear about unions because this has brought
them many problems. Those who have been able to locate new
jobs are quiescent in these positions. It is practically a policy of
terror utilized by the management to control workers. . Here in
garments, then, it has been almost impossible to organize a
union because of the problem of persecution. The "patron" with
the same system of the black list, where all are included, begins
to marginalize all those who had participated in the union
movement. . the struggle here has been very difficult
(interview with male union official, May 1988).
Factories unable to pay the workers' salaries, and not being able to pay the
indemnification required by law, dismantle the factory from one day to the
next.
The struggle in factory F was difficult because management had
been able to weaken the organization by firing individuals who
were especially charismatic in the union movement. In
December of 1974, Factory F sent everyone home for Christmas
vacations and they told them to return on a certain date in
January. Then, when the women returned on the determined
date, after having enjoyed their vacations at the end of the year,
they found the factory closed and all alone. There was no
2 At the time of the interview the case had not been settled.


17
capitalists to incorporate more vulnerable labor, through restructuring and
fragmentation of the production process.
The discussion follows with an analysis of informal sector expansion1.
The new international division of labor is considered as a mechanism leading
to increasing fragmentation of the production process, augmenting 'informal
sector' production. Home-based workers (considered part of the 'informal
sector' in this research) are 'cheaper' than factory workers; not only are their
salaries lower, but they require little or no investment in infrastrucure or
social benefits. In order to understand the mechanisms which create, modify
and reproduce this 'informalization' a comparison of industrial outwork
occuring during the transition to capitalism in eighteenth century Europe is
made with that of capitalist development in contemporary Latin America.
The introduction of large scale factory production and its impact on social
relations in the household are considered. The conclusion discusses the
significance of the expansion of the informal sector and increasing
1Many scholars criticize the term informal sector. While its value as a
descriptive measure is often conceded, its usefulness as an analytical category
is fiercely debated. Researchers argue that the informality observed in the
economy is actually a very functional part of the formal sector. However,
according to scholars such as Portes and Sassen-Koob, the profound economic
crisis of the industrialized capitalist countries (since the mid 1970's) led to the
development of new mechanisms to adjust for the lack of demand for
products, and avoid substantial reductions in industrial profits. These
strategies assumed by capitalists include transferring plants to countries
where costs would be reduced, robotization of the factory (industrial
conversion), experiments to increase workers productivity, and
informalization (Portes 1983). In this case, informalization is a strategy
utilized by capitalists to assure their flexibility and adaptation and minimize
their costs. In this research, the term informal sector must be understood as a
dynamic concept, as part of the global process of restructuring production,
facilitating the competition of national and multi-national factories in the
international market.


104
how changes in the structure of production at the regional and local level in
the garment industry affect women's labor force incorporation. Because of the
position which the subcontracted units occupy in the production process,
women's incorporation into subcontracted industrial outwork is generally
subordinated to factory work.
The process of subcontracting, though not new in the garment industry,
is undergoing transformations. These transformations involve the more
efficient appropriation of labor, decreasing home-based worker's control of the
production process. The changing nature of the linkages between the factory
and home-based work within the garment industry, and the differing
strategies of national and international industrialists to appropriate labor in
Pereira, should not be viewed as unique cases, but rather should be understood
as examples of a more generalized practice resulting from ever-increasing
demands for cheaper labor by national and international capitalists.
The next chapter considers the organization of production within a
shirt factory. Working conditions in the factory are discussed, emphasizing
mechanisms of control exercised by management, and strategies for
organization and resistance to managements control by workers. This
chapter emphasizes how changes in the organization of production have
affected working conditions and women's labor force incorporation in this
industry.


210
Safa, H. and J. Nash, eds.
1976 Sex and Class in Latin America. New York: Praeger.
Saffioti, H.
1978 Women in Class Societies. New York: Monthly Review
Press.
Safilios-Rothschild, C.
1976 Dual linkages between the occupational and family
systems: a macrosociological analysis. Signs:
3: 2: 51-60.
Safilios- Rothschild, C.
1982 Women's roles and population trends in the Third
World. Pp. 117-132. In Anker, R. M. Buvinic, and N.H.
Yousseff, eds. London: Croom Helm.
Sandroni, P.
1982 La proletarizacin de la mujer en Colombia despus de 1945.
pp. 72-84 in M. Len, ed. La Realidad Colombiana.
Bogot: ACEP.
Sara-Lafosse, V.
1985 El trabajo a domicilio: antecedentes generales y
anlisis del caso de las confeccionistas. Pp. 167-186.
In Maruja Barrig, ed. Mujer, Trabajo y
Empleo. Lima, Peru: Asociacin de Defensa
y Capacitacin Legal.
Sassen-Koob, S.
1984 Notes on the incorporation of third world women into
wage labor through immigration and off shore production.
International Migration Review, 18:4: 36-47.
Schlumbohm, J.
1981 Relations of production productive forces crises in proto
industrialization. In P. Kriedte., H. Medick, and J. Schlumbohm,
Industrialization before Industrialization: Rural Industry in the
Genesis of Capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schmink, M.
1984 Household Economic Strategies: Review and Research
Agenda. Latin American Research Review.
19:3:85-98.


203
Joekes, S.
1985 Working for lipstick. In H. Afshar, ed. Women, Work
and Ideology in the Third World pp. 183-213.
London: Tavistock.
Kalmanovitz, S.
1983 El Desarrollo tardio del capitalismo. Bogot: Siglo XXI Editores.
Keremitsis, D.
1984 Latin American Women Workers in Transition: Sexual
Division of the Labor Force in Mexico and Colombia in the
Textile Industry. Americas 40:4:491-504.
Kriedte, P.; H. Medick; J. Schlumbohn
1981 Industrialization before Industrialization: Rural Industry in the
Genesis of Capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kuhn, A. and Wolpe, A.M., eds.
1978 Feminism and Materialism: Women and Modes of Production.
Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Laslett, B., J. Brenner
1989 Gender and Social Reproduction: Historical Perspectives.
Annual Review of Sociology 15: 381-404.
Lamphere, L.
1987 From Working Daughters to Working Mothers: Immigrant
Women in a New England Industrial Community.
Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Leacock, E.B.
1972 Introduction to Origin of the Family, Private Property and
the State, by F. Engels. New York: International
Publishers.
1978 Women's status in egalitarian society: Implications for
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1986 Women's Work. South Hadley, MA:
Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.


142
consumers to workers changes with family extension. If the additional
members in the extended family are working and contribute to the household
budget, it would be anticipated that pressure for women to join the workforce.
However, female headed extended families were only slightly more likely
than nuclear male headed families to be found in factory settings.
Subcontracted industrial outworkers are slightly more likely to be part of
male headed nuclear than either male or female extended families (Table 6.8).
A larger percentage of factory worker households are female-headed (40 % as
compared to 28%, see Table 6.8). Thus it appears that female headed
households experience more pressure for women to join the labor force than
male headed households.
In this research, 17 different household structures were found, these
included the following types of nuclear households: complete nuclear
families (one conjugal pair with children). The following types of extended
households were present in the sample: nuclear families with one or more
sets of parents of the conjugal pair, two complete nuclear families; two
nuclear families, one complete, and one with no father; two nuclear
families, neither had father; two nuclear families, one with no father, one
complete with parents; two nuclear families, neither including the father, but
both had parents, two nuclear families, one without mother, one without
father but other family members; two nuclear families, one without father;
and two nuclear families, one complete and one with no father, but other
non-related individuals. Few women were workers who rented apartments
and lived alone.


56
reserve of capital for production. In Risaralda, the CFP has been
significant in fomenting small scale production in the garment industry.
The creation of the Fondo Financiero Industrial (FFI) in 1968
initiated a special means of credit extension to small and medium-sized
industrial establishments. The FFI provides capital for these
establishments, decentralizes credit to less developed regions, and
attempts to create new opportunities for employment.
During the years 1959-1968, the process of diversification was
strengthened along with the expansion in the production of
intermediate goods and of consumer durables. Further, the division of
work at a regional level was accentuated giving rise to what became
known as the "golden triangle".2 Industrial development in the Old
Caldas region, the major coffee producing zone in the country, focused
on the two major urban centers of Manizales and Pereira. This region
demonstrated a tendency towards specialization in the production of
consumer goods, and the rate of growth of the sector of intermediate
goods surpassed that of the national average (Jimenez and Sideri 1988).
In 1964 the Sindical Confederation of Colombian Workers (CSTC)
was founded as a rival to the CTC and the UTC. In 1971 the General
Confederation of Workers (GCT) originated. This group began in a
meeting of Antioqueo activists (Accin Sindical Antioquea ).
The ideological and political division of the union movement and the
^The golden triangle refers to the development of Medellin, Bogota, and Cali
as three major industrial centers of the country. Pereira, Risaralda is centrally
located providing advantageous access to national as well as international
markets. This regional development is significant in the development of the
city of Pereira, first as a major commercial center, and later as a producer of
consumer goods.


148
capita income may reflect household extension in the case of the factory
workers.
Table 6.13
Number of Households According to Bi-Weekly Per Capita Income
(in Colombian pesos) and Workplace
Workplace
Home
Factory
Bi Weekly Income
1,000 4,999
6%
15%
5,000 9.999
46%
44%
10,000 -14,999
31%
16%
15,000 -19,999
9%
17%
20,000 24,999
9%
8%
Total
100% (35)
100% (75)
This section demonstrates that factory women are more likely to be
either daughters, or single mothers, household heads and major economic
providers. Subcontracted industrial outworkers are more likely to be spouses
and mothers. Although economic pressures push more women to work in
the factory, the households of both subcontracted industrial outworkers and
factory workers experience economic pressures (as evidenced in the worker to
consumer ratio). Further, female headed households tend to incorporate
more workers into the household (as opposed to consumers), and make
higher contributions to the household than women in male-headed
households.


44
incorporation. Next, a brief review of the Antioqueo colonization of
the Old Caldas region (which today is Risaralda, Caldas and Quindio)
provides the background for a discussion of the capitalist development
of the Risaralda region (see Figure 3.1, 3.2). Finally, an exploration of the
contemporary structure of the manufacturing industry in the
department of Risaralda focuses specifically on the role of the garment
industry in the process of industrialization of Pereira and Dos Quebradas
(see Figure 3.3).
In order to understand the origins of the manufacturing industry
in Colombia, we must first consider the extraction of primary products
which provided the initial capital for industrialization. From the mid
nineteenth century, the export sector has been considered the principal
source of capital accumulation for the country. According to Jose
Antonio Ocampo, a prominent Colombian economist: "The export
experience of the nineteenth century was, in the long run, discouraging
and in terms of specific markets, very unstable (1979: 25)". Ocampo
delineates three elements which explain the limits to expansion of
exports in the Colombian case: (1) the position of Colombia in the world
economy, which tended to generate strong competitive disadvantages for
the Colombian producers, (2) the presence of backward forms of
production and (3) the tendency of Colombian capitalists to behave as
"speculators". (1979: 26). During the last century, investment by
Colombians was concentrated in commercial and speculative activities
or in buying certain goods (such as land or cattle) which could be rapidly
liquidated, serving as a type of money. Investment in productive
activities was only attractive when world prices for the products were
high. Consequently, Ocampo states, the expansion of the export sector


126
Domestic Cycle
Chayanov's (1966) description of the domestic cycle of the household
emphasises the ratio of workers to consumers as providing a material basis
for analyzing the household's social reproduction. He states:
Family composition primarily defines the upper and lower
limits of the volume of its economic activity. The labor force...is
entirely determined by the availability of able-bodied family
members. That is why the highest possible limit for volume of
activity depends on the amount of work this labor force can give
with maximum utilization and intensity. In the same way the
lowest volume is determined by the sum of material benefits
absolutely essential for the family's mere existence.
... it is essential, therefore, to study the labor family as fully as
possible and to establish the elements in its composition, on
which basis it develops its economic activity... (Chayanov, 1966
p.118).
Mercedes Gonzalez de la Rocha (1984) has combined the analysis of
Fortes with that of Chayanov. Her description of the phases of the domestic
cycle is employed in the present analysis:
1) The expansion phase includes the period when the household grows
and increases with the number of births. This phase begins when the couple
forms and ends approximately when the woman reaches 40 years of age,
ending her fertile years. While this phase advances, the conditions for the
following phase are created: the children grow and the household is
consolidated.
2) The phase of consolidation and equilibrium is characterized by a more
balanced ratio of workers to consumers. In this phase, the children, or at least


6
home-based production than single women; (2) economic pressures on female
headed households leads these women to assume positions in the factory, and
(3) male-and female headed households differ in household composition and
household survival strategies, which in turn lead to different patterns of
decision making and authority in the household.
At the workplace level, it is hypothesized that (1) informal methods of
contracting labor in the factory are increasing due to the increasing
competitiveness of the international market, leading to a search for even
cheaper labor, and (2) the emphasis on diversification of exports has been
accompanied by an increased production of garments, and increased
competition in the garment industry.
This chapter provides a discussion of the methodological tools (both
quantitative and qualitative) utilized in the study. Chapter Two discusses the
theoretical framework, including an analysis of the relationship between
industrialization and women's work, the productive and reproductive
responsibilities of women, and the changes occurring in the structure of
production and women's labor force incorporation with industrial
development in Latin America. Chapter Three discusses the history of
industrialization in Colombia, focusing on the research sites of Pereira and Dos
Quebradas (Dos Quebradas is the industrializing region to the north of the city)
in the department of Risaralda. Chapter Four describes the organization of
work within the factory, highlighting changes occurring in the relations of
production within the factory including mechanisms of control utilized by
management. Next, Chapter Five describes the structure of the labor force and
subcontracting mechanisms operating within the garment industry. Chapter
Six provides a more in depth analysis of the domestic cycle of the households
of female workers. Chapter Seven relates the domestic cycle analysis to


194
Table C.2
Type of Spouse Employment by Authority in the Household
Response to Question: "Do you feel you have more
authority in the household because you work?"
Spouse Employment
No
Yes
Artisan
1
3
Furniture Worker
2
1
Mechanic
3
2
Merchant
3
1
(Agricultural)
Fisherman
1
0
Agriculturalist
1
0
Garment Store
1
1
Journalist
1
1
Shoe Repair
1
0
Spouse Absent/no info
12
38
Total
35
75


183
P3. Cual es su horario?
P4. Que pasa si llega tarde?
P5. Que pasa si falta?
P6. Realiza Ud. horas extras en su trabajo? (Sondea si de forma
voluntaria o de forma obligitario?)
P6a. Con que frecuencia trabaja horas extras?
P6b. A Como le paga las horas extras?
P6c. El mes pasado, Cuantas horas extras trabajo?
P7. Como se organizan los descansos?
P8. Cual es su horario diario (sondea a que hora se levanta, que
hace, a que hora se acuesta, etc.)
P9. Que produce la fabrica donde trabaja?
P9a. Hace trabajo para otras fabricas de ropa?
P9b. Mando trabajo para otras fabricas de ropa?
PIO. Que tipo de maquinas tiene la fabrica (industrial, pedal,
etc)?
Pll. Cuantas obreras tiene la fabrica?
P12. Como se organiza el trabajo en la fabrica (por ejemplo hay
cuotas minimas, etc.)?
P13. En que consiste su trabajo (como es que la pusieron alli)?
P14. Hace lo mismo que cuando empez aqui?
P14a. Que hacia antes?
P15. Hay premio y castigos?
P16. Cuales son?
P17. Le hicieron pruebas para contratarla?
P17a. En que consistieron?
P17b. Le pagaron por ellas?
P18. Firmo papeles para empezar a trabajar?
Por observacin
19. El campo de trabajo es de pie, sentado o cambia?
P20. Tiene buena luz, ventilacin, es comoda su silla?
Preguntar
P21. Que maquina maneja Ud. ?
P22. Le pagan por pieza o le dan salario?
1. Por pieza 5. Salario 9. NA
P22a. Cuanto gana por pieza o mensual?
P23. Sabe Ud. cual es el salario minimo oficial?
P23a. Cuanto ganaba Ud.(semanal o mensual) cuando comenz a
trabajar en esta fabrica?
P23b. Cuanto gana ahora?
P23c. Se mantiene la familia con su salario?
P24. Ademas de los ingresos por su(s) trabajo(s) ?Que otra
entrada econmica se genera en el hogar y quien la aporta?
(Sondear si es necessario: Por ejemplo: rentas, pensiones por


APPENDIX A
Interview with Workers
PROYECTO MAQUILADORAS
Datos sobre la unidad Domestica-PREGUNTAR A TODAS
ANNEXO A CAPITULO II
Pl. Quienes de la familia han salido fuera del hogar?
Nombre / A donde / Hace cuanto / De que Trabaja / Envia Dinero
P2. Cual considera usted es la entrada econmica principal en su
casa?
P3. Cuanto da cada uno de los miembros de la familia para los
gastos familiares?
P3a. A Quien le da el dinero del gasto?
P4. Ayuda con el quehacer de la casa?
P4a. Que hace?
1. Llavar
2. Planchar
3. Hacer las compras
4. Cuidar los ios
5. Limpiar la casa
6. Cocinar
8. No Sabe 9. NA
P4b. Cada cuando?
SI VIVE CON SU FAMILIA DE PROCREACION (No Solteras)
ANEXO A CAPITULO HA
Pl Se ha casado usted mas de una vez?
Plb. Cuantas veces se ha casado Ud. anteriormente?
Pie. Esta en union civil?
P2. En que ano se caso (se fue a vivir) con su primer marido?
P2a. Cuantos anos tenia Ud cuando se caso (se fue a vivir
con su primer marido) por primera vez?
P2b. Cuantos anos tenia su primer marido cuando se casaron
(empezaban a vivir juntos)?
P2c. En su caso, en que ano (se caso) se fue a vivir con
179


58
Temporary Employment
Considering both the salaried work force and independent
workers, temporary employment represented 16 percent of total
employment in 1984, a rise from 10 percent in 1980 (DANE 1984). The
productive activity which relies most heavily on the generation of
temporary work in Colombia is the manufacturing industry (Corchuelo
1987). Subcontracting is a specific case of contracting where the labor
demand is generally oriented towards home-based workers or small-
scale enterprises. The utilization of the subcontracting arrangement is
usually based on the relatively cheaper labor costs, the evasion of labor
norms in these work places, the technological level of the home-based
worker or small-scale enterprise, and the flexibility in the contracting
and firing of workers due to changes in the level of economic activity.
At the national level, the number of temporary workers in private
employment in Colombia increased from 10.5 percent of the labor force
in 1980 to 16.5 percent in 1987.3 According to the Colombian labor code,
there are two styles of labor contracting: contracts for fixed terms, and
contracts for an indefinite term. The stipulations for fixed term contract
include:
3ln this region, temporary employment has increased as owners of the largest
exporting factory rehire workers under new contracts. Recently this
enterprise bought another large factory in the region. Management then
began to move the workers from one factory to another. When the workers,
who had a contract for a fixed period of time circulated from one factory to the
other, they signed new contracts changing the status of their work from a
fixed time period, to a shorter period of time, less than 90 days -- or solely for
the production of a specific article (interview with union leader).


97
Access and Control of Markets
Export production (by factories with mixed capital) in this region
provides these enterprises with access to, and control of, a wider market, and
consequently to the raw materials significant in the production of garments.
The factories with national capital were generally denied access to export
markets (unless they export indirectly through the Plan Vallejo,
subcontracting from a factory with mixed capital). They were forced to
compete fiercely for local and regional markets. This competition, in turn,
forced factories to hire cheaper labor (driving labor costs down). In order to
maintain specific markets, these factories produced quality items at the lowest
prices. In this case, the existence of small micro-enterprises which can be
integrated or expelled from the production process with little risk were
convenient for the medium- and large-sized factories. Their limited access to
the export market was generally through subcontracted arrangements with
larger factories. However, in some instances, the small factories are able to
establish their own garment line, and attempt more autonomous production
for local or regional markets. In general, large factories have had to focus their
production on standardized articles, while smaller enterprises have produced
for a specific sex, age-group or socioeconomic strata (Schmukler 1977). The
availability of subcontracting to small and medium-sized enterprises which
may specialize in a specific type of garment allows the larger factory greater
control of the market.
A significant variable affecting the factories' access to and control of the
market for garments is its capital composition. For example, factories which


3
these changes are not direct and mechanical. Changes in social relationships
within the household reflect new patterns of decision making and the
assumption of different authority relationships within the household.
Women, whether married, widowed, divorced, or separated are often forced to
assume the role of primary income generator. These changes may lead to the
women's assuming more authority in the household decision making.
Changing material and ideological conditions of the household strongly
influence the way in which women are able to generate an income through
their labor force participation, whether as wage laborers, or subcontracted
industrial outworkers1. Social relationships within the household (such as
those between the husband and the wife, the father and the daughter, the
mother and the grandmother) structure home-based production. For example,
the number of people available to assist in home-based production dictates to a
large extent, the amount of work which can be performed. The work which is
performed in the household, further, also alters the relations themselves.
When women begin to work in the household, other members may assume
the domestic tasks previously performed by these women. This research
hypothesizes that women household heads are less constrained by traditional
ideological beliefs of the home as women's primary responsibility as compared
to women who were spouses. In addition, wives are under less pressure
(economically) to provide an additional income for the household.
Women's labor force incorporation is further conditioned by the
demand for laborers as expressed in recruitment strategies of factories and the
changing structure of production within the industry. Since June of 1989 the
Subcontracted industrial outworkers refers to home-based workers whose
work depends on contracts with larger industrial enterprises (the details of
these contractual relationships will be discussed in depth in chapter 4).


213
Ward, K. ed.
1990 Women Workers and Global Restructuring.
New York: ILR Press
Yanagisako, S. J.
1979 Family and Household: The Analysis of Domestic Groups.
Annual Review of Anthropology 8:161-205.
Young, K., C. Wolkowitz, and R. McCullagh, eds.
1981 Of Marriage and the Market. Women's Subordination in
International Perspective. London: CSE Press.
Zaretsky, E.
1973 Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life. New York:
Monthly Review Press.


163
Table 7.6
Who makes Important Decisions in the
Household by Women's Authority
Response to Question:"Do you feel you have more
authority in the household because you work?"
No
Important
Decision-Maker
Spouse
10%
3%
Self
23%
70%
Both
14%
13%
Brother
1%
0
Mother
13%
0
Father
13%
0
Parents
10%
3%
Sister
3%
0
Each individual
7%
7%
Other Female
3%
3%
relative
Other Male
3%
0
relative
Total
100% (78)
100%
Culture and the Household
In order to understand how women's labor force incorporation affects
patterns of household authority and decision-making, we must understand
the culture in which the women live and work. The mediating function of
the family or household is fundamental to understand the reproduction of


82
enterprises (subcontracted industrial outworkers, family small-scale
enterprises, and non-familial, small-scale enterprises) follows, emphasizing
the autonomy and/or subordination of the producer in relation to the larger
capitalist factories.
The role of intermediaries, their characteristics, and the control which
they exercise over subcontracted producers' access to, and control of, key
resources are discussed. The significance of the division of labor by gender can
be seen in that the majority of the intermediaries are men. These
intermediaries, in turn, control the labor of subcontracted industrial
outworkers, who are generally women. The work of an intermediary requires
traveling alone and working with male factory owners. For these reasons, the
majority of the intermediaries are men. In this research, only one woman
intermediary was encountered. This woman was a widow, free from the
ideological constraints which prohibit most women from traveling alone as
intermediaries.
The Subcontracting Relationship
Watanabe (1983) distinguishes two types of subcontracting: (1) those
factories that contract out production without raw materials (in other words,
the home-based worker is responsible for providing the raw materials) and (2)
those that provide raw materials and other inputs. Beneria and Roldan (1987),
in their study of subcontracting relationships in Mexico, refer to the first as
"vertical subcontracting" and the second as "horizontal". Both methods of
subcontracting were encountered in this Colombian study. The majority of
the subcontracted industrial outworkers, however, participated in horizontal


APPENDIX C
Spouse Employment
Table C.l, Spouse Employment by Workplace, shows that the
occupation of spouses varies significantly within each category. However,
there is no major difference which can be noted between the two categories.
This data do not support the hypothesis that spouses in home-based workers
households have more stable employment. However, only data gathered in
homes where spouses were present demonstrate the occupation of a male
wage earner. In other households where the head was the father, or brother,
the occupation of the major income earners was not noted unless the worker
was the daughter. This data, therefore, cannot be used to support or refute the
hypothesis that the employment of household heads in home-based
households is more stable than that of factory worker households.
192


10
manager of the large export factory. This list, however, was expanded utilizing
the snowball method to discover other workers.
The interview schedule addressed concerns of the women workers
(determined, as previously mentioned by pre-tests of the survey with the
women workers, discussions with community workers in Pereira, and
university professors familiar with the sociology of the region). The interview
described and analyzed the women's material conditions, (including factors
such as limited access to resources, lower wages, etc) and their ideological
constructs (such as household authority patterns) in part through an
exploration of the social relationships (such as marriage and the birth of
children) which constrain or facilitate women's incorporation into the labor
force. Studying women's labor force participation in the home as well as in
the factory in a single industrial activity delineates factors which constrain
women's labor force participation.
In order to avoid a narrow focus on the household and factors affecting
the supply of women workers, the structure of the labor market, and
preferential hiring practices of the larger factories were incorporated into the
methodology through interviews with the factory owners. These interviews
explored factors which influence the demand for women workers and further
constrain women's incorporation into the labor force. One aspect of demand
for women's labor in Colombia is the governmental policy encouraging the
development of small-scale enterprises (first implemented in 1984, and revised
in 1988). The impact that this policy has on structuring women's labor force
incorporation (wage-labor, as well as home-based) will be analyzed using
information from these interviews.
This interview schedule for the factory owners was modified in Bogot
and then again in Pereira (see Appendix B). In total 40 owners were


CHAPTER SEVEN
DECISION MAKING AND AUTHORITY PATTERNS IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Introduction 152
Household Authority Patterns 154
Workplace 154
Home ownership 155
Access and Control of Budget 158
Culture and the Household 163
Conclusions 168
CHAPTER EIGHT
CONCLUSIONS
Research Findings 171
Theoretical Contributions of this Study 173
Prospects for the Colombian Case 176
APPENDIX A 179
Interview with Workers 179
APPENDIX B 188
Questionnaire for personnel managers (In Spanish) 188
APPENDIX C 191
Spouse Employment 191
Appendix D 194
Household Ethnographies 194
LIST OF REFERENCES 196
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 213
Vlll


187
P8 Quien decide si los hijos trabajan?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona
P9 Cree que porque usted trabaja tiene mas autoridad en la casa?
Porque:
PIO Que tipo de trabajo hace su esposo actualmente?
PlOa. En que trabajaba antes?
PlOb. Se ha encontrado su esposo desempleado alguna vez?
1 .Si, cuantas veces 2. No 8. No Sabe 9. NA
Pll. Podria su familia mantener el mismo nivel de vida que tiene
ahora si usted no trabajara?
P12. Que tal satisfecha esta Ud. con su vida? Por que? (Vease
la hoja separada)
P13. Si pudiera cambiar algn aspecto de su trabajo, cual
seria?
P14. Que tal satisfecha esta Ud. ahora con su trabajo?
P15. Que es lo que mas le gusta a Usted de su trabajo
actual?
P15a. Que es lo que menos le gusta?
P16. Le gustaria que su hija (si la tuviera) hiciera este
trabajo?
P17. Su sueldo rinde actual que antes? (porque lo dice?)
P18. Que otras cambios se ha notado en la situacin actual
recientemente?
P19. Si perdiera este trabajo, que hara Usted?
P20. Hay otra cosa que le gustaria contarme?


LIST OF REFERENCES
Aires, P.
1973 Centuries of Childhood. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin.
Amin, S.
1976 Unequal Development, An Essay on the Social Formation of
Peripheral Capitalism. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Aragano Gaviria, O.
1989 Pereira, aos '80. Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia: Fundaralda.
Arizpe, L.
1977 Women in the Informal Labor Sector: The Case of Mexico
City. In Wellesley Editorial Committee (eds), Women and
National Development: The Complexities of Change.
25-37. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Baran, P. and M. Sweezy
1966 Monopoly Capital. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Baxandall, Roslyn, Elizabeth Ewen, and Linda Gordon
1976 The Working Class Has Two Sexes. Monthly Review 28:1-9.
Beneria, L.
1989 Subcontracting and Employment Dynamics in Mexico City
pp. 189-173 In Portes, Alejandro, Castells, Manuel and
Lauren Benton, eds. The Informal Economy: Studies in
Advanced and Less Developed Countries. Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press.
Beneria, L. and M. Roldan
1987 The Crossroads of Class and Gender: Industrial
Homework,Subcontracting, and Household Dynamics.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Beneria, L., and G. Sen,
1981 Accumulation, Reproduction and Women's Role in Economic
Development: Boserup Revisited. Signs 7, no. 2:279-98.
Winter.
196


135
the number of children in the family of these workers suggests that women
who work in factories have fewer children available to assume economic
responsibilities.
In addition, a large number of children may hinder working in the
factory, and, if no other form of childcare is available, women are forced to
work at home. One cannot determine, from this sample, whether factory
work influences women's decision on whether to have a child, and the
number of children to have, or whether the selective recruitment strategies of
the factory lead to preferential hiring of women without children. In the
multinational factory, female applicants were given a blood test, and those
who were pregnant were not contracted. Those workers who had children
while employed by the multinational factory were often fired when it was
learned that they were pregnant. This practice obviously discourages factory
workers from having children.
CO
0
o X
s|


0.
0
re
£
o
LL
Number of Children by
Workplace of Female Worker
40 -i
¡3 Home
Factory
0 12 3 4
Number of Children
Figure 6.2
Number of Children by Workplace


42
Women's labor force incorporation in the new international division
of labor, is becoming increasingly subordinate to the interests of national and
multinational capital. However, this incorporation does not occur in a
vacuum. Women's labor force incorporation is mediated by their household
responsibilities. The household adapts to the changing forms of women's
labor force incorporation by assuming new strategies for household
sustenance. As households (both male and female-headed) jockey for their
survival, and for a more advantageous position in the work force, they
reorganize and reallocate their labor. This reallocation of labor is in part the
result of households' responses to the structure of the labor market (this is
discussed in depth in chapter 6) and to the current economic crisis.
In order to understand the mechanisms governing this incorporation
of female labor in increasingly subordinate positions, it is necessary to link
the household, and the family with the wider regional, national and
international patterns of development, including social, economic, political
and ideological processes, within which they are embedded. The next chapter
discusses the process of industrialization in Colombia emphasizing the
increase in temporary labor contracts, and the growth of the informal sector
along with women's increasing labor force participation.


64
Antioqueo Colonization of Old Caldas and the Subsequent Development of
Pereira as a producer of consumer goods
The foundation of Pereira in 1863 was an important event in the
Antioqueo colonization of Western Colombia, causing profound
economic, social and cultural changes in the country. Prior to the
nineteenth century, the lack of successful colonization of this region was
attributed to the physical difficulties of the area. By the end of the
eighteenth century, groups of peasants and merchants from the eastern
area of Medellin (Rionegro and Marinilla) began to migrate southward.
For over 100 years, this migration opened up the southeastern part of
what is today the Antioqueo region, and all of the Old Caldas region. A
combination of factors led to the opening of the southern border of the
Antioqueo region including: (1) the search for other sources of gold, (2)
the expansion of agricultural cultivation to satisfy the needs of the
growing population, (3) the search for new and more fertile lands for the
production of coffee.
Agricultural Development
The economy of the Old Caldas region was initially based on
agriculture, mining, and cattle raising. Cocoa, leather, and gold were the
principal commercial articles. Coffee, introduced into the region in 1865,
only became a fundamental pillar of the Old Caldas economy during the
beginning of the twentieth century. The production of coffee in this
region was based on small-holder plots. However, in recent years there
has been an increasing concentration of land into large latifundios.


9
interviews with factory workers (40 from the multinational factory, 35 from the
national factory). During this time, I also participated in a seminar sponsored
by the local unions and was able to interview the leader of the only garment
factory union in the department. In March and April I worked with a womens
savings and loan cooperative. Although these women were generally not
factory workers, they were very active in the community, and helpful in
locating other home-based garment workers.
Survey Methodology
The city of Pereira in Colombia was chosen as the site of research due to
the predominance of garment production in the region. The study utilized a
number of techniques. The interview was the principal method of collecting
information about the home-based workers and the factory workers (see
Appendix A for a copy of the survey utilized with factory workers and home-
based workers). The goal of this interview was two-fold: in addition to
describing the structure and composition of these workers' households
(emphasizing income generating strategies), a description of the personal and
work histories of these women factory workers was obtained. This was done in
order to determine the role of the domestic environment and cycle of the
household in women's labor force incorporation. The survey instrument was
revised and discussed after a month of research by sociologists and
anthropologists in Bogot. The interview was revised one more time after
consultation with other professors and professionals in Pereira, and a third
time after conducting ten trial interviews in that city. The initial sample list of
workers was chosen (every tenth name in the list of workers) by the personnel


59
(1) The contract for fixed term must always be written, their
duration cannot be less than 1 year or greater than 3 years, but it is
renewable indefinitely; (2) Temporary or occasional workers can
be used to replace workers on vacation, to meet increases in
production demand, etc. (this is discussed in more detail under
temporary workers); (3) If prior to the expiration date of the
contract, neither party advises the other party in writing, of their
intentions to not prolong the contract with anticipation of 30 days,
the contract will be understood to be renewed for one year; (4) a
contract requiring highly specialized or technical work may be for
less than a year (personal interview May 1989 with union official).
The contract of indefinite work is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The contract not stipulated to be under a fixed contract will
refer to one of indefinite time, the duration of this work is not
determined by the nature of the task, and does not refer to casually
contracted labor. (2) The indefinite contract is valid as long as the
conditions which gave rise to its origin and the material of work
are available. The worker can terminate the contract through a
written notice of 30 days. If this advance notice is not given, then
article 8 number 7 will apply for the entire time, or for the lapse of
working time which was not completed (personal interview May
1989 with union official).
Often temporary workers are hired under the fixed term contracts.
According to the Colombian work code, temporary employment is
classified into two groups: that constituted by temporary workers
contracted directly by the factory, and temporary workers contracted by an
independent agency called "Bolsas de Empleo". The most prevalent
form of employment in the garment industrial branch of manufacturing
activity in Colombia is contracted directly by the factory. Two of the
three modalities involve work within the factory, the third is contracted
outside the factory. The types of work encountered in this group
include:


99
over the quality of the raw materials and its cutting rests entirely with the
company in Miami which carefully selects its sister plants in foreign countries.
An official from "Pro-Expo" (the governmental agency regulating
exportation) in Pereira stated that the garment industry had been damaged by
the recession in the United States and other industrialized countries, the high
cost of raw materials, and the protection of the industries in the developed,
industrialized nations. He stated that the capacity of the city to meet the
demand for exports would be increased if other factories would begin
production utilizing "Plan Vallejo"3 The system of subcontracted production
limits substantially what the subcontracted industrial outworker can control
with respect to the quality of the product, the quantity of items produced, and
the time within which they are completed. However, it gives them the
possibility to organize their own technical process of production with respect
to the stages and style of the work. It also permits them to have control of the
intensity of their own work and make decisions with respect to the inclusion
or not of family workers. Nevertheless, the lack of control of the raw
materials imposes important limitations to the control of the working process.
Relationships within the Subcontracted Enterprise
In order to understand the complexities of the subcontracting
relationship, it is important to distinguish between home-based producers and
small-scale enterprises (which may be based on familial or non-familial
workers). Subcontracted industrial outworkers in this study refer to workers
3Plan Vallejo is one of the more important instruments regulating the promotion of exports in
Colombia. Also known as decree 444 of 1967, it was designed by the minister of development,
Dr. Jose Joaquin Vallejo. This decree establishes conditions under which the exporter can
import raw materials, intermediate goods, and capital goods free of taxes if they are used
solely for the production of goods for exports and will increase the dividends accrued to the
region for exporting.


26
incorporation and the development of industrial capitalism as it occurred in
eighteenth century England.
Women's Labor Force Incorporation and the Development of Industrial
Capitalism
Prior to the onset of industrialization, manufacturing and agriculture
were performed on a much smaller scale in the home in feudalistic Europe.
The home was the physical location of the reproduction of daily life, as well
as production for the market. Under these conditions, a division of labor
developed within the home or workshop. In the textile industry, for
example, women spun thread, while men frequently wove cloth.
As industrialization developed, productive activities were broken
down into a series of tasks. The different functions were arranged
hierarchically depending on factors such as knowledge of the process,
strength, and manual abilities. As production became increasingly technified
and modernized, machines began to perform the labor of workers, and
production moved out of the home. Under industrial capitalism, initially the
location of production shifted from the household to the factory. The factory
replaced the household as the center of productive activity because it was
better suited to the technified production of larger machinery. Under this
arrangement, a new division of labor emerged in which the worker became
merely an appendage of the machinery.
Along with the tool, the skill of the workman (sic) in
handling it passes over to the machine . .Thereby the technical
foundation on which is based the division of labor in
manufacture is swept away. Hence, in the place of the hierarchy
of specialized workmen (sic) that characteristics manufacture,
there steps, in the automatic factory, a tendency to equalize and
reduce to one and the same level every kind of work that has to


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Dr. Helen Safa, Chairman
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosoph)
'ThWMuuu
Dr. Marianne Schmink
Associate Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor ofPhilosqphy. a.
Dr. Anthony^iDliver-Smith
Associate^irofessor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree
)r. David Bushnell
Professor of History
This thesis was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of
Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy .
May, 1991
Dean, Graduate School


40
In order to better understand the way in which macro-economic
processes influence women's labor force incorporation and the household, it
is important to study these differences between the European case and the
Colombian case. In general, during the transition to capitalism in Europe,
the putting out system was controlled by commercial capital, while in
Colombia today it is controlled by industrial capital. In the garment industry,
even when production is performed in the home, the large factories maintain
control of cutting and finishing the product.
In addition, the accumulation process initiated by commercial capital
in Europe facilitated the development of national industrial capital (Beneria
and Roldan 1987). However, in Colombia, this production contributes to the
accumulation of both national and multinational capital. Though
subcontracting into the home was less frequent among the factories with
multinational capital, other forms of contracting works to small workshops
outside the factory did persist (these will be discussed in detail in Chapter
Four). Thus small scale entrepreneurs' production contributes to the
generation of surplus profits by the large multinational factories.
Further, the ownership of the means of production was different in the
two cases. At least initially, the putting out system in Europe utilized
independent producers who owned the means of production (such as sewing
machines and looms). In Colombia, the machines, as well as the locale where
production takes place (if it does not occur in the workers home) are often
owned by the larger factory. In Colombia, the entrepreneur (manager of a
small scale enterprise) may have the rent for the machines or locale taken out
of her meager earnings for this subcontracted production.


202
Gutierrez de Pineda, V.
1986 Familia y Cultura en Colombia. Bogot: Tercer Mundo.
Haraven, T.
1982 Family Time and Industrial Time: The Relationship between
the family and work in a New England Industrial Community.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Harris, O.
1981 Households as natural units. Pp. 109-47. In K.Young et al. (eds.)
The anthropology of pre-capitalist societies,
London: Macmillan.
Harris, O. and Young, K.
1981 Engendered structures: Some problems in the analysis of
reproduction. In J. Kahn and J. Llobera (eds.) The
Anthropology of Pre-Capitalist Societies, 109-47. London:
Macmillan.
Hartmann, H.
1979 The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism:
Towards a More Progressive Union. Capital and Class
8:1-33.
Ingerson, A.
1984 The Textile Industry and Working Class Culture., Pp. 217-230 in
C. Berquist, ed., Labor in the Capitalist World Economy.
London: Sage Publications.
Jaramillo, H. Angel
1983 Pereira: Proceso Histrico de un Grupo Etnico Colombiano.
Volumes 1 and 2. Pereira: Club Rotario Pereirano.
Jelin, E.
1977 Migration and Labor Force Participation of Latin
American Women and the Domestic servants in cities. In
Wellesley Editorial Committee (eds). Women and National
Development: The Complexities of Change. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.
Jimenez, M. y S. Sideri
1985 Una Historia del desarrollo regional en Colombia.
Bogot: CEREC-CIDER.


107
beginning of each "taller" where the pieces are ironed, and marked to be sure
they were cut properly in Miami. For example, the shirt making process
begins with the collar. The first operator takes the ironed halves and sews
them shut. The next operator clips the points; the collar is checked for
symmetry and turned rightside out. The article is then returned for pressing.
Next, the collar is overstitched, making sure that both sides match. This
process involves three operators and a woman to press the collar.
The next section is the back. First, an operator hems both sides.
Another operator will match the sides and stitch them together. (That is if
the back is in two pieces; often it comes in one piece.) Depending on the
complexity of the item, two to five operators will complete the required
darts, beltloops, or other ornamentation. Another operator will sew the sides
together if required. Usually during this phase, another individual places
the label on the back garment.
Next, an operator hems the front from right to left always. The pockets
are hemmed by another operator, and sewn on the shirt by a third. Other
darts are sewn in place by a fourth operator, the buttonholes are inserted by a
fifth, and a sixth operator sews buttons on the garments. The next process is
the sleeve. First the sleeve is fastened together by one operator. Another
operator then attaches the sleeve to the armhole. If it is a short sleeve, it is
hemmed by another individual. If it is a long-sleeved garment, the cuffs are
first completed. For the cuffs, one individual sews the lining. Then the
corners are clipped and sewn shut by another operator. The cuff is turned
right side out, then pressed by the operator at the "taller" who does the
ironing. Only after pressing is the overstitching applied. Finally the cuff is
placed on the sleeve by yet another operator. The article is inspected, threads
clipped, buttonholes checked for accuracy, etc. by another woman before the


177
economic conflict. Behind the bloody cocaine wars lies a class struggle
which has been the source of violent uprisings in the country for
centuries.
Although this complex socio-economic conflict at the source of
Colombia's political violence was not the focus of the research, this
analysis of the female labor force in the garment industry highlights many
of the difficulties facing the heterogeneous Colombian working class. This
study provides a description of one sector of the working class, the
garment industrial labor force, emphasizing (1) the impact of industrial
restructuring on the dynamic nature of this sector of the working class, (2)
the role of women in the reproduction of this class, and (3) the ideological
implications for the changing material conditions of these women
workers for authority patterns in the household. This study describes the
lives of women forced to contribute to their families means of survival in
the intermediate industrializing city of Pereira. Through an
understanding of their struggles, then, can come insight into the socio
economic problems which this country must seriously examine if it is to
break the century old cycle of violence.
As international capitalists continue to seek cheaper sources of labor,
and Latin American countries seek new sources of capital for industrial
development, the plight of workers (especially women) is difficult. However,
these workers' households demonstrate considerable flexibility in their
adaptation to harsh economic circumstances. Since women have
traditionally been relegated to precarious economic positions, it is no surprise
that they continue to represent a highly vulnerable sector of the labor force.
With the economic opening in Colombia, the competition for international
markets deepens. The effect on the working class households, as women


106
changes in the material conditions of production on the social relations
within the factory.
Material Relations of Production within the Factory
Work in the large factory is divided into what are called "talleres" or
workshops which vary from 30 to 70 people. Each workshop is responsible
for a specific type of garment (shirt, slacks, skirts, etc.) Because Pereira is best
known as the shirt city (la ciudad camisera), this description focuses on the
factory system for making shirts. Within the workshop, a "patinador" first
hands the assignment to the head of the workshop, who in turn divides the
work among the quality control supervisors. In a large shirt-making "taller"
there could be two or three supervisors. Each supervisor is responsible for
two or three parts of the production process. Conflict between quality control
supervisors and the heads of the workshop is described in the following
interview with Maria, a quality control supervisor.
The head of the workshop is the one who rules in the
"taller", but the supervisor is the one who works the
most. The heads of the workshop only know about
meeting production quotas. They are technologists. I had
to organize the production in the group. . .and I earned
less. I earned my bonuses according to the number of
items we turned around. But the bonuses were never
much, they were never more than 1,900 pesos weekly.
The leader of the workshop earned all of the production
merits. They are shameless. (Personal interview February
23,1989).
In the shirt making process observed, there were six major parts to the
production process. These parts are further broken down again into three or
four separate activities within each workshop. There is a station at the


140
is not surprising to find the highest percentage of spouses and mothers (74%)
in home-based work (Table 6.5).
Table 6.5
Position in the Household by Workplace of Female Worker
Workplace
Women's Position
in the Household
Home
Factory
Spouse and Mother
74%
17%
Daughter
11%
36%
Single mother
11%
36%
Other (Aunt, Cousin)
3%
11%
Total 35
(100%)
75 (100%)
Because of the (generally) lower salary of home-based workers, their
income must be supplemented by a second individual, generally the spouse.
Single mothers contribute the highest amount to the household budget,
averaging 61% (Table 6.6). Table 6.7 demonstrates that when contribution to
household budget is compared by workplace, home-based workers contribute
less to the budget than factory workers.


149
Conclusions
In this chapter, I considered the major variables of the women's life
cycle and the domestic life cycle of the household as they affect women's labor
force participation. Women's position in the household, as well as their age,
marital status and ages of children were considered as significant variables of
women's life cycle. Forty two percent of the women interviewed stated that
they preferred to work at home because of their children, indicating that child
care is a significant factor limiting women's labor force incorporation.
However, child care was not a significant factor limiting women's labor force
incorporation among factory workers at the time of the interviews (i.e. few
women had children under six). Many mothers expressed the desire to be
with their children, and to have some influence in their training, even if they
were busy sewing.
While marital status was not statistically significant between the two
groups, there was a tendency for single women to work in the factory while
married women worked at home. Age was statistically significant. Factory
workers were significantly younger than subcontracted industrial outworkers
(average ages were 32 and 39 respectively). In the future, the age difference
between factory workers (especially multinational factories) and subcontracted
industrial outworkers will undoubtedly increase because of the policy of the
multinational factories to hire women between 19 and 25 years of age.
The domestic cycle was found to be a significant factor affecting
women's labor force participation. As women's position in the household
changes with the domestic cycle, the economic and ideological pressures she


92
her obtain her due pay). Apparently, many intermediaries initially reject good
quality production in order to later sell the same article themselves. In other
words, Mr. X contracts Luz to make 50 blouses. Of those 50, he accepts 25, and
pays her 400 pesos for each one. However, the other 25 are "no good", and
either he sells them and keeps the profit, or she must sell them and reimburse
him for the cost of the material which he can set as high as he pleases (though
Luz said she usually paid 100 pesos for the 400 peso blouses). Often, the
woman is stuck paying for the blouses from the pay which the intermediary
gave her, until she can find a buyer for the other 25 blouses (which may have
been rejected only because the factory owner didn't need all 50 blouses). The
poorest women, especially burdened by this situation, know no one who can
buy their excess production.
After the intermediary left, Luz Maria explained to me that she was
recently robbed by a different intermediary who never paid her, nor did he
ever turn in the garments to the factory. He just disappeared with 8,000 pesos
($200) worth of goods. The experience had understandably made her quite
skeptical of intermediaries.
Some intermediaries pay for half of the goods when they buy them.
They pay for the other half two weeks later. Several subcontracted industrial
outworkers interviewed never received the second payment for their work. In
the interim, they had not been able to pay the bills, and their electricity had
been turned off. This prohibited them from continuing garment production.
One home-based producer who had problems with payments from the factory
had been working in her home since 1983 and always bought the thread.
Although she had made 140 pesos per shirt (in 1983 when she started, she only
earned 50), she found it very difficult to make ends meet.


61
In the textile sector, inventory represented up to 13 percent of production
in contrast with five percent in previous years.
The overvaluation of the peso due in part to the 1970s coffee
bonanza and the beginning of the drug trade resulted in a decrease in
textile exports. The influx of coffee and drug earnings was also
inflationary resulting in a large increase of contraband and legal imports,
and a loss of industrial and export possibilities. At the height of the
textile crisis (1979-82) the repercussions for workers began to be seen
through collective and individual firing, indemnification of workers
and forced retirement. The increase in the internal prices for textiles, as
part of the decrease in exports, especially in the first part of the crisis had
further ramifications in the garment factories. Many of these garment
factories were forced to close during this period in part because of the
increasing price of textiles..4
In 1975, the world recession, and the dramatic drop in exports
worsened the situation. Competition from countries such as Hong
Kong, Taiwan and Korea decreased the demand for Colombian
industrial exports. In general, the factory owners blame the government
of Lopez Michelsen for this decrease.5 Other scholars, however, state that
aspects such as the monopolistic and overprotective structure of the
4ln Bogota and Barranquilla 9 garment factories closed down, leaving
approximately 4,900 workers without jobs. In Pereira 2 large enterprises Galex
and Jarcano also closed (Londoo 1986). These factory closings in Pereira will
be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6.
5 The government's liberation of interest rates, decrease in the rate of
monetary devaluation, and liberation of imports produced an increase in the
financial costs of the industry, and an increase in the inputs and labor which
affected the ability of the industry to compete with contraband on the internal
market, and with other industrializing nations in the external market
(Londoo 1986).


162
Table 7.5
Percent of Budget Contributed by Authority in Household
Response to Question:"Do you feel you have more authority in the
household because you work?"
No Yes
Percent Contributed to
Household Budget
0-35
48%
23%
36-50
8%
3%
51-75
30%
27%
76-100
14%
47%
Total
100% 75
100% 30
Table 7.6 demonstrates that although women do not always equate
making important decisions in the household with household authority,
there is a tendency for women who make important decisions in the
household to see themselves as having more authority.


4
managers of the multinational garment factory studied in this research
expressed the policy practice of hiring only women under 25 years of age with a
junior high education, preferably single with no children. Obviously these
requirements limit the women who will be hired for work in this factory. This
recruitment strategy was not expressed by the domestic factories, only those
with mixed (national and international) capital.
In Colombia both the political and the economic situation have
encouraged the development of small micro-enterprises subcontracted to the
larger factories. In 1984 the government of Betancout introduced a National
Plan of Microenterprises in order to increase production and generate
employment. This plan was revised in 1988 to assist small-scale enterprises
with minimal technological capacity to grow and generate more employment.
Political conditions such as the National Plan of Microenterprises fostered
changes in the structure of production by facilitating the initiation of new
small-scale enterprises. Increasing the number of small-scale enterprises
available for subcontracted outwork provided the larger capitalist enterprises
with skilled home-based producers looking for a market in which to sell their
garments. These changes influenced women's labor force incorporation,
augmenting the prevalence of subcontracting in the garment industry.
The description of home-based workers and factory workers presented in
this research compares and contrast variables such as household structure and
composition, the women's work history (i.e. when do women enter wage labor
production, when do they leave this wage labor production to work in the
home), and personal history (i.e. age at marriage or first union, her age at birth
of first child, etc.). This study hypothesizes that the manner in which women
are incorporated into the labor force (1) weakens organized labor through
fragmentation of the labor process, (2) restructures production to the benefit of


181
P6. Hace cuanto se separaron?
P7. Porque se separaron (especificar quien tomo la decision)
SI ES VIUDA
P9. Hace cuanto enviudo? Recibe pension (Cuanto)?
DATOS GENERALES DE LA OBRERA (Repitelas para el jefe de la
familia si la obrera no es jefa.)
CAPITULO m (A y B)
Pl. Donde naci?
Pa. Vino directamente de alii a Pereira?
Plb. Por que vino a Pereira
1.Trabajo 2. Familia 3 No Se 4. NA 5. Otra Razn
Pie. Cuando llego a esta ciudad estaba Ud:
1. Casada (Pase aid)
2. Union Civil
3. Union Temporal
4. Separada
5. Divorciada
6. Nunca Casada Soltera
7. Otra Especificar
8. No Sabe 9.NA
Pld. Me dijo que era casada, ?su familia le acompao
cuando se mudo a este lugar?
1. Si, esposo y hijos 2. Si, solo esposo
3. Si, solo hijos 5. No 8. No Sabe 9. NA
P2. Trabajaba cuando llego a la ciudad?
1. Si (Pase a 2a ) 5.No (Pase a Capitulo III) 8. NS 9. NA
P2a. Que tipo de trabajo consigui primero?
P2b. Cuantos anos tenia?
P3. Enviaba parte de su ingreso a personas que viven en
otra ciudad?
P3a. Mas o menos que porcentage del sueldo envia?
1. Todo
2. Mas que la mitad
3. Mitad
4. Menos que la mitad
8. No Sabe 9. NA


139
Table 6.4
Worker's Household Economic Position by Workplace
Homeworkers Factory
CONTRIBUTORS 82% 32%
(Daughters, Spouses,
others)
MAJOR ECONOMIC PROVIDERS
(daughters with main 9% 23%
household income, wives with
unemployed spouses with
and without children, women
who live alone)
FEMALE HEADED HOUSEHOLDS 9% 45%
(single mothers, widowed, divorced)
Total 100% (35) 100% (75)
(Chi-Square = 13.588, DF= 6, Prob = .035)
A women's position in the household, (regardless of her economic
responsibilities) is significantly related to her labor force participation (Table
6.5). Although both daughters and single mothers predominate in the
category of factory work, this may be for entirely different reasons. Because of
the preference of the multinational factory (there is only one in the region)
for young, single women, it is not surprising to find a high percentage of
daughters in factory work. The high percentage of single mothers in factory
work may be due to women's need for a greater stable consistent income. It


124
the characteristics of subcontracted industrial outworkers with those of factory
workers. However, we must recognize that the participation of the female
worker in the production process is only one aspect of the broader struggle of
households to ensure their social reproduction. Other household members
may participate in a variety of occupations. In fact, often, one or more
household members may retain one or more jobs to ensure that the
household can meet their economic needs. However the household's ability
to meet their economic needs is only one part of their social reproduction. As
discussed earlier, social reproduction of the household requires the labor of
women in activities such as child care, cooking and cleaning.
This chapter concentrates on the participation of the garment worker
in the industrial process, considering both the life cycle of the woman, and
the domestic cycle of the household as internal forces of the household. This
discussion begins with an analysis of the household and its theoretical and
methodological importance for this study. It is hypothesized that women's
position in the household (which frequently changes during the domestic
cycle) is a significant factor affecting their labor force incorporation.
The hypothesis that women's position in the household affects her
labor force incorporation is then applied to the data gathered in Pereira,
Risaralda with garment workers. The stages of the domestic cycle were
defined according to the age of the household head, ages of children, and
number of individuals who had left the household. These stages were
examined as a potential indicator of women's participation in the labor force.
During certain phases of the domestic cycle, the household expands by
incorporating more workers or consumers. This expansion may add or
relieve women's pressure to enter the labor force. The incorporation of
workers or consumers is studied in more depth later on in the chapter.


121
production process in the factory were discussed as they affect the working
conditions of the employees, focusing on the impact of changes in the
material conditions of production on the social relations within the factory.


184
accidentes, ayuda de familiares, vende hielo o ropa, pension del
padre para el (los) hijo(s)?)
P25.Como distribuye usted su salario (En que gasta Usted su
salario)? Le pide permiso a alguien para gastarlo? A quien?
P26. Ademas de su sueldo que otras prestaciones tiene?
P27. La empresa le admite trabajar durante su embarazo? Hasta
que tiempo?
P27a. Tiene licencia de Maternidad (40 dias hbiles)?
P27b. Le da permiso de lactancia (una hora?)
P28. Se ha embarazado alguna vez?
P29. Porque trabaja ahora?
P29a. Porque empez a trabajar?
P29b. Dejara de trabajar si pudiera?
P30. Ha visto Ud. muchos cambios en las condiciones de la
fabrica desde que comenz a trabajar aqui?
P31. Ademas del dinero, en que la ha beneficiado trabajar?
P32. En su caso, cuanto tiempo piensa trabajar?
SI LE PAGAN AL DESTAJO
P36. Cuanto gano la semana pasada?
P37. Cuantas piezas cosio?
P38. Como se lleva el control de lo que cose?
P39. Siempre hace lo mismo?
P39a. Como se decide que va a hacer Ud. (le hacen pruebas o
otra cosa)?
P40. Le piden un minimo de piezas?
P40a. Que pasa si no las hace?


7
authority patterns in the household. The conclusion, Chapter Eight, details
how industrial restructuring affects the structure and composition of
households, and the strategies assumed by women in the households to assure
the reproduction of these units.
Methodology
The investigative process utilized included both quantitative (such as
the design, implementation and analysis of a survey questionnaire, and the
analysis of census data including data on manufacturing production) and
qualitative research methodologies (such as key informant interviews, both
structured and unstructured, participant observation, and historical archival
research).
I completed the study in several stages. The first stage involved
development and refinement of the research survey which had been devised
after a 3-month study in the textile city of Medellin, Colombia in 1986. During
this stage, census data was consulted in order to determine the most
appropriate city for a study of the garment industry. Experts in the area were
also consulted for their comments on the study and the survey instrument.
In order to address the social construction and reproduction of gender
hierarchies, the questionnaire implemented analyzes the influence of family
cycles on women's patterns of wage labor; what resources household members
exchange; the difference between pre- and postmarital occupational histories;
and current insertion into homework and wage labor.
Stage two of the study involved travel to Pereira, and pre-testing of the
survey instrument there (see Figures 1.2 and 1.3). During this stage,


APPENDIX B
Questionnairre for personnel managers (In Spanish)
Cuestionario para los gerentes encargados de personal
Estoy realizando un estudio para el titulo del doctorado describiendo las
condiciones de produccin industrial actual en la industria de confecciones y
a futura expansion de la industria de confeccin en Colombia.
Pl. Nombre de la Empresa
P2. Ao de fundacin:
P3. Casa Matriz y origen (Ownership another company).
P4. Que tipo de ropa produce la fabrica?
P5. Numero de empleados/obreros
Total
Hombres:
Mujeres:
P5a. Distribucin ocupacional:
Administrativa: No. Hombres:
No. Mujeres:
Operarios: No. Hombres
No. Mujeres
Supervisoras: No. Hombres
No. Mujeres
Secretarias: No. Hombres
No. Mujeres
P6. Tiene contratas con otras fabricas para hacerles
trabajo? Cuales? y que hace?
P6A. Hace cuanto hacia trabajo para otras fabricas?
Por Que?
P7. Manda trabajo para otras fabricas? Que porcentage? A quien se lo manda?
Que parte del processo de produccin manda?
P7A. Porque manda trabajo para otras fabricas?
P7B. Hace cuanto manda trabajo para otras fabricas?
P7C. Manda trabajo a trabajadoros en sus casas? Que
porcentage? Porque?
Ventas: Especifique porcentajes o nmeros absolutos.
P8. Exportan productos de confeccin a otros paises?
188


103
Conclusion
This chapter analyzed the structure of production within the garment
industry as it conditions women's labor force participation. Subcontracting
was considered as it fragments and decentralizes production creating a
hierarchy of better-paid, more secure jobs in the factory, which contrast with
low-paying, home-based production. The linkages created by the process of
subcontracting created and reproduced subordinate hierarchical social
relationships in the garment industry. A discussion of the variety of linkages
(intermediaries who obtain home-based workers for the factory who are
external to factory, factory workers who serve as intermediaries, or no
intermediaries) utilized to link subcontracted producers to different types of
enterprises (subcontracted industrial outworkers, family small-scale
enterprises, and non-familial, small-scale enterprises) emphasized the
autonomy and/or subordination of the producer in relation to the larger
capitalist factories.
The role of intermediaries, their characteristics, and the control which
they exercise over subcontracted producers' access to, and control of, key
resources was discussed. The description of relationships between the
subcontracted factory and the large capitalist enterprise (demonstrated in the
characteristics of intermediaries, prices paid for products, and access to and
control of raw materials and markets), as well as the myriad of relationships
described within the small subcontracted enterprises demonstrate the
significance of subcontracting as a mechanism for reproduction of subordinate
relationships within the garment industry. This chapter has demonstrated


Table 3.1
Number of Coffee Farms, Area and Production of Coffee by Hectares of Fincas, 1970
Groups by
Size
(in hectares)
Number of
fincas
Percentage
of group
Area Percentage Productive
Non
Productive
Productivity
Kilos/Hectare
Less than one
2.245
15.97
1,226.3
0.95
1,166.4
6.2
1.172.6
631.521
1.74
541.4
1- 1.99
2.438
17.35
3,477.2
2.71
3,020.3
16.4
3,036.7
1,498,518
4.13
496.1
2- 3.99
2.878
20.50
8,212.7
6.40
6,338.7
38.6
6,377.7
3,266,958
9.01
515.3
4- 5.99
1.595
11.35
7,775.9
6.06
5,443.7
19.0
5,351.7
2,919,697
8.05
547.5
6- 7.99
1.061
7.55
5,283.9
5.70
4,577.1
28.2
4,605.3
2,613,208
7.20
570.9
8- 9.99
707
5.03
6,268.6
4.90
3,807.9
23.2
3,831.1
2,164,766
5.97
508.4
10- 11.99
546
3.90
5,932.6
4.62
3,455.3
22.4
3,477.7
1,931,405
5.32
558.9
12- 13.99
387
2.75
4,991.5
3.90
2,774.5
25.9
2,800.4
1,574,412
4.34
567.4
14- 15.99
314
2.25
4,674.4
3.64
2,623.7
11.9
2,635.6
1,533,470
4.23
584.4
16- 17.99
242
1.72
4,082.1
3.18
2,113.6
22.1
2,135.7
1,204,401
3.32
569.8
18- 19.99
188
1.33
3.557.1
2.77
1,826.8
4.5
1,831.3
1,127,784
3.11
617.3
20- 49.99
1,104
7.85
33,454.5
26.10
14,333.3
137.6
14,470.9
9,223,560
25.5
643.5
50- 99.99
239
1.70
16,034.5
12.50
5,252.3
24.9
5,276.8
3,455,198
9.53
657.8
100-199.99
78
0.55
10,310.5
8.04
2,741.7
10.2
2,751.9
1,897,165
5.23
691.9
200-499.99
24
0.17
7,295.2
5.70
1,203.0
14.2
1,217.2
1,010,013
2.78
839.5
500 and over
5
0.03
3,632.6
2.83
552.8
0.0
552.8
199,209
.54
360.3
TOTALS
14,051
100.00
128,209.6
100.00
61,120.1
404.9
61,525.0
36,251,285
100.00
593.1
Source: Lopez, William Gutierrez, 1982.


132
The term "structure of the household" refers to the gender and age of
the household head, as well as to the relationship of this individual (or
individuals there may be more than one household head) to other members
of the household (i.e., spouse, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, etc.). The
household head is defined according to the response of the worker
interviewed to the question "Who is the head of the household".
"Composition of the household" refers to the number of individuals
(children, parents, grandparents, etc.) who are members of the household.
Economic contribution refers to the degree to which individuals contribute to
household maintenance through wage-labor, or some other type of informal
income generating activity. The structure and composition of the households
and the economic contribution of individuals within the household to the
household budget, are not fixed but rather change during the household's
cycles from its expansion to consolidation. However as will be discussed later,
(especially in the case of female-headed households) many households are
unable to reach the level of economic stability necessary to allow the women
to leave the wage labor force to return to their home to focus on domestic
activities.
In Colombia, fragmentation of the labor process has led to differential
employment of women at different stages of their life cycle. In the phase of
household expansion, there are usually two major income generators: the
head of the household (male or female) and the spouse. The women need to
earn an income (for food, clothing, rent, education, etc.) but also must care for
the children, cook, clean etc. (care for the reproductive needs of the
household). The situation may change when the household enters the
consolidation phase. Gonzalez de la Rocha (1989) hypothesizes that during
this phase, the women workers who are also household heads generally


130
biological phase of expansion is developed. The economic situation of the
new couple may fuse with the economic situation of the older couple.
The labor market demand interacts with the household supply of
workers to affect women's labor force incorporation. As previously
mentioned the supply of workers is affected by household factors such as
women's position in the household, and ages and number of children as well
as women's life cycle factors of age and marital status. Labor force
incorporation may, in turn, affect the domestic cycle of the households. As
more jobs become available for younger, single, women, it is logical to expect
daughters to assume a more prominent role in income generation of the
households. This age-specific (and marital status-specific) concentration of
women in an industry where new workers can easily be trained means that,
under conditions of high unemployment, women are absorbed and then
rejected at different stages of their life cycle, and during different phases of the
domestic cycle of the household. However, it must be noted that this age-
specific concentration of women was found only in the multinational
factories. The factory with solely national capital was less selective in their
recruitment of workers (see Tables 6.1 and 6.2); a higher percentage of workers
in the factory were separated or divorced compared to the multinational
factory.


176
utilizes the methodology of Beneria and Roldan (1987) to analyze the
impact of the restructuring of production on women's labor force
incorporation both in the factory and the home. Unlike Beneria and
Roldan, who focus solely on subcontracted industrial production, this
research compares factors at both the household and factory level as they
affect women's labor force incorporation. The research concludes that
subcontracted industrial outwork incorporates women into the labor force
in a subordinate position, reducing production costs for the larger
capitalist enterprise. Further, the increasing fragmentation of the
production process and the increasing use of maquila in the garment
industry decreases the cost of contracting factory workers for the large
multinational factories. Generally workers are only contracted for a short
period of time, or for a specific order (such as an order of shirts, skirts, etc.).
This increasingly subordinate incorporation of women occurs at a time
when there is a growing reliance on women's contribution to the
household budget for sustenance of the household which becomes
particularly important in the case of the female headed households.
Prospects for the Colombian Case
In May of 1990, Colombians elected a new president Cesar Gaviria
Trujillo. The choice of candidates in this election had been severely
narrowed by assasinations of three candidates, two of them representing
the left. This violence, contrary to popular belief, is not solely a result of
vengeful drug lords, or opportunistic politicians vying for a piece of the
political pie. Rather this violence is symptomatic of a much deeper socio-


109
My research assistant recounted the following story from one of her
interviews:
One of the woman I interviewed became pregnant while she was
working in the factory. She was the one who handed out the
cloth, but it wasn't easy for her to be on her feet all day because of
her health. So they changed her to the inspection section, but
now, as punishment for becoming pregnant, they said that they
were going to make her iron. She told her supervisor that she
couldn't because she had bad legs, and she had asthma (she
couldn't even iron in her home), but her supervisor told her
that if she couldn't iron, then she couldn't work in the factory,
and she would have to leave.
According to Colombian law, women are allowed 12 weeks leave for
pregnancy. However, usually women who become pregnant in garment
factories are fired directly or indirectly.
When I was in the factory, I knew women who had to sell their
body at times to maintain their position. I know specifically of
one case, a mechanic who got a young woman in the design
section pregnant. He was married, and the factory arranged for
him to be sent to the United States so that he wouldn't have to
be responsible for the baby, because he was a good mechanic. .
The girl was later moved to the ironing section of the factory.
Subsequently she resigned. I don't think that was done properly.
So that his wife didn't find out, they sent him to the United
States. (Personal Interview with Lucia, quality control
supervisor).
In 1988 this factory won the governor's medal for the most earnings accrued
in non-traditional (non coffee) exports in the fiscal year. However, a local
women's group produced a pamphlet to observe November 281. which
xOn November 28, feminists commemorate a violent rape and murder of
three sisters which occurred in the Dominican Republic in 1986, and
denounce violence against women (see appendice 4 for a copy of the
brochure).


100
who work in their home (this may appear to be redundant, but as will be seen
in the analysis the physical location of the work is important), and have few
resources and little access to additional labor outside female family members
(in other words, the women work alone or with one machine and the
assistance of few family members). "Subcontracted industrial outworkers" in
this sample did not hire additional (non-family) members. "Small-scale
family-based enterprises" utilize the labor of more than one family member,
have more than one machine, and may work in the home or in another
location, although they seldom hire non-familial workers. "Small-scale
enterprises" refer to those who work outside the home, have several
machines (at least three) and may contract (non-family) workers. Although
there is much variety within the category of small-scale enterprise, for
purposes of this research units employing from 1 to 10 non-familial workers
are considered small-scale enterprises because the social relations of
production which characterize them are similar (see figure 4.2).
The social relationships within the subcontracted enterprise also have
significant implications for labor force utilization and profit generation. It is
easier for the home-based producer to "exploit" the labor of other family
members, in the sense that family members work for free. Small-scale
enterprises must remunerate the employees' labor, regardless of the low salary
which they pay them. Subcontracted small-scale enterprises who are registered
with the chamber of commerce must pay their workers minimum wage, and
register them with the social security. For this reason, factories often prefer
subcontracting individual outworkers instead of small-scale enterprises when
the price of the finished product is a major consideration. If the quality of the
garment is more important, then small-scale enterprises may be preferred,
even though it may require additional costs.


128
Expansion Phase
Household head under 40
Children under 12
Consolidation Phase
Household head 40-59
Children over 12
Dispersion Phase
Household head over 60
One or more children have left household
to establish their own residences
Figure 6.1
Phases of the Domestic Cycle
Economic implications of the domestic cycle are complex. A
household in the phase of expansion is an unbalanced unit in economic
terms because there are more consumers than workers. The household in
expansion is under greater economic pressure than a household in the phase
of consolidation. A household in the phase of consolidation experiences
greater equilibrium between income generators and consumers. The
household in the dispersion phase is subject to economic inequalities because
economically active individuals leave the older parents, now economically
inactive or earning a much lower salary. However, the abscence of young
children, also decreases their expenses. Depending on the economic needs of
the household of origin, these departing individuals may continue to send
remittances. Therefore the ratio of workers to consumers in a household
does not always reflect its economic condition; some workers who support
the household may not live in the same physical unit. This study
demonstrated this condition in only three cases.


CHAPTER TWO
WOMEN'S WORK IN HOME AND FACTORY: THEORETICAL
PERSPECTIVE
Introduction
Conoc a mi esposo en Top 10, Yo
trabaje como fileteadora, y el
cortaba la tela. .
Lucia, operara de confeccin
I met my husband in the
garment factory Top 10,1 was
working as a fileteadora
(finishing edges), and he
worked cutting the cloth.
Lucia, factory worker
This chapter begins with an analysis of the impact of industrialization
on the sexual division of labor (both in the household and in the workplace).
Essential to this analysis is a discussion of women's labor, considering
productive and reproductive responsibilities which occur in both the
workplace and the home. Because women's labor force participation is
conditioned by their household responsibilities, women cannot be considered
only as workers, but must also be considered as daughters, wives, sisters,
aunts or mothers. Domestic responsibilities often limit women's possibilities
for employment in the 'formal sector', concentrating them in the unregulated
or 'informal' sector of the economy (Redclift and Mingione 1985). Women's
labor force participation is considered as part of a strategy of industrial
16


91
The relationship between the intermediary and the subcontracted
industrial outworker is also constrained by the relationship of the
intermediary to the larger factory owner. The control which the intermediary
exercises over the process of production further determines, in large part, the
degree of control available for the subcontracted industrial outworkers to
exercise over this process, and the degree to which the subcontracted industrial
outworker is subordinated or autonomous. For example, the subcontracted
industrial outworker who received whole cloth had more autonomy than
those who received the cloth pre-cut. The knowledge and ability to cut and
design a garment gave the subcontracted industrial outworkers more control
over the process of production. Those subcontracted industrial outworkers
who exercise more control over the production process are more autonomous,
and receive a higher pay rate for their products. The subcontracted industrial
outworkers who received pre-cut material and performed only one operation
(such as sewing on a pocket) maintained much less control over the
production process. This analysis of control over the process of production is
crucial to understanding the mechanisms which create and reproduce the
subordinate position of women in the structure of production.
In the process of interviewing the homeworkers, many problems which
the women experienced with the intermediaries were articulated. Luz Maria,
for example, had converted one of her rooms into a small sweatshop. When I
entered for the interview, six machines whirred as young women worked
furiously on the mountains of cut cloth which lay beside their machines.
Luz's sister inspected the work and ironed the finished articles. As I spoke
with Luz, the intermediary from factory G stopped by to pick up an order. Luz
demanded payment for all the articles produced. She did good work, and the
intermediary paid her for it. (Although I think that my presence there helped


178
assume positions of economic importance in the household, yet continue to
be incorporated in subordinate positions in the economy is hardly a desirable
advance for industrial "development".


23
factors for female family headship should be sought in both
internal and international migration; mechanization of
agriculture; the development of agribusiness; urbanization;
overpopulation; lower class marginality, and the emergence of a
class system of wage labor all of which are integral
parts/consequences of rapid economic transformation. (Buvinic
and Youseff 1978 p.iii, italics mine.)
Female household heads may be women who are widowed, separated,
abandoned, divorced, or single mothers. In Colombia many women were
separated from a legal marriage, but few were divorced2. Low wages and high
male unemployment contribute to preferences for non-legalized unions as
opposed to marriage and to precipitating the break-up of such unions
(Buvinic and Youseff 1978). Often female heads of households are part of
consensual unions which have dissolved. This research frequently found
that women considered themselves "single" after ending a consensual union
which had resulted in children. However, to understand the impact that the
demand for workers has on women's labor force incorporation, we must now
consider how industry pressures households to develop new survival
strategies and to devise new patterns of labor allocation.
Women's Labor Force Incorporation
Industrialization has changed the structure of Latin American societies.
As women become increasingly incorporated into the labor force, the
structure and composition of households is transformed. In Colombia,
women provide labor for the development of both national and international
industries. Keremitsis (1984) documents how women's labor fueled the
development of the textile industry in Mexico and Colombia. As machinery
2Because of Colombia's close tie to the Catholic Church cColombia is the only
country in Latin America which still has a signed convenio with the Vatican
in Rome>, divorce is difficult.


2
processes of industrialization, as well as micro-economic factors such as the
structure and domestic cycle of the household. Household responsibilities
considerably constrain women's labor force incorporation. This analysis of the
interaction between the household and the labor market considers 1) the
impact of household structure and composition on (a) the availability of female
labor (Chapter 6), and (b) new patterns of household authority resulting from
women's sources of income (Chapter 7), 2) the impact of factory recruitment
strategies on women's labor force incorporation, and 3) the impact of changes
in the structure of production, due to both regional and national political and
economic pressures on women's labor force incorporation and the composition
and structure of the workers' households.
The term internal forces of the household refers to material and
ideological pressures generated within the household due to changes in the
structure and composition of this unit during the domestic cycle. In other
words, as time passes, the socio-demographic changes occuring within the
household produced by the birth, migration, and death of its members, lead to
changes in their material and ideological conditions (Orlandina de Oliveira,
Lehalleru and Salles 1989). For example, growing numbers of dependent
family members lead to increasing economic pressure on the household's
income generating capacity. Migration can increase or decrease the economic
pressure on the household depending on whether the one who migrates is an
income generator or not. If the individual who migrates contributed
substantially to the household income, their migration (if they do not send
remittances) increases economic pressure on the household for other
individuals to increase their income generation to fulfill the household's
needs. Changing material conditions lead to restructuring social relationships
in the household, which may, in turn, lead to changed ideologies. However,


62
industry leading to low productivity have been determinants in the loss
of competitiveness of the industry in the international market
(Morawitz 1989).
Export Promotion and Industrial Development
Emphasis on export promotion continued with the conservative
government of Misael Pastrana Borrero (1970-1974). During this period
spatial concentration of industrial development continued in eight
major centers including: Bogota, Cali and Medellin, and on a lesser
scale, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Pereira and Manizales.
When considering the industrial growth of the regions by sectors,
Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Pereira and Manizales demonstrated
growth rates of the production of intermediate goods superior to those of
the rest of the country. In regard to capital goods, Medellin, Barranquilla,
Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Pereira and Manizales present superior growth
levels. The greater dynamism of the sectors of intermediate and capital
goods in the eight industrial centers confirms the progressive
transformation of the productive industrial structure of the country, as
well as the unexpected and rapid growth of Cartagena, Manizales,
Pereira, and Bucaramanga during the 1970's (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
The importance of Medellin, Bucaramanga, Manizales and Pereira
in the production of consumer goods can be seen in specific activities:
textiles for Medellin, tobacco in Bucaramanga, garments in Pereira, and
foodstuffs in Manizales, areas in which these cities have been
specializing since the late 1960s. Specifically in the case of Manizales


Finally, I am grateful to my family (including Betty Richardson, who is
like family), whose encouragement throughout my graduate studies has
supported me in this lengthy process. My mother, especially, through her
example, has taught me the value of perserverance in difficult tasks; without
her support, economic and otherwise, this dissertation would not have been
completed.
V


55
million in 1969, and $4,935 million in 1972. In 1959, Decree 1345
provided increased tariff protection for industrial capital goods and
intermediate manufactured goods produced in Colombia. The
protections applied to the manufacture of paper, iron, glass, electrical
equipment, fertilizers, synthetic fibers and other high technology
products. These protectionist policies encouraged the national
production of textiles from cotton as well as synthetic fibers.
Another policy effecting technological change in Colombian
manufacturing was Law 81 of 1960 which gave industrial tax exemptions
and write-offs of up to 10 years for investments in a wide variety of
heavy and high technology industries, as well as providing tax
incentives for exports of these products. This policy was intended to
expand import substitution beyond consumer durables to include
"intermediate" industrial products which served as inputs to the
manufacture of consumer goods. Thus these policies were designed to
protect national industry, reduce imports, and promote exports in an
attempt to improve Colombia's balance of payments and decrease the
need to borrow foreign capital. These programs encouraged production
in larger factories, although the degree to which these factories relied on
smaller enterprises and outwork is not known.
Few programs were established to provide credit to smaller, more
labor intensive industries. Some funds from the IFI, especially those
from the In ter-American Development Bank brought in after 1969, were
specified for small and intermediate-sized manufacturing plants.
Another initiative was the establishment in 1967 of the Corporacin
Financiera Popular (CFP) which provides credit to small industrial
enterprises that employ less than 100 individuals and have a minimal


102
remuneration, and (5) access to a market to sell their own product (in addition
to working subcontracted to the larger factories).
By far, the majority (over 70%) of home based workers only own one
machine. However, several workers (those who were able to demand a higher
price for their finished product) demonstrated a surprisingly advanced level of
technification owning over 4 machines of various types. These individuals
had left factory work when they had children, or the factory closed down
because of decreased demand for the product. Because of their experience in
the factory, these workers were more familiar with the entire production
process, and more able to more effectively organize their own
microenterprises than workers who had never worked in a factory.
With the development of subcontracted industrial outwork the
possibility of control of the complete production process by one individual
decreases. In Pereira, for example, changes in the relationship between the
subcontracted industrial outworkers and the intermediary which occurred
with the industrial development of garments in the region have led to
increasing subordination of these home-based producers and small-scale
enterprises. Prior to regional industrialization, the relationship of the
subcontracted industrial outworkers with the factory was more direct (as
described briefly in Chapter Three). The subcontracted industrial outworkers
commonly completed the entire garment. However, now the home-based
producer more commonly controls only a part of the entire process.


205
Marx, K.
1967 Capital 1. Vol 1. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Medrano, D.
1982 Desarrollo y explotacin de la mujer: efectos de la
proletarizacin femenina en la agroindustria de flores en la
Sabana de Bogot, pp. 43-56. In M. Len, eds. La Realidad
Colombiana. Bogot: ACEP.
Medrano, D. and R. Villar
1988 Mujer Campesina y Organizacin Rural en Colombia.
Bogot: UniAndes
Merrick, T. and Schmink, M.
1983 Households headed by women and urban poverty in
Brazil, Pp. 244-71. In M. Buvinic et al. (eds), Women and
Poverty in the Third World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press.
Mies, M.
1982 The Lace Makers of Naraspur: Indian Housewives Produce for
the World Market. London: Zed Press.
Mies, M., V. Benholdt-Thomsen and C. Von Werlhof
1988 Women: The Last Colony. London: Zed Books.
Milkman, R.
1976 Women's Work and Economic Crisis: Some Lessons of the
Great Depression. The Review of Radical Political
Economies 8:73-97.
1983 Female Factory Labor and Industrial Structure: Control
and Conflict over Women's Place in Auto Manufacturing.
Politics and Society 12:2: 23-50.
Montagro, S.
1979 La Industria Textile en Colombia: 1900-1945 Desarrollo
y Sociedad 8:115-176.
Moore, H.
1988 Feminism and Anthropology. Minneapolis:
University of Minneapolis Press.
Mora, A. M.
1989 Etica, Trabajo, y Productividad en Antioquia. Bogot:
Tercer Mundo Eds.


51
reduced to 5.4 percent between 1939 and 1945, only to recuperate to 10.2
percent in the 1950's. While industries such as threads, textiles and
cigarettes were concentrated in Antioquia, cement and beer were
centralized in the province of Cundinamarca, and the processing of
sugar was centralized in Cali.
With the initiation of industrialization, workers organizations
also began to flourish. In 1931 worker's organizations were legitimized
by the government. In 1936 the creation of the CTC (Confederacin de
Trabajadores Colombianos) promoted advances in the area of social
security legislation such as law 53 of 1938 which allowed for sick leave
and maternity leave for workers. The Union of Colombian Workers
(UTC) was founded in 1946 with assistance from the Catholic church.
In the years 1945-1950, significant changes in the structure of
production occurred. The processing of foodstuffs (Galletas la Rosa,
Cicolac, Fruco) and production of artificial fibers (Pantex, Tejicondor)
began the diversification of consumer goods. Further, the expansion of
intermediate goods, mainly in the industries of leather, chemicals, paper,
and metal products increased dramatically. Growing consumer demands
made investments in this sector more profitable (Jimenez and Sideri
1985).
The acceleration of import substitution industrialization (ISI) after
the Second World War supported by state intervention fostered the
development of large national textile factories that met most of the
demands of the internal market. Policies established during this period
encouraged national production of manufactured goods and reduced the
need for imports (i.e., ISI). Between 1950 and 1958, an increase in the
production of intermediate goods was accompanied by a decrease in the


25
usually omitted in statistics of production and income (1970:163). In addition,
Boserup's comparative analysis projected the different sexual division of
labor encountered in farming systems onto patterns of women's participation
in non-agricultural activities. Boserup's work has been criticized, however,
for neglecting the concept of reproduction (Beneria and Sen 1981). Although
Boserup discusses technological changes introduced with commercial
agriculture, her modernization perspective leads to the conclusion that this
change is generally beneficial to society, if not to women. The assumption
that modernization is generally a neutral process, ignores the fact that it
generates and intensifies inequalities, making use of existing gender and class
hierarchies to subordinate women and men (both within the household and
within the workplace). Boserup's analysis focuses solely on women's
productive role, neglecting the effect of reproduction on the sexual division
of labor.
In order to understand the theoretical importance of women's labor
force incorporation, the historical moments when this labor force
participation increase, and/or changes its form, must be considered.
Women's incorporation into the industrial labor force generally occurred
during early periods of industrialization (as in Europe, with England being
the classical case); during times of economic and/or political crisis (as in the
United States during the Second World War); in situations where extreme
competition forces industry to minimize operation costs, and/or
restructuring of the labor process (such as the increase in clerical workers in
the United States in the 1970s, and more recently the restructuring of
manufacturing), and when production remains labor intensive (as in the case
of the garment industry). The next section considers women's labor force


the condition of women workers in the city. Flor Maria Gonzalez and her
sister Gloria completed many of the factory worker interviews.
In Bogot, Elssy Bonilla provided invaluable institutional support at
the Universidad de los Andes. She and Magdalena Leon read the initial draft
of the survey and assisted me in better understanding the Colombian reality.
The women of the Grupo de la Mujer y Sociedad at the National University
provided a forum for discussion of feminism in Colombia which greatly
enriched my experience there. The Fulbright Foundation provided economic
and logistical support throughout the entire process. I wish to thank the
entire staff, particularly Dr. Augustin Lombano and Consuelo Valdivieso, of
the Fulbright Commission office in Bogot for their financial and personal
support.
Adelia Romero opened her home to me in Bogot, and her families
generosity facilitated my entry into Colombian society. In Colombia I was
fortunate to have the support of friends and North American researchers:
Ann Hornsby, Nancy Nelson, Rich Stoller, and Gary Long. Throughout 6
years of friendship, fellow anthropologist Julian Arturo has provided
stimulating debates on Colombian events and deepened my understanding of
the region tremendously.
My colleagues in the anthropology department and the Center for Latin
American Studies at the University of Florida have provided support and an
arena for intellectual debate helping me to relate the ivory tower concepts of
anthropological theory to the experience of fieldwork and data interpretation.
In particular, Gay Biery-Hamilton, Avecita Chicchn, Florencia Pea, and
Vance Geiger read and commented on initial drafts of the dissertation. Gay's
wonderful sense of humor helped maintain my sanity throughout the
graduate school experience. Lois Stanford provided invaluable support


155
Response to Question: "Do you feel that you have more authority in
the household because you work?"
Household Authority by Workplace
Factory Home
Workplace
Figure 7.1
Women's Perception of Their Authority
in the Household by Their Workplace
Home ownership
Home ownership is hypothesized to be a significant variable which
provides women and men with a basis for asserting their authority. As one
informant stated "The house belongs to my parents, for this reason I am still
under their authority. "(Interview # 53). In this analysis, a consideration of
home ownership by workplace and authority patterns reflects the difference
in the household composition between workplaces. As discussed in Chapter
6, factory workers are more often younger, daughters, while home-based


150
experiences to participate in the labor force also change. For example,
although daughters may experience less economic pressure than women who
are heads of households to participate in the labor force, they also experience
less ideological constraints keeping them in the household. Women's
contribution to the household budget was generally higher when she was
household head indicating that female heads of households experience more
pressure to participate in the labor force.
The structure of the household, male or female headed, and nuclear or
extended affects women's labor force incorporation. Female-headed
households and male-headed households pursue different strategies
(regarding the incorporation of workers or consumers) when they become
extended. Female-headed households in this sample tended to extend
themselves more frequently by incorporating other workers (in part because
the lower salary of women compared to men necessitates more income
earners in the household when the major economic providers are women)
whereas extending male-headed households more frequently incorporate
consumers. Income per capita was found to be greatest during the
consolidation (as opposed to expansion) phase although this was not
statistically significant.
This chapter differentiates between the life cycle of the woman, and the
life cycle of the household. Both play an important role in shaping women's
entrance and exit from the labor force. Although these factors are related to
changing economic pressures of the household unit, these economic
pressures alone do not necessarily lead to the incorporation of women into
the labor force, but may lead to the extension of the family to include other
workers, though this is most often the case with female-headed households.
The headship of the household is not directly correlated with the domestic


204
Leon de Leal, M.
1985La medicin del trabajo femenino en America Latina:
problemas tericos y metodolgicos, pp. 205-222. In
Bonilla, E. ed., Mujer y Familia en Colombia. Bogot:
Plaza and Janes editoriales.
Lim, L.
1983 Capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy: the dilemma of
third-world women workers in multinational factories.
Pp. 70-93. In Women, Men, and the International Division of
Labor, June Nash and Maria Patricia Fernandez-Kelly eds.
New York: State University of New York Press.
Londoo, R.
1986 El sindicalismo industrial y la crisis textil, ppl 227-262 In
H. Gomez, R. Londoo, and Guillermo Perry, eds.
Sindicalismo y Politica Econmica. Bogot: Fedesarrollo.
Lopez, H., O. Sierra and M. Luz Henao
1987 Sector informal: entronque econmico y desconexin
juridico-politica con la sociedad moderna. In Ocampo and
Ramirez, eds. El Problema Laboral en Colombia. Bogot: SENA.
Lopez Gutierrez, W.
1982 Desarollo Regional de Risaralda. 1970-1982. Tesis de
grado. Bogot: Fundacin Universidad Autnoma de
Colombia.
Lopez Toro, A.
1975 Temas Sobre Poblacin y Desarrollo Econmico en America
Latina. Bogot: Fedesarrollo.
Mackintosh, M.
1979 Domestic labour and the household. In S. Burman (ed.),
Fit Work for Women, 173-91. London: Croom Helm.
Maldonado and Lozano
1987 Evolucin de las tasas de participacin en Colombia, Pp.
136-153 v.l in Ocampo, Jos Antonio and M. Ramirez, eds.
El Problema Laboral en Colombia: Informes de la Misin
Chenery. Bogot: SENA
Margulis, M.
1980 Reproduccin social de la vida y reproduccin del capital.
Nueva Antropologia 4: 13-64.


22
However, the household cannot be conceived of as existing in
isolation, but rather is embedded in a specific socio-economic class in a
community within a certain geographical region. All these factors affect
women's access to and control of resources. Extra-household kin
relationships are also important in regulating women's access to and control
of resources. In the case of garment workers in Risaralda, kinship networks
are important in obtaining work and machinery for women to perform work
in the home (to be discussed in relation to the garment workers in more
detail in chapter five).
Female-headed Households
The concept of the female-headed household is growing in importance.
According to the household headship reported by the women workers,
approximately 30% (35/110), were female headed. However, when women's
position within the household was analyzed, over 50 percent of the workers
interviewed classified as female household heads, considering the major
economic provider as household head (the difference between reported
household headship and headship considering economic contribution to the
budget will be further analyzed in chapter 6). In the case of Risaralda,
Colombia, it appears that rapid industrialization based largely on women's
labor force participation has led to a high degree of female-headed households
in the urban areas.
International data reviewed on the socioeconomics of women
heads of household suggest a direct linkage between processes of
modernization -- particularly those stemming from economic
development and its policies -- and the rise of households
headed by women. . Most studies suggest that explanatory


household composition led to different social relationships which were
correlated with different authority patterns within the household.
At the workplace level this research demonstrated how informal
methods of contracting labor are increasing due largely to growing
international competition which requires cheaper labor to produce less costly
goods. Recent restructuring of production in the garment industry in
Colombia is a significant mechanism, incorporating home-based workers and
small and medium sized factories into the process of production in the
garment industry. This increasing informality of contracts affects not only
subcontracted industrial outwork but also labor relationships within the
factory (especially the factory with solely domestic capital) making them less
stable. This increasing informalization of the labor market and utilization of
subcontracting leads to increasing subordination of women's position in the
labor market.
The research concludes that the restructuring of production at both the
national and international level, while increasing employment options for
women, reinforces their subordinate position in the labor force. The fact that
women are now major economic providers for the household demonstrates
the increasing vulnerability of these units. Since women traditionally have
been relegated to the most precarious economic positions, it is no surprise
that they continue to represent a vulnerable and exploited labor force. As
women's economic contributions to the household rises at the same time as
factory wages are falling, the possibilities for social reproduction of the
working class become more difficult. The households are "hanging by a
thread," a slender thread frequently provided by the salary of the women
workers.
X


98
utilize only national capital had access to a smaller market, and less control of
the market than factories with multinational capital. Control of the market is
attributed to a variety of factors, some of which are related to the patterns of
regional industrialization (as discussed in chapter three).
Another significant factor affecting the factories' access to the market is
their size. The vulnerability of the small-scale, home-based producers, and
their subordinate position in the production process, is related to fluctuations
characteristic of the garment industry. These fluctuations strongly impede the
ability of the subcontracted enterprises to consistently maintain their
autonomous position in the market because they are unable to maintain
profits in the off season. According to Schmukler (1977) variations in the
process of production (which affect most strongly the medium and small-sized
garment factories) include: cyclical fluctuations of the market related to state
policy and macro-economic development (such as the changing structure of
demand due to impact of low-income sectors on garment markets), periodic
changes in style, and special needs of holiday seasons .
Access and Control of Raw Materials
Access to, and control of, raw materials is also a significant factor
affecting the subordinate position of homebased producers. The subcontracted
industrial outworkers access to, and control of, raw materials is often
mediated by intermediaries. In the case of the export factory with mixed
capital, the raw material for these garments is imported (already cut) from
Miami. The only factory which has access to this material is the large export
factory, which can then subcontract to smaller factories which receive all the
raw materials (including thread) from the large export factory. The control


46
Figure 3.2 Colombia South America by departments


200
Echeverra de Ferrufino, L.
1987 La Familia de Hecho en Colombia. Bogot:
Ediciones Tercer Mundo.
Edwards, M.M., and R. Lloyd-Jones
1973 N.J. Smelser and the cotton factory family: A reassessment.
Pp. 304-318 in N.B. Harte, and K.G. Ponting,Textile History and
Economic History Essays in Honour of Miss Julia de Lacy Mann.
Manchester, England: Manchester University Press.
Elson, D., and R. Pearson
1981 The subordination of women and the internationalization
of factory production. Pp. 144-66. In Kate Young, Carol
Wolkowitz,and Roslyn McCullagh, eds, Of Marriage and the
Market: Womens Subordination in International Perspective.
London: CSE Books.
Emmanuel, A.
1972 Unequal Exchange. London: New Left Books.
Engels, F.
1972 (1884) The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the
State. New York: Pathfinder Press.
Epstein, T. Scarlett
1982 A Social Anthropological Approach to Women's Roles and
Status in Developing Countries: The Domestic Cycle. In
Anker, R., M. Buvinic, and N.H. Yousseff (eds). Women's
Roles and Population Trends in the Third World. London:
Croom Helm.
Fernandez-Kelly, M.P.
1983 Mexican Border Industrialization, Female Labor-Force
Participation, and Migration, Pp.205-23. In Nash, J. and
Fernandez-Kelly, M.P. eds. Women, Men, and Industrialization.
Albany: SUNY Press.
1985 For We are Sold, I and My People. New York: CUNY Press.
Fortes, M., ed.
1963 Social Structure: Studies Presented to A. Radcliff-Brown.
New York: Russell and Russell.


127
some children are ready to work and contribute to the maintenance of the
household.
3) The dispersion phase begins when members of the household begin to
separate themselves from the group of origin to form and organize new
units. Even though households in this phase generally demonstrate a lower
worker to consumer ratio, economic equilibrium may still be maintained
through fewer dependents in the form of young children.
Recent studies emphasize economic and socio-demographic changes
occurring during the domestic cycle of households (Orlandina de Oliviera, et.
al. 1989, Safa 1990). Following this framework, this study operationalizes the
domestic cycle by socio-demographic and economic variables. For the first
phase, the expansion phase, variables chosen to indicate formation of the
household include: age of children (pre-school, and school age from 6 to 12),
and age of household head (under 40) The second phase, the consolidation
phase, was defined by childrens' leaving school and beginning to work (after
age 12), and the age of the household head (both men and women 40 and
over, for women this is the end of their fertile years). The third phase,
dispersion, considers (1) children's leaving the home and setting up their
own households, measured by asking how many children had left the home
for marriage or migration to look for work, and (2) a household head over 60
years old.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Introduction 1
Methodology 7
Survey Methodology 9
Qualitative Data 14
CHAPTER TWO
WOMEN'S WORK IN HOME AND FACTORY: THEORETICAL
PERSPECTIVE
Introduction 16
The Household as Mediator of Women's Labor Force Incorporation 18
Family or Household 20
Female-headed Households 22
Women's Labor Force Incorporation 23
Women's Labor Force Incorporation and the Development of
Industrial Capitalism 26
Changes in the Social Relations of Production 29
Monopoly Capital and Women's Labor Force Incorporation 31
The New International Division of Labor 33
The Informal Sector 37
Subcontracted Industrial Outwork 39
Industrial Outwork and Capitalist Development 39
Conclusion 41
CHAPTER THREE
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN COLOMBIA
Introduction 43
Development of the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia 49
Women's Contribution to Industrial Development 52
From Import Substitution to the Promotion of Exports 54
Temporary Employment 58
Textile Production 60
vi


182
ANEXO A CAPITULO IIIC
HISTORIA DE TRABAJO
Pl. Trabaja su papa? (si no, en que trabajaba?)
Pa. Hasta que ano estudio su papa?
P2. Trabaja su mama? (si no, en que trabajaba?)
P2a. Hasta que ano estudio su madre?
P3. Cuanto hace que trabaja en la costura?
P3a. Trabajo antes como modista?
P3b. Como aprendi a coser?
P3c. Cuantos anos tenia?
P4. En cuantos lugares ha cosido por sueldo, cuando y porque ha
dejado de trabajar?
P5. Que hacia antes de entrar a trabajar como costurera?
P5a. Cuantos anos tuvo cuando tenia el primer trabajo
pagado? y cual fue?
P6 Con que frecuencia recibe el salario del primer empleo?
P7 Cuanto es su ingreso mensual?
1. Entre 1.000 24.999 mil
2. Entre 25.000 37.499 mil
3. Entre 37.500 49.999 mil
4. Entre 50.000 62.499 mil
5. Entre 62.500 74.999 mil
6. Mas que 75.000 8. No sabe
P8 Cual es el ingreso familiar total mensual?
1. Entre 1.000 24.999 mil
2. Entre 25.000 37.499 mil
3. Entre 37.500 49.999 mil
4. Entre 50.000 62.499 mil
5. Entre 72.500 74.999 mil
6. 75.000 y mas 8. No Sabe
P9 Firmo Ud. un contrato?
PIO Sabe Ud. las condiciones de su contrato?
PlOa. Cuales son?
DATOS DE LAS OBRERAS FABRILES
ANNEXO A CAPITULO IIIC1
Pl. En que fabrica trabaja actualmente?
P2. Porque busco este trabajo?
P2a. Como supo de el?
P2b. Cuanto tiempo lleva trabajando aqui?


33
the new international division of labor. The new international division of
labor represents yet another phase of monopoly capitals increasing control
over the production process. No longer bound by national sovereignty, these
entities continue to maximize profit generation by reorganizing the
production process on a global level.
The New International Division of Labor
The new international division of labor refers to the restructuring of
production on a global scale. Traditionally the international division of
labor consisted in the exportation of raw materials by Third World countries
to more industrialized countries where they were processed and marketed.
These "Third World" countries then bought manufactured goods from the
"First World" at a much higher price. The next phase, import substitution
industrialization was promoted by the Economic Council on Latin America
in the 1960s. Import substitution industrialization encouraged the
domestic production of goods formerly imported. As Safa (1990) notes, in
many Latin American countries this industrialization was financed by
dividends earned from agricultural production or by foreign capital. In the
past decade, the policy of import substitution industrialization has been
replaced by one of export promotion. This represents a new stage in the
international division of labor, and therefore the name, the New
International Division of Labor.
. . Export manufacturing represents a new stage in the
international division of labor in which developing countries in
Latin America and the Caribbean are becoming exporters of
manufacturing goods to advanced industrial countries...Contrary
to import substitution, the new trend seems to encourage
foreign investment by minimizing the importance of national


68
between coffee production in the rural areas, and the industrial growth
manifested in the urban sector will be considered next.
Industrial Development
In the 1920's the first large industrial establishments appeared in
Pereira. This period coincided with one of economic prosperity for
Colombia. In part this was the consequence of the price of coffee which
reached high levels between 1924 and 1927. After 1940, the garment
industry developed rapidly based on existing artisanal activities.
Clothing production in the 1930's and 1940s had been realized primarily
by artisans in small factories. The following quotation demonstrates the
type of relationship which existed between the outworkers, agents, and
factory owners in the 1930s:
As agents we contracted seamstresses who worked in their homes.
Monday we gave them the cloth, already cut, thread, buttons, and
other materials. Friday we received the merchandise to take it to
the market on Saturdays and Sundays. The relationships with the
workers were informal, based on friendship and mutual trust. For
example it was a common practice to advance money to the
workers in times of economic necessity. It was also common to
loan money to workers so that they could buy sewing machines
(Manuel Rodrigo Becerra, 1979: 23, my translation).
Almost all of the garment factories of Pereira were established by
merchants or individuals who had worked as laborers in garment
factories. Some were merchants who started their factories based on a
small workshop located in the back of their stores. Some of these owners
were operators of garment factories, who, based on modest savings from
the profits of their work, established small workshops.


123
returned to work. After her third child her husband left and she never heard
from him again. At this point she went to live with her mother who cared
for the children while Rosa continued to work in the factory. Recently the
family also took on several renters to help with the monthly bills.
Rosa is not alone in her movement in and out of the garment
industrial labor force. From her case, one can clearly see how the domestic
cycle and household composition interact with the structure of the regional
labor force and the seasonal demand for workers by the factory to shape
women's labor force participation.
The household of the urban worker does not operate in isolation, nor
is it a passive recipient of exterior forces and pressures. Placement of the
household in the socio-economic structure of the region is essential to
understanding the material limitations within which they operate.
While the internal dynamics of household units are
important in determining their standard of living at any given
moment, the household's position within the social structure is
decisive. . In short, the particular characteristics of labor-
market structure are a primary determinant of the potential for
income generation of households with varying demographic
characteristics . (Schmink 1984, p.88).
External political and economic conditions, part of the structural framework
within which the households function, influence the organization and
economy of the households. The pressures external to the household such as
the demands of the labor market were considered in chapters three and four,
to the extent that they determine the possibilities for women's employment.
This chapter focuses on the internal dynamics of the household.
In order to analyze major variables at the level of the household and
how they pattern women's labor force incorporation, this chapter contrasts


84
70 percent of the garment factory owners in Pereira and Dos Quebradas
participate in the subcontracting chain, either directly or indirectly. In other
words, 70 percent of the owners stated that they work for other factories,
meaning that they produce part or all of a garment for the other factory during
certain times of the year. Fifty percent said that they send work to others,
meaning that they send work out to other factories, small-scale enterprises, or
subcontracted industrial outworkers, while 40 percent of the factories
participate in both forms of contracting, that is, they work for other factories
and send work to other factories. These data demonstrate the importance of
analyzing the industrial mechanism of subcontracting in order to accurately
analyze the structure of the labor force in the industry (see Figure 4.1).
LARGE AND MEDIUM SIZED FACTORIES WHICH
CONTRACT OUT TO OTHERS
50% of Owners interviewed
MEDIUM AND SMALL FACTORIES WHO RECEIVE WORK, AND
SUBCONTRACT WORK OUT TO OTHER FACTORIES
40 % of Owners Interviewed
/
SUBCONTRACTED INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS
70-80 % of total workers in garment industry (Estimate)
Figure 4.1
Diagram of Subcontracting Chain in Pereira, Risaralda
Subcontracting work to homeworkers occurs most frequently at the end
of the year (Christmas holiday season), father's day, and mother's day. These
are times of the year when the demand for clothing as gifts is highest. In this
case, subcontracting offers the possibility of transferring the risks of


28
responsibilities of women in the household (the biological, daily, and
generational) continue, especially for women who are mothers and wives.
Therefore, she argued, labor force incorporation is not "liberating" for
women.
With the development of the factory system, women whose primary
responsibility was the household, became dependent on the husband for their
income. The household was no longer the unit of production, rather
individuals within the household (particularly men) became responsible for
the income of the entire household. Both push and pull factors affected
women's income generating activities. When factories needed "cheaper"
workers, women were pulled into factory employment, often in positions
subordinate to men. The significance of the male's primary role as
breadwinner, subordinated the role of women workers (and their salaries)
legitimizing management's perception of the women workers as "cheaper".
In the lower income brackets, the depressed income of male wage earners
necessitates the employment of women. The low household income pushes
women into the labor force in these sectors. However, in all cases, these
women in the wage labor force were not only income generators, but often
also housewives and mothers. Participation in factory labor did not reduce
their household responsibilities.
Women's labor force incorporation under industrial development
may therefore be described as contradictory (Lim 1983). Benefits derived from
income generated by the women who leave the home to work necessitate
increasing the women's work load unless other family members assume the
household responsibilities. Industrial development further fragmented the
production process into a hierarchy of tasks. This increasing technification
often led to the replacement of women for men in the labor force,


129
The fact that households have collective economic needs in no way
implies that there are no internal conflicts. In spite of the fact that there are
common needs, specific gender and age interests seldom result in
harmonious agreements on household priorities and activities. For this
reason it is important to understand how the internal relationships of
households influence the activities of individual household members as they
pass through the domestic cycle. Important internal changes in household
structure resulting from the domestic cycle cause many changes in the
structure, organization, and economy of this unit.
Nevertheless, the domestic cycle is not a linear, inflexible process. A
household which begins its cycle does not necessarily follow it through all of
its phases. There are premature break-ups and other modifiers which
transform the household. In the factory workers' households, many have
their domestic cycle interrupted due to separation or death of household
head(s). A male-headed nuclear family, then, may become a female-headed
nuclear or extended family. This leads to changes in the structure of the
household with the women generally assuming the position of household
head, if there is no male child of working age.
One modification of the domestic cycle of the household involves the
incorporation of new family members through the marriage of adult children
who live in the parents' home. This is most typical of male headed
households. In this way, the household may gain a worker while at the same
time helping the new couple to ease into the first phases of the domestic cycle.
This demonstrates how two different phases of a domestic cycle become fused
in one household. In theory, the son or daughter who gets married begins a
phase of expansion. However, while staying in the house of origin, only the


5
the large industrialists within the garment industry, (3) increases the
penetration of international capital into an intermediate industrializing
community.
In order to unravel the complex relationships between women's
household and workplace activities, this research considers factors at the level
of the household, the workplace, and the regional and international economy.
The factors at the household level include 1) household responsibilities such as
child care, cooking, and cleaning, which constrain women's labor force
incorporation (both in the factory and home-based situations); 2) the
relationships of industrial outworkers (once the wide variety of their situation
has been described) to the factories; 3) the middlemen and their effect on the
working conditions of these women; 4) the effect of women's labor force
incorporation on the structure and composition of workers' households (both
subcontracted industrial outworkers and home-based workers); and 5)
renegotiation of gender relations in the home based on new income sources
including the sexual division of labor and authority patterns.
At the workplace level the following aspects are considered 1) the
organization of production in the factory; 2) changes in the structure of
production, specifically subcontracting, as they affect women's labor force
participation; 3) the new emphasis on exportation in the garment industry in
this region in the last few years as it affects women's incorporation into the
workforce; and 4) the mechanisms used by management to control women's
labor in the factory setting.
These factors provide the framework for exploring the following
research hypothesis: (1) women's domestic responsibilities limit her
participation in the labor force. Therefore women with additional household
responsibilities (especially mothers and wives) are more likely to participate in


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Introduction
Pienso que de pronto que
explotaban las condiciones de
la mujer. Porque son mas
responsables. Hay mas
permanencia de las mujeres en
los puestos de trabajo por la
necessidad...
Doa Constancia, trabajadora
social del SENA en Pereira
I think that, just maybe they
exploited the conditions of the
women...Because they are more
responsible...There are more
women who stay in jobs because
of need...
Doa Constancia, Social
Worker in SENA in Pereira
This research analyzes the relationship between the organization of
gender roles in the household and women's labor force incorporation, in order
to explore the impact of industrial restructuring in one industrial sector (the
garment industry) on social reproduction. This study considers the impact of
internal forces of the household and external forces of the labor market on
women's labor force participation in an intermediate sized industrializing city
in Colombia, South America. The supply of workers cannot be analyzed
completely separate from the demand for workers. Economic pressures on the
household result from a variety of factors including macro-economic factors
such as the current economic crisis inflation, high unemployment and regional
1


114
this, they began to have the workers who had signed contracts
for a year or more, sign new contracts for a specific article of
clothing. When a lot arrived, everyone had to sign the new
contract. Those who didn't want to sign it were fired. This
contract cancelled the previous contract that they had signed.
But this was illegal, because the contracts for more than one year
cannot be annulled. In other words, if the lot took eight days to
complete, one had work for eight days (personal interview
October 1988).
After hearing several similar complaints from workers during interviews,
Ana and I went to the Ministry of Labor to see how the cases brought by the
workers against the factory were being handled. It had been several months
since Ana had quit and the workers had heard nothing about the cases. When
we arrived at the Ministry of Labor we were received by a woman who sent us
to another set of lawyers who were working on the case. We waited over 30
minutes in the hall for these lawyers to return from a case, and when they
didn't we were sent to another room to speak with their assistants. After
waiting another 20 minutes, we were received by an assistant. However, they
had not received any complaints from the specific factory in question. They
related problems with garment factories (with only local capital), but they had
heard nothing of the case to which we referred. We continued waiting for the
other lawyers. Ana remembered the name of the woman (Ministry of Labor
employee) who had been at the factory. However, when the woman returned,
she was unable to give us any information about this case. There was nothing
we could do. Since the factory had no union, there was no one to continue the
investigation of the case and pressure the Labor Ministry to make some
changes in the factory.
And another thing... if one wanted to quit working in the
factory, for any reason, they immediately ended the contract that
one had signed, and the 30 days which they had been advised
weren't paid. . I'm telling you that these contracts for only one


151
cycle, although there is a tendency for female-headed households to be
concentrated in the consolidation phase. Households with different
structures of headship demonstrate different strategies for responding to the
economic pressures generated during the domestic cycle of the household.
These pressures include the addition of consumers (young children during
the phase of expansion), the introduction of other non-working family
members, and the rising costs of living (food prices, education, money spent
building home).
This analysis demonstrated that both subcontracted industrial
outworkers and factory workers experience considerable economic pressure to
generate an additional income. However, the subcontracted industrial
outworkers experience less pressure due largely to : (1) the lower percentage
of female heads of households among this group, and (2) the greater number
of workers demonstrated by the larger worker-to-consumer ratio.
The next chapter considers changing authority patterns and
women's role in household decision making as it is affected by the domestic
cycle of the household, the women's life cycle, and women's incorporation
into the labor force.


85
fluctuations in production and the costs associated with temporary increases in
the production, both in machinery and personnel, to homeworkers.
Subcontracting extends fragmentation of the labor process beyond the
factory. The process of decentralization within the factory lowers the cost of
the labor force through deskilling of the workers (Braverman 1974). This
occurs through the breaking down of jobs into smaller and smaller tasks, and
the utilization of workers with less skills who work for a lower salary. This
division can also be seen between large, medium, small factories and
subcontracted industrial outworkers. The organization of production through
subcontracting not only minimizes labor costs, but also wrestles control from
actual producers over their products. Fragmentation of the labor process,
therefore, is extended beyond the factory (Beneria 1989).
The garment industry makes women's work invisible by contracting it
out into the home. The main mechanism by which this process is pushed
underground and made invisible is through organization of production
through subcontracting. Subcontracting decreases the infrastructure
investment necessary on the part of the large capitalist enterprise in machines,
electricity, and building space. There is also a reduction in the number of
workers for whom the factory is responsible in terms of social security
payments and other benefits. Key informants of this research stated that
approximately 80 percent of workers participating in the garment industry
perform their jobs outside the formal factory setting. The research of Florencia
Pea (1989) for Mexico supports this, stating that for every factory worker there
are at least three homeworkers. Violeta Sara-Lafosse (1985) estimates that, for
Peru, approximately 80 percent of workers in the garment industry are hidden
in their homes.


37
Patriarchal exploitation-the differential in wages paid to
male and female workers for similar work and output-derives
from women's inferior position in the labor market . .(Lim 1983:
80)
In the context of the current international economic and political
situation in the late 1980's, Latin American countries (including Colombia)
must reorganize their economies in response to increasing international
financial problems. Reduced reliance on salaried workers earning fixed wages
and fringe benefits enables factories to cut production costs in order to meet
international competition. Increased reliance on 'cheaper' sources of labor
such as women working at home, and reduction in factory wages increase
international competitiveness. As noted above, these economic problems
have resulted in a shift from direct to indirect employment. In other words,
this restructuring has led to a revival of industrial outwork and
subcontracting increasing production in the "informal sector".
The Informal Sector
Scholars of industrialization in Latin America debate the degree to
which informal sector production and employment can be isolated and
analyzed as separate from that of the formal economy (Portes 1983, Portes,
Castells and Benton 1989)4 Although the informal sector was originally
equated with the traditional subsistence sector opposed to economic
modernization which occurs in the "market" (Geertz 1963), this dualistic
4Portes states that a substantial "informal proletariat" provides the urban
formal sector with the extra-market means of production. According to his
hypothesis, the urban informal proletariat is readily identifiable since it a)
does not receive regular money wages; b) does not receive the indirect wage of
social security coverage; and c) does not retain contractual relations with its
employers.


CHAPTER SIX
HOUSEHOLD STRUCTURE AND WOMEN'S LABOR FORCE
PARTICIPATION
Introduction
"La vida es una lucha, tiene uno sus momentos
buenos y malos...de todas maneras hay que
luchar por los hijos..."
Rosa, obrera en fbrica de confecciones
"Life is a struggle, one has good moments, and
bad moments... anyway, one has to struggle
because of the children..."
Rosa, factory worker, garment factory
These words of Rosa typify the daily living conditions of the garment
factory workers in Pereira. Working in garment factories since she was 17
years old, 40 year old Rosa is the major income provider for her 3 children
and 67 year old mother. She began working in a small shop in the back room
of her neighbor's house. When this small-scale enterprise was forced to
shut down due to fluctuations in the seasonal demand for labor, she was
lucky enough to find employment in a small factory. This small factory
unfortunately also closed down after less than a year, and she was once again
unemployed. During the season of high demand (October-December)1, Rosa
once again found employment in a medium sized factory. She quit this job
when she got married and had two children. However, after their second
child, their economic situation required an additional income, and Rosa
October-December is the season of highest demand, as factories prepare for
the large demand generated by the holiday gift-giving at Christmas.
122


137
have children under 6. Child care may, therefore, be a major factor
constraining their labor force participation.
Table 6.3
Type of Childcare by Workplace
Child Care
Workplace
Practices
Home
Factory
She cares for
33%
0%
them herself
Her mother
16%
23%
Her sister
16%
23%
An older child
16%
9%
Grandmother
0%
14%
Friend
0%
4%
Employee
16%
9%
Nursery
0%
9%
Other Female
0%
9%
relative
Total
100% (6)
100% (
(Chi Square = 10,34; DF=8, Probability = .24 Not Significant at .05 level.)
Household Variables
To investigate the hypothesis that women's position within the
household (in part a function of the domestic cycle) conditions their
incorporation into the labor force, women's position within the household
was compared by workplace. This classification demonstrates women's
economic role in the household better than the classification of age and


50
measures first introduced by the Reyes government. Further, capital
accumulated through coffee production in this region expanded and
consolidated the internal market for textiles, assisted in the formation of
large enterprises in the industrial sector, and through these activities
strengthened the creation of a salaried workforce in the cities
(Montenegro and Ocampo 1985). Coltejer and Fabricato, two of the
largest textile factories in the country were developed through efforts of
the largest family of coffee merchants (Echavarria).
Colombian industrialization was assisted by economic and fiscal
reforms of the administration of Pedro Nel Ospina (1922-27). The
reorganization of public finances made possible a greater access to
external credit, while the creation of a central bank provided the base for
the formation of a monetary system and modern capital market. The
immediate effects of these reforms were to reduce the interest rates and
provide a more secure access to sources of financing for new
investments. The increase in the physical infrastructure put forth by the
same administration further stimulated more investment in industry
(Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
Colombia was, relatively speaking for Latin America, a late-comer
to industrialization. However, the industrial growth in Colombia
between 1931 and 1939 was, on the average 12.4 percent, not only the
highest in Latin America in that decade, but also the highest in the
industrial history of Colombia. The process of Import Substitution
Industrialization (ISI) began during the later years of the Liberal
governments (1940-44), reaching its peak in the late 40's and early 50's
when Antioquefto industrialists wielded great influence in the
Conservative Administration. Nevertheless, this rate of growth was


77
increase the growth rate of the econoomy, limited by the size of the national
economy. One theory is that if industrialists become more competitive in the
international market and suceed in selling their product, their growth
possibilities are greater and they will be able to generate more employment.
However, this "economic opening" must occur gradually in order to
allow the industrialists to prepare for competition in the foreign market.
This involves "industrial conversion" or the modernization of the
machinery in the factories. Often this modernization results in the
utilization of machinery which replaces the work of several individuals.
This "industrial conversion" contradicts the above mentioned theory of
employment generation which should accompany the industrial opening. If,
in order to compete in the international market, workers are replaced with
machines (which supposedly do the job faster and more efficiently) where is
the employment generation?
While these policies may be beneficial to the large scale producer, the
small scale producers are in a disadvantaged position. Their lack of
independent access to a market (without being subcontracted) their lack of
access to capital, their limited access to technology, and their lack of
knowledge of the production process subordinate these producers to the
larger capitalist enterprises. The weakest link in this chain of development
(which begins with increasing production of the large scale capitalist and ends
with employment generation) are the workers. Even though the Colombian
Congress has approved "the most ambitious labor reform in forty years" the
degree to which these reforms actually protect the workers, and the degree to
which they can be adequatley enforced are debatable.
These labor reforms modify four aspects of the labor regime: (1) the
individual's rights to work, (2) the collective rights of workers, (3) the


207
Oppong, C.
1982
Family structure and women's reproductive and
productive roles: some conceptual and methodological
issues. Pp. 133-149. in Anker, R.; M. Buvinic, and N.H.
Yousseff, eds., Women's Roles and Population Trends in
the Third World. London: Croom Helm.
Pabon, M.
1983
La Migracin en los departamentos de Caldas, Risaralda and
Quindio y su incidencia en la distribucin espacial de la
poblacin: 1951-1973. Master's Thesis. Universidad
Javeriana, Bogot.
Pearce, J.
1990
Colombia: Inside the Labyrinth. New York: Monthly
Review Press.
Pelaez, S.
1977 La Industria de la Confeccin en la Valle de Aburra
Medellin: Editorial Lealon.
Pea, F.
1989
Home based workers in the garment industry of Merida,
Yucatan, Mexico. Latinamericanist 24:1:1-5.
Portes, A.
1983
The Informal Sector: Definition, Controversy and Relation
to National Development. Review 7 :1: 151-74.
Portes, A. and L. Benton
1984 Industrial development and labor absorption: a
reinterpretation. Population and Development
Review 10:4: 23-39.
Portes, A. and J. Walton
1981 Labor, Class and The International System. New York:
Academic Press.
Portes, A., M. Castells, and L. A. Benton
1989 The Informal Economy: Studies in Advanced and Less
Developed Countries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press.


191
extras?
P22. Me podra dar una lista de todas las empleadas para
entrevistas informales en sus casas?
P23. Hay otra cosa que le gustara contarme?
P24. Me permite mirar los archivos de personal para sacar
una muestra representativa de los trabajadoras?
P25. Me permite hablar con trabajadoras sociales de las
fabricas?


160
A comparison of percentage of budget contributed by worker with
control of the budget, reveals a positive relationship between what percentage
of the budget the worker provides and her ability to administer it (Table 7.4).
Table 7.4 and Table 7.5 demonstrate that percent contributed to the household
budget is statistically significant in determining household authority at the .05
level. Women who contribute more to the household budget state that their
increased income positively affects their position of authority within the
household.
When testing the response to the question, "Do you feel that you have
more authority in the household because of your work?" against the age,
educational level of the worker, position of the worker in the household and
contribution to the household budget, the only statistically significant factor
(at the .05 level) was contribution to the household budget.
When testing authority patterns against workplace and controlling for
women's position within the household, female factory workers who were
single mothers and household heads consistently felt that they had more
authority in the household because of their work. These households also
had fewer male members, indicating that it is more common for women
workers to have authority over other women than other men. This indicates
that there are several factors interacting in the determination of authority
patterns in the household, not only women's income generation, but also her
position within the household.


198
Bustos, B.
1990 La Participacin de la mujer en la industria de libros:
Carvajal. MA Thesis, Universidad Nacional. Bogot, Colombia.
Buvinic, M. and N. H. Youssef
1978 Women-Headed Households: The Ignored Factor in
Development Planning. Report submitted to AID/WID.
Casa de la Mujer
1988 Violencia en la Intimidad. Bogot: Casa de la Mujer.
Coons, L.
1987 Women Home Workers in the Parisian Garment Industry,
18670-1915. New York, New York: Garland Publishing.
Chayanov, A.V.
1966 The Theory of Peasant Economy. Boston, Massachusettes:
Homewood Press.
Christie, K. H.
1986 Oligarcas, Campesinos y Politica en Colombia: Aspectos de la
Historia Sociopolitica de la Frontera Antioquena. Bogot:
Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Corchuelo, M.
1987 Formas de Empleo no Sujetas al Rgimen Laboral: empleo
Temporal y Subcontratacin, in Ocampo, Jos Antonio
& Manuel Ramirez, eds. El Problema Laboral Colombiano.
Bogot: SENA:
Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT)
1988 Primer Congreso de la Mujer Trabajadora.
Bogot: Ediciones CUT.
Deere, C.D., and M. Len
1982 Women in Andean Agriculture. ILO: Geneva.
Departamental Administrativo Nacional de Estadstica, (DANE)
1984 Encuesta de Hogares. Bogot: Departamento Administrativo
Nacional de Estadstica.
Departamental Administrativo Nacional de Estadstica,
1945, 1951, 1976, Bogot: Departamento Administrativo
Nacional de Estadstica.


190
P8b. Cuanto vende en el mercado domestico?
Colombia:
PREGUNTAR A TODAS
P9. Piensa usted que tiene buenos oportunidades en el
mercado domestico para sus productos? Porque?
P9a. Piensa que tiene buenos oportunidades en el
mercado internacional? Porque?
PIO. Cual es el tipo de relacin laboral con los empleados
administrativos?
PIO A. Cual es el tipo de relacin laboral con los
operarios?
Pll. Prefieran costureras recomendado de canales formales
(como SENA) o informales? (vecina, hermana, etc.)? Porque?
Pila. Cuantas mujeres toman cursos formales?
P12. Tiene servicio de guarderia o un subcidio respectivo?
1. Si 5. NO 8. NA
P13. Ademas del sueldo que otras prestaciones legales
reciben los trabajadores (como seguro social, etc.)?
P13a. Ademas del sueldo que otras prestaciones estra-
legales reciben los trabajadores (como bienestar familiar,
cajas de compensacin)?
P14.Ha cambiado mucho la estructura de produccin de la
fabrica desde 1982 ?
P14a. Como les ha afectado las devaluaciones de las
monedas en los paises vecinos?
P15. Hay sindicato en la fabrica?
OPCIONAL
P15a. Cuales son los sindicatos (o el sindicato) de la
fabrica?
P15b. Si no hay sindicato, firman un pacto o un
convenio collectivo con trabajadores?
PREGUNTAR A TODAS
P16. Como se organizan los descansos en la fabrica?
P17. Como se organiza el trabajo en la fabrica? Por
ejemplo hay cuotas minimas, etc.
P18. Existe algn tipo de incentivo o prima?
P19a. Que pasa si no cumplen programas establicidas?
P20. Hacen pruebas para contrarar los empleados? En que
consisten las pruebas?
P21. Con que frequencia (y en que casos) trabajan horas


94
Levels of Subcontracting
There was a greater difference in the levels of subcontracting in the
factory with national capital than in the factory with mixed (both national and
foreign) capital. By levels of subcontracting, I refer to the number of times the
same item is contracted out. For example, a large factory could contract to a
smaller factory work on a specific garment. This factory in turn could contract
work to a micro-enterprise, which could in turn contract work to women in
their homes. In this type of contracting, four levels of subcontracting were
encountered, however, it is anticipated that more exist1. Due to the illegal
nature of the work (non-contractual, piece work pay, performed in
unregistered micro-enterprises or homes) and poor working conditions under
which subcontracted industrial outwork is carried out, it was often difficult to
locate and talk with women who work at the lowest end of the chain.
The factory with multinational capital is able to cut labor costs without
subcontracting. This factory demonstrated less of a tendency to contract out in
a chain-like fashion. The quality control in the factory with mixed capital was
so strict that many homeworkers refused to work for the factory. Instead of
subcontracting homework to individuals in their homes, this factory chose,
more often, to pursue a policy of contracting temporary workers in the factory
for a specific lot of garments. These workers' contracts were from 15 to 90 days.
Through this method of contracting arrangements, the factory avoided paying
social security or any other benefit to the worker. If workers are contracted for
more than 90 days, then the factory is obliged to pay these social costs for the
1Beneria and Roldan found several more levels of subcontracting in their
study of Mexico (1987).


86
The main characteristics of subcontracting include the supplying of raw
material to the producers (who remain in their houses) by agents who
afterwards collect the finished goods and pay the producers their wages on a
piece rate basis. Although this system has existed since garment production
began in the late 1920's in Risaralda, the new element is the extreme
horizontal and vertical division of labor, reorganizing women's work on what
has been called "an invisible assembly line" (Mies 1982). By the horizontal
division of labor, I refer to the fact that the labor of these homeworkers is
appropriated by middlemen and larger factory owners in such a manner that
the women are isolated in their homes, isolated not only from factory
production, but also from other women who produce the same garment. This
isolation reinforces the women's vulnerability and prohibits the formation of
solidarity and class consciousness.
The assembly line created by subcontracting work is called invisible
because the women workers do not see how it operates. Only the middle men
(who, as previously mentioned, are men) or factory owners (also generally
men) know how the putting-out system functions, and who performs which
operations. The knowledge of how to make an entire garment is often
unavailable to these women. In addition, the subcontracted industrial
outworkers do not know for which exporters agents work, they do not know
anything about the agents' margin of profit, and in many cases they don't even
know the names of the agents. Although the homeworkers see and talk with
the agents, they don't understand the relationship between agents and the
factory. To the extent that the women never know how the entire garment is
produced, or what their relationship with the intermediary means, they do not
totally understand the process of production.


12
for the domestic market. The owners of these factories collaborated in
suggesting the names of workers for the interviews. (Although it is possible
that this collaboration introduced some bias into the sample, it was impossible
to interview the workers without the permission of the managers. However,
where possible, the social network method was used to uncover friends of
these workers, and individuals who had been fired from the factory were
sought out for additional information on working conditions in the factories.)
The sample of domestic outworkers was chosen by asking the larger
factories to indicate who produced for them (small-scale enterprises, or home-
based workers). When the factories did not submit workers' names, a social
network of the home-based workers known by workers in other factories was
utilized. This method involved asking the workers if they knew other women
who worked sewing in their homes. In this way, twenty subcontracted
industrial outworkers were found. Also, the SENA (National Vocational
Training School) assisted in the location of home-based workers and small-
scale garment entrepreneurs. The SENA conducts courses in sewing skills
geared to particular factories, as well as providing courses in how to start up a
small enterprise in garments, including courses in design, cutting, and
marketing. This governmental institution also serves as a placement agency
for these workers and small-scale enterprises. The woman responsible for
organizing the classes for small-scale enterprises allowed me to accompany her
on her home visits. I was also permitted to attend classes in SENA and
interview participants outside of class hours. I actually took garment classes for
a week (to learn the basic stitches and procedures taught in the introductory
courses). I attempted to work in a factory, but this was impossible for insurance
reasons (according to the personnel managers). Apparently because of the


39
Subcontracted Industrial Outwork
Subcontracted industrial outwork has recently received renewed
interest by researchers, largely as a result of the decentralization of production
since the 1970s (Beneria and Roldan 1987).
At the conceptual level, homework involves a mixed
organization of production in which capital takes advantage of
the prevalent social and economic relations within the
household. The jobber, the workshop, or the factory gives the
materials to the worker who is paid by the piece wages for the
work, but has no control over the product since it is returned to
the jobber. There is appropriation of labor on the part of the
jobber, much along the lines based on capitalist relations of
production (Beneria and Roldan, p.66 1987).
However, in order to understand the implications of subcontracting for social
relations of production and women's labor force incorporation, we must
distinguish between the putting out system of the early European transition
to capitalism, and industrial outwork performed in contemporary Latin
America.
Industrial Outwork and Capitalist Development
Although striking similarities exist between the development of the
putting out system in Europe and subcontracted industrial outwork in
Colombia, significant differences also exist. Women's labor force
incorporation under capitalist development in Colombia is more subordinate
to both national and multinational capital than it was in Europe. Women, in
Colombia, maintain less control of the production process, and less frequently
own the means of production.


143
Table 6.8
Structure of Household by Workplace
Structure of
Household
Home
Workplace of woman worker
Factory
Female Headed
28%
40%
Male Headed
Nuclear
40%
36%
Extended
32%
26%
Total
100% (35)
100% (75)
When considering the economic significance of extended versus
nuclear families, we must also consider at what phases of the domestic cycle
these households become extended, and why. Female-headed households
most frequently are extended during the expansion phase of the domestic
cycle. Male-headed households are more often extended during the
consolidation phase, partially to receive married children (Table 6.8). In this
way, households with different structures demonstrate different cyclical
patterns.
If we separate female-headed households into nuclear and extended
households, the pattern of household extension becomes clearer (Table 6.9).
Female-headed households begin as extended households nucleating during
the consolidation phase. This suggests that female-headed households begin
more frequently as expanded households, in part because childcare and
additional wage earners are available from other household members while
the women go to work. As the children grow old enough to care for
themselves, and enter the work force, female-headed households tend to


8
government officials, local leaders, university professors and union organizers
were consulted to determine the appropriateness of the survey and the study
site. Other data on the neighborhoods in the region, the urbanization of
different cities in the department, and statistics on the production and
exportation of garments was also gathered in determining the history of the
garment industry in the region.
The first part of the third phase of the study involved interviewing the
factory owners, choosing the factories that would be included in the study, and
acquiring lists of workers for the interviews. The second part of this phase of
the study involved choosing the assistants, training them, and implementing
the survey instrument with factory workers. With the assistance of workers of
the Servicio Educacional Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA, as will be described
in detail later), homeworkers were contacted. By December, 1988 the
interviews with 75 factory workers from two different factories had been
finished, and reviewed. A preliminary summary of the study was presented in
Pereira in November, 1988. A preliminary analysis of the data was presented to
the Fulbright Foundation in January of 1989.
The fourth phase of the study was initiated on my return to the site in
February 1989. During this time I finished coding the interviews which had
been completed with factory workers, and continued working with one
interviewer. Through her we located some additional homeworkers and
found additional factory workers who had not been on the original lists from
the factory. In-depth interviews with these workers were completed during
February and March. In March and April I worked with SENA officials
interviewing home-based workers. In total, 120 worker interviews were
completed. Excluding the 10 pre-test interviews, 110 interviews are utilized in
this analysis: 35 interviews were completed with home-based workers, and 75


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
HANGING BY A THREAD: INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING AND
SOCIAL REPRODUCTION IN A COLOMBIAN CITY
By
Kathleen Gladden
May 1991
Chairman: Dr. Helen Safa
Major Department: Anthropology
This study of one sector of the urban labor force describes women's role
in social reproduction of the working class in the garment industry.
Women's labor force incorporation is considered as one aspect of the broader
struggle by households to ensure their social reproduction. Based on 110
interviews with home-based and factory workers, the research analyzes the
impact of factors such as the domestic cycle of the household and the life cycle
of the women on their participation in the labor force.
Women's domestic responsibilities and social relationships in the
household limit her options in the labor market. This study found that
women with additional household responsibilities (especially wives and
mothers) were more likely to participate in home-based production.
However, female heads of household were more frequently found in the
factory where they can command higher salaries. Further, differences in
IX


63
and Pereira, the industrial centers of Old Caldas, the determining factor
in the industrial expansion appears to be the new investment of foreign
capital. Contrary to what happened in the Antioqueo region, the local
industry of Pereira has grown without a strong connection to the
agricultural coffee barons in the region. This differs from the
development of the textile industry in Medellin, and has led to
investment of the capital accumulated in industrialization in the
region, to other geographical areas (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
At the national level, despite a decline in coffee income, the
export sector grew in 1989 with a 16 percent increase in earnings over the
previous year. Coffee accounted for just 23 percent of export earnings,
approximately the same percentage as petroleum. Textiles and garments
were among the fastest growing sectors doubling their value in 1989 to
an estimated 507 million, eight percent of total exports (Colombia Today
1/91).
More recently, Colombian industrial enterprises have been
affected by the international economic recession, and the Latin American
debt crisis. Although Colombia's foreign debt ($16,500 million by 1988)6
was manageable by Latin American standards, it placed a large drain on
scarce resources, as the debt cost the country seven percent of the GNP
for that year.
^Of this 16,500 million dollars, 13,100 was owed by the public sector; 40 percent
by electricity and coal and oil sectors alone.


180
su segundo marido?
P3 Tenia hijos cuando Ud. se caso?
P3a. Cuantos anos tenia sus hijos cuando Ud. se caso? (Nombre, edad)
P4. Cuantos anos llevan (llevaban) de casados?
P5. Le gustaria tener mas hijos, porque?
P6. Hace algo para evitarlos? Que?
P7. Cuantos hijos tiene actualmente?
P8. Cuantos anos tenia Ud. cuando tuvo el primer hijo?
P9. Si tiene hijos de menos de 6 anos, quien le
ayuda a cuidar a los hijos?
PIO Cuantos de sus hijos ya se casaron?
Pll. Se han casado algunas de sus hijas?
P12. Cree que tiene(n) un buen marido? Por que?
SI ES SEPARADA
P13. Usted Dice que es separada, Cuantos hijos tenia
cuando se separo de su primer marido ?
P14. Cuantos anos tenia sus hijos cuando Ud. se
separo? (Nombre, edad)
P15. Hace cuanto tiempo que se separo de su esposo?
P15a. Tambin se divorciaron?
P15b. Quien decidi separarse o divorciarse?
P16. Le gustaria volverse a casar, porque?
P17. Trabajaban sus hijos cuando se divorcio?
Nombre / Trabajo
P18. Recibia o recibe alguna ayuda de su esposo, aunque esten
separados?
SI ES VIUDA
P19. Hace cuanto tiempo muri su esposo?
(anos, meses, semanas) 8. No Sabe 9. NA
P20. Cuantos anos hace que usted esta casada con su esposo
actual?
SI LA OBRERA VIVE CON SU FAMILIA DE ORIGEN (Soltera)
ANNEXO A CAPITULO IIB
Pl. Se casaron sus papas?
P2. Hace cuanto que viven juntos?
P2b. Usted les da dinero para el gasto?
P3. Cuantos anos tenia su mama cuando se casaron?
P4. Cuantos anos tenia su papa?
P5. Cuantos hijos en total han tenido sus papas?
SI ESTAN SEPARADOS


72
exportation. Through this process, the importers acquire the right to
bring into the country, on a second occasion, the same quantity of raw
material previously imported without having to pay taxes.
The majority of exports under the Plan Vallejo are destined to the
United States. Further, more than 80 percent of imports which come
from the United States for assembly in Colombia are destined to garment
production. In Pereira, more than 20 firms participate directly in
production for exportation under the Plan Vallejo and about 25 garment
factories participate either indirectly (subcontracted) or directly.
Regional Development
Pereira, the capital of Risaralda, is a city which has grown from
115,000 to 287,00 inhabitants between 1951 and 1985. In 1951, 66 percent
of the population of the Risaralda was rural and 34 percent urban. In
1985, only 19 percent of the population lived in the rural areas and
Pereira figured as the tenth city in national importance for its urban
population. However, the industrial development of Pereira must be
evaluated in direct relation to the changes and evolution of the
population in Dos Quebradas (the industrial zone to the north of the
city). Dos Quebradas doubled its population between 1973 and 1985
passing from 50,000 to 103,000 inhabitants. Dos Quebradas grew notably
in its density from 700 inhabitants /square km to almost 1500 inhabitants
/square km. Pereira had a moderate increase with the population in its
total area increasing from 346 to 438 inhabitants per square km. In the
two municipal areas, the "rural" density also doubled.


93
Elsa, one of the poorest home-based producers, placed pockets on shirts
and earned 15 pesos per pocket. Elsa had 3 children, and her husband worked
as a cobbler. Her meager income assisted the household's difficult economic
situation. Elsa could put 10 pockets on in an hour, and she stated that she
worked an average of 6 hours a day. Her average income was 900 pesos daily
(about U.S. $2.00). The minimum wage at this time was 25,500 bi-weekly
(12,250 a week, or about 2,050 pesos daily which comes down to about U.S.
$4.00 per day). The range of pay rates among subcontracted industrial
outworkers varied significantly: shirts and blouses went from 100 to 400 pesos
for the entire garment, and slacks were paid from 600 to 1500 pesos.
In addition to the poor pay, the subcontracted industrial outworkers
complained that the work was very irregular. Sometimes they would go for
weeks or months without work. Often the quality of the cloth, buttons, or
zippers they were given by the intermediaries was bad. The owners of the
factory then complained to the subcontracted industrial outworkers about the
quality of the finished product. Yet these women were not responsible for the
quality of these inputs.
These brief descriptions of the relationship of subcontracted industrial
outworkers to intermediaries demonstrate mechanisms utilized by these
intermediaries to maintain control over the subcontracted industrial
outworkers. Levels of subcontracting are also important to consider in order
to understand the subordinate position of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers.


206
Morawitz, D.
1982 Porque el Emperador no se Viste con Ropa Colombiana.
Bogot: Fedesarollo.
Nash, J.
1983 The impact of the changing international division of labor on
different sectors of the labor force. Pp. 3 38 in J. Nash and
M.P. Fernandez-Kelly, eds. Women, Men, and the International
Division of Labor. Albany: SUNY Press.
Nash, J. and M. Patricia Fernandez-Kelly
1983 Women, Men and the International Division of Labor. Albany:
State University of New York Press.
Nash, J. and H. Safa, eds.
1976 Sex and Class in Latin America. New York: Praeger.
1985 Women and Change in Latin America.
South Hadley, MA: Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.
Ocampo, J. A.
1979 Desarrollo Exportador y Desarrollo Capitalista Colombiano en
el Siglo XIX en Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, No. 1, Bogot.
CEDE enero.
Ocampo, J. A., ed.
1987 Historia Econmica de Colombia. Bogot: Siglo Veintiuno.
Ocampo, J. A. and S. Montenegro
1984 Crisis Mundial, Proteccin e Industrializacin. Ensayos de
Historia Econmica Colombiana. Bogot: CEREC.
Ocampo, J. A. and M. Ramirez, eds.
1987 El Problema Laboral en Colombia: Informes de la Misin
Chenery. Bogot: SENA
O'Laughlin, B.
1977 Production and Reproduction: Meillasoux's Femmes,
Greniers et Capitaux. Critique of Anthropology
2 (8): 3-32.
Oliveira, O. de, M. Pepin Lehalleur and V. Salles
1989 Grupos Domsticos y Reproduccin Cotidiana. Colegio de
Mexico: Ciudad de Mexico.


47
DEPARTAMENT OF RISARALDA
o
L
SCALE
10 15 km
Figure 3.3 Municipality of Pereira, including Dos Quebradas.


158
Table 7.2
Home Ownership by Authority in the Household
Response to Question:"Do you feel you have more
authority in the household because you work?"
No
Yes
Total
Rented
77%
23%
100% (44)
Owned
Male Family Member
62%
38%
100% (29)
Female Family Member
80%
20%
100% (15)
Herself
54%
46%
100% (13)
Spouse
100%
100% (5)
Both Together
100%
100% (5)
Access and Control of Budget
In this section, control of the budget is considered to be a major
mechanism leading to relationships of domination and subordination within
the household. Major variables considered in this discussion of control of the
household budget include: (1) who the workers stated was the main economic
provider for the household; (2) what percentage of the budget these workers
considered that they contributed to the household's income; (3) who controls
the budget as stated by the workers; (4) patterns of decision making on major
issues such as marketing, children's schooling and household labor


95
workers. The factory with national capital was not as concerned with strict
quality controls, therefore, they were more likely to subcontract outside of the
factory in the chain-like fashion previously described.
Subcontracting and Subordination in the Garment Industry
This discussion of subcontracting as it creates and reproduces
subordinate relationship within the garment industry will consider (in
addition to differential payment for work) the workers' access to and control of
raw materials, and access to and control of the markets. Within the sample of
workers subcontracted outside the factory, there is considerable variation in
the price which they were paid for the article or piece of garment produced (the
variation within this sample represents different levels of autonomy and
subordination within these subcontracted workers). Although the
international market (exports) was controlled by the multinational factory,
factories with national capital had varying degrees of control over the national
market. This control over the national market depended on the quality of the
garment and the factory's ability to successfully market to a specific 'target'
population (young children, work uniforms, men's shirts, women's executive
dress, etc.).
A comparison of the pay rate of the homeworkers with the pay rate of
factory workers demonstrates how the rate varies considerably with the
garment or part of the garment produced within the sample of subcontracted
workers. In November of 1988 in Pereira, making a button hole paid 50
centavos, which is one half of a peso, and in this period there were about 350
pesos to the dollar. A good seamstress can do 70 buttonholes in an hour, which


112
nomination for a position as a quality control supervisor by a current
supervisor, technologist, or workshop head.
Ana, a quality control supervisor, was directly hired into that position:
I went to factory X after separating from my husband, to ask for
work. In factory X, I filled out the papers, they asked me what
experience I had, and they interviewed me. I was 25 years old
when I began to work. They asked me what I had studied after
elementary school, what I currently did for a living, and
according to the interview, they decided what work I would
receive. According to my abilities, they told me that I would
enter as a quality control supervisor, (personal interview
November 1988)
However, Ana was soon disillusioned by her work in the factory. She
began to demand that they pay her a fair salary. According to the Colombian
labor code, the night shift is paid 1.35 percent of the pay of the day shifts, work
on a Sunday is paid double, and work on a holiday is paid triple. Ana recounts
the following story of her difficulty receiving proper remuneration for her
work.
I understood these accounts, more or less. So I counted up my
salary, and of course found out that they were robbing me quite a
bit. Most recently I worked 10 months and earned 25 thousand
pesos, including bonuses and extra hours. When I retired they
gave me 33 thousand pesos. This is really very little for all that I
worked, and all that I contributed to the workshop. One of the
reasons I retired is because they began a night shift from 2:30 in
the afternoon till 10:45 at night, and they did not recognize the
extra pay for working the night shift. My ex-husband worked in
administration, and he taught me all these things. He told me
they were robbing me. Once I worked two night shifts, and they
paid us so bad that we didn't even earn 8,000 pesos for the week.
The night shift should pay something like 35% extra. I added up
the accounts, so many days, so many extra hours, and so many
nights, and I told the girls who worked for me that they should
claim their proper pay. I told them that if they were asked who
added up the accounts, it was me, because I wanted them to fire
me. But the girls appreciated the work I did, and no one told


87
Subcontracting as Articulation Between Formal and Informal Sectors
Small-scale enterprises rely on family labor and local resources, low
capital investment, labor intensive technology, high competition, ease of
entry, utilization of an unskilled work force, and acquisition of skills outside
of the formal educational system. In this research, subcontracted
microenterprises fall within the sector of economic activity that is generally
not registered with government agencies, is unrepresented by official statistics,
and does not comply with regulations governing labor practices, taxes, and
licensing. These 'informal sector' activities are informal in terms of their
internal organizational structure, and in terms of their relationships with the
social structure which surrounds them (Sethuraman 1976). Of the
subcontracted industrial outworkers interviewed in this study, fewer than five
percent signed any type of written contract with an intermediary (because there
were generally no formal contracts with the intermediaries).
In all cases, the articulation is part of a highly integrated system
of production segmented into different levels and of an overall
process of accumulation that encompasses all of the levels. In
this sense the conceptualization of formal, informal dichotomy
is not appropriate insofar as the two sectors are viewed as
separate and independent of each other. (Beneria and Roldan:
187).
In the informal sector, production fluctuates greatly. Because informal
sector business operators have little access to capital, they often must stop
production when they run out of the raw materials needed for production. In
general, they cannot accumulate an inventory, or purchase the necessary
technology or machinery that would enable them to secure their position in


52
expansion of consumer goods. The most dynamic industrial activities
were those of wood, paper, leather, chemicals, petroleum derivatives,
basic metals and non-electric machinery. Although, in general,
intermediate goods provided the motor for industrial development in
the 1950s, the situation varied in each region, depending on the structure
of production in the region; on the integration of factory activity in this
structure; on modifications given by the installation of new enterprises;
and on the expansion of markets. In other regions, such as Antioquia
and Old Caldas, industrial development continued to focus on consumer
goods (79 percent to 90 percent respectively), although the participation
of these in the total production of other manufacturing regions was
decreasing (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
Women's Contribution to Industrial Development
In the 1945 industrial census of Colombia, there were 135,000
workers registered in the industrial sector, of those 90.111 were men and
45.289 women (approximately 33 percent female). Approximately one
third (34.5 percent) of these workers were distributed among 6
occupations: thread spinners, 3.7 percent, garment workers, 7.6 percent,
folders, 2.5 percent, packers, 5.6 percent, weavers, 8.5 percent and yarn
knitters, 6 percent. The occupations most often associated with female
employment were those which were extensions of the women's
domestic role, such as textiles, garments, food, and tobacco. This early
census demonstrates that women's employment was not only limited to
specific industries, but also to specific occupational categories within
these industrial categories. Women were much more frequently


185
OBRERAS DOMICILIARIAS
ANEXO A CAPITULO IIIC2
Pl. Porque trabaja en la casa en vez de trabajar en la
fabrica?
Pa. Para quien trabaja?
Plb. Cuanto tiempo lleva trabajando en casa?
Pie. Cual es su horario? (Cuantas horas trabajas diario?)
P2. Como consigui este trabajo?
P3. Ha tenido problemas en cuanto al pago del trabajo? (Cuales
son)
P4. Se lo traen o Ud. va a buscarlo?
P4a. Donde recoge el trabajo (para que fabrica trabaja)?
P4b. Cada cuando recoge y entrega?
P4c. Como se organiza Ud. para recoger y entragar?
P4d. Le exigen cuota fija?
P4e. Como sabe como le van a pagar?
P4f. Se lo revisan antes de pagarle?
P4g. Que pasa si no les gusta su trabajo?
P5. Cada cuando se lo traen?
P5a. Le traen siempre lo mismo?
P5b. Le piden cuota fija?
P5c. Que pasa si no cumple con ella?
P5d. Cuando sabe como le van a pagar?
P6. Que cosio1 la semana pasada?
P7. A como le pagaron cada pieza?
P8. Cuantas horas trabajo ayer?
P9. Cuantas piezas hizo?
PIO. Le dieron todo el material?
Pll. Puso Ud. el hilo?
P12. Cuantos dias a la semana trabaja regularmente?
P12a. Siempre hace lo mismo?
P13. Es suya la maquina de costura?
P14. Como lo compro?
P15. Que tipo de maquina es
P16. Quien paga su mantenimiento?
P17. Le ayudan alguien de la familia con la costura (quien?)?
P17a. A veces o de manera regular?
P17b. Cuanto dinero ganaba Ud. cuando comenz a trabajar en
casa?
P17c. Cuanto dinero gana ahora?
P18. Ademas de su sueldo, que otras prestaciones tiene?
P19. Porque trabaja?
P19a. Porque empez a trabajar?
P20. Que hace Ud. con el dinero que gana?
P20a. Se mantiene la familia con su salario?


161
Table 7.4
Budget Control by Percent of Budget Contributed
Percent of Budget Contributed by Women
Less than 35
Who controls
Budget
36 to 50
51 to 75
76 to 100
Spouse
16%
0
0
8%
Self
23%
36%
52%
72%
Mother
19%
27%
17%
12%
Sister
12%
0
3.5%
0
Cousin
7%
0
3.5%
4%
Father
14%
36%
0
0
Both Self
and Spouse
9%
0
17%
4%
Another Family
Member
0
0
3.5%
0
Self and Other
0
0
3.5%
0
Total
100%
(43) 100%
(11) 100%
(29) 100% (25)


118
machinery or anything. Everything had been moved. Then,
they found some notes that had been left with the guard for each
one of them, telling them that if they wanted to work, they
should go to a certain address in the Belen sector of Medellin,
that the factory had been transferred there. Imagine that! a
mother with a family, how is she going to move to Medellin.
Nevertheless, there was an investigation with regard to this, and
there was no factory at the address they had been given. All of
this was a farce. The factory had fooled them. The workers
wanted to demand their pay, but there was nothing. This has
remained in the air. The women lost everything. .
There have been other factories, enterprise Q, where 30 workers
had problems with the factory in 1980 and it disappeared... and
many small factories. The only thing for certain is that the
tradition here is to trick the worker. Especially in the small
enterprises...although it also happens in the large ones.
This has been the reality of the garment sector here. (Interview
with CUT official May 1989)
Aside from these tactics utilized to weaken unions within the garment
factories, the decentralization of production further prevented the formation
of unions.
. . there were three factories with different names, in different
sites, where not more than 20 or 22 people were employed. This
was done in order to keep the factory from having the
minimum number required by the law for the founding a
union. While in appearance this produced a type of
disintegration of the factory, what really exists is only one
factory, but in different locations. This prevents the workers
from organizing. This is another tactic which the factory owners
have utilized lately, to prevent union formation, (union official
May 1989).
A specific example cited by Ana, the quality control supervisor for Factory N,
demonstrates how the owners continue to discourage worker organization.
I attempted to start a union when I had this little group of
women. In order to unionize you need 30 or at least 25
persons according to the law. But in the factory they rotate


89
their homes subcontracted by the large factory. The large factory provided
them with training on how to deal with the employees in their small-scale
enterprises and low-interest loans for buying machines. The workers
themselves were the intermediaries in this case. In fact, this method of
subcontracting was the only one encountered in the large factory because of
problems with quality control. The women who are permitted to open their
own small workshops (or what they call boutiques') work in quality control
in the larger export factory. These women are hand-picked by factory
management and given courses in the administration of micro-enterprises.
These women start their own microenterprise during peak production.
When the demand for garments slackens, workers in the small-scale
enterprises are let go, but the women administering the small-scale
enterprises retain their positions in quality control in the larger factory.
Intermediaries as Agents of Articulation
The intermediaries play a key role in establishing the relationship
between the factory and the subcontracted industrial outworkers (or small-
scale enterprise). This research encountered three types of intermediaries:
those who were only involved in distributing cut cloth to producers and
returning the final product to the factory; those who bought the cloth,
distributed it to be cut, and then redistributed it for sewing; and those who
distributed part of the cut cloth which they had received to other subcontracted
industrial outworkers, and performed part of the production process in their
homes. In this case, access to, and control of, raw materials plays a significant
role in determining the autonomy of the intermediaries. Those


through many late night long distance discussions. Augusto Gmez also read
and commented on several chapters of the dissertation. His knowledge of
Colombia strengthed the history chapter considerably, and his friendship and
support at crucial moments helped keep the dissertation process in proper
perspective. Chris Canaday's comments on the statistical analysis and his
assistance with the maps are greatly appreciated. Gary Shaeff also assisted
with the maps. Debbie Dow Marshal and Clara Sotelo, provided significant
words of encouragement during various stages of the process. Pamela Starr,
Susan Parker, and Donna Wills Green provided long distance support during
late night conversations throughout many years of friendship. Maria Roof
has been an inspiration to me since my undergraduate days, and I thank her
tremendously for her support and the example she provided for women at
Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.
I also wish to thank my dissertation committee who patiently read and
critiqued various chapters of the dissertation at different stages of the process.
Although any errors in the final production are my own, the insightful
comments of both Dr. Helen Safa, committee chair, and Dr. Marianne
Schmink who critiqued each chapter on numerous occasions, were extremely
helpful along the way. Dr. David Bushnell also read the entire document
several times. His comments, editorial and substantive, were very useful.
Dr. Paul Doughty and Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith also provided significant
words of wisdom throughout the process.
iv


41
Conclusion
This chapter discussed the impact of capitalist development on
women's labor force incorporation. Women's labor force incorporation in
eighteenth century Europe was compared to present day Colombia,
emphasizing the change in location of production as it affects women's
productive and reproductive responsibilities. The reorganization of social
relations within the home as a result of the transition from craft production
to factory production highlighted womens' increasing marginalization within
the production process. The increasing penetration of international
capitalism in Third World Countries has led to a deskilling of the work force
under contemporary monopoly capitalism conditions. The increasing
feminization of the labor force illustrates the search for increasingly more
vulnerable labor by industrial capitalists.
This discussion demonstrates that industries (even those which
traditionally utilized female labor) such as the garment industry are
restructuring production to reduce labor costs and to incorporate workers in a
cheaper, more vulnerable position, with less job security and fewer benefits.
Both subcontracted industrial outworkers and factory workers are relegated to
"informal" types of production. The factory workers work becomes
"informal" when these workers are contracted as temporary workers, for less
than 90 days, prohibiting them from receiving the benefits of legal contractual
workers. This incorporation occurs at a time when male unemployment is
increasing, wages are low, and women's contribution to the household
income is highly significant.


HANGING BY A THREAD: INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING
AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION IN A COLOMBIAN CITY
BY
KATHLEEN ANN GLADDEN
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1991


157
Table 7.1
Home Ownership by Workplace
Home
Factory
Rented
34 %
43%
Owned House
Male family member
43%
19%
Female family member
3%
19%
Herself
14%
12%
Spouse
3%.
4%
Both together
3%
4%
Total
100% (35)
100% c


CHAPTER THREE
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN COLOMBIA
Introduction
...Se utilizan solo la mano de
obra de la region, y dentro del
Plan Vallejo se trabaja para
enviar ...De los EEUU mandan
todo la material los patrones y
aqui se trabaja ... se ponen la
mano de obra al estilo Taiwan.
Pereira es el epicentro del Plan
Vallejo al nivel de la confeccin
en este sentido.
Dona Blanca, Tecnologa del
SENA
They utilize only the labor of
the region, under the Plan
Vallejo they work to export...
From the United States they
send all of the material, the
patterns, and here they
assemble it, using the style they
use in Taiwan. Pereira is the
epicenter of the Plan Vallejo in
the garment industry in this
sense.
Doa Blanca, Technologist from
the SENA.
This chapter begins with a discussion of the origins of the
manufacturing industry in Colombia emphasizing the relationship
between state policy and industrialization in Colombian economic
development. A description of the structure of the labor force in
Colombia discusses the historical importance of women's labor force
43


66
In the department of Risaralda, from 1932 to 1970 the number of
coffee farms relative to the municipal areas increased slightly in the
areas of Marsella Apia and Guatica, a bit more in Pueblo Rico, Pereira,
Balboa Santa Rosa de Cabal, and Belen de Umbria, and in the other
three administrative units (Mistrato, Quinchia and Santuario), it
decreased:
Those who have acquired coffee lands are from a class
which is not linked directly to agriculture, rather it is the
professional class. If you go to Marsella, a typical municipio, one
finds coffee land owned by engineers, lawyers, dentists because,
through this mechanism, they pay a high price for the coffee
lands. . They are changing a peasant class for an industrial class
which does not have any peasant ancestry, but which is joining,
with a great force, the cultivation of coffee at the national level
(Lopez 1988: 108, my translation).
Table 3.1 shows the concentration of coffee lands in the
department. In 1970, for example, the coffee fincas with less than 4
hectares represented 53.8 percent of the total and comprised only 10.1
percent of the land. Coffee lands with less than 10 hectares (77.7 percent
of the total of the producers) constituted 26.7 percent of the land. In the
other extreme, 346 coffee fincas (2.5 percent of the total) had coffee areas
based on the size of 50 hectares occupied 29.1 percent of the land. The
rest, or 44.2 percent of coffee land was managed by medium sized
producers (from 10 to 49.99 hectares) which constituted 19.8 percent of
the total of coffee units.
This brief discussion of the coffee economy in the department
reveals the growth of an agrarian economy in which the large capitalist
coffee enterprises assume an important role in coffee production, with a
tendency to exclude the small producer (Lopez 1982). The relationship


169
educational level of the worker, position of the worker in the household and
contribution to the household budget, the only statistically significant factor
(at the .05 level) was contribution to the household budget. Ethnographic
information from interviews demonstrate that the majority of the workers
interviewed do not consider that their paid employment alone gives them
more authority in the household. Rather, it is increased contribution to the
household budget which was the most powerful predictor of women's
perception of her household authority.


108
article is considered completed. The articles are then inspected again by the
quality supervisors, and another tag may be placed on the sleeve. The
articles are pressed one final time (outside of the workshop). There is a
section which does only ironing, and another section which packs the articles
in plastic before they are ready to be exported.
Twenty five to 30 operators, one or two supervisors, and a
"technologist" who controls the production are involved in the workshop
described above which makes shirts. There is an average of one mechanic
for every five "talleres" in the factory. "Talleres" which make pants are the
most difficult according to most of the workers. These may require up to 60
operators for the different tasks.
Working Conditions of Women
Although working conditions in this factory (from here on referred to
as Factory N) were much better than those conditions encountered in other
factories (re: lighting, space for work, and ventilation), many violations of
the Colombian labor code were discovered through worker interviews. Two
of the major demands expressed by women in the interviews were (1)
fulfillment of article 238 of Colombian labor code: allowing women with
infants 30 minutes of lactation during the work day and (2) fulfillment of
article 239 of the Colombian labor code allowing women 12 weeks of
maternity leave. Article 237 of the Colombian labor code gives women the
right to two to four weeks paid leave in the case of miscarriage. The reality of
the factory, however, does not reflect the gains made by women in labor
legislation.


201
Flores, C. Echeverri, V, Mendez, E.
1987 Caracterizacin de la transicin demogrfica en
Colombia, vi: 11-36. in Ocampo, Jos and Manuel
Ramirez, eds. El problema laboral en Colombia:
Informes de la Misin Chenery. Bogot: SENA.
Frobel, F.; Heinrichs, J.H.; and Kreye, O.
1979 The New International Division of Labour. New York:
Cambridge University Press.
Garcia, B. Muoz, H. and Orlandina de Oliveira
1982 Hogares y trabajadores en la ciudad de Mexico.
Mexico: El Colegio de Mexico.
Geertz, C.
1963 Peddlers and Princes. Social Change and Economic
Modernization in Two Indonesian Towns. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.
Gimnez, M. E.
1978 Structuralist Marxism and "the Woman Question." Science
and Society 42(3):301-23.
Gomez, H. B., R. Londoo, G. Perry
1986 Sindicalismo y Politica Economica Bogot:
Fedesarrollo.
Gonzalez de la Rocha, M.
1984 Organizacin y reproduccin de las unidades domesticas de la
clase trabajadora en Guadalajara. Mexico: Centro de
Investigaciones Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social.
Gough, K.
1975 The origin of the family. Pp. 51-76, In Rayna R. Reiter (ed.)
Toward an Anthropology of Women. New York: Monthly
Review Press.
Grunwald, J. and K. Flamm
1985 The Global Factory Foreign Assemply in International Trade.
Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution.
Guerrero, C. A. and M.Mercedes Calle
1985 Diagnostico del Subsector de la Confeccin. Pereira,
Risaralda, Colombia: SENA.


78
management of temporary work agencies and (4) norms regarding the closure
of factories. In the regulation of labor laws the most important changes
related to the "cesantas" or pensions of the workers. Cesantas are pensions
(or an extra mointh of pay) received by workers. The new labor reform
eliminates the retroactive nature of pensions. The pensions of the workers
was set when they were hired and, and was subject to the cost of living at that
time. Under this plan workers were disadavantaged because while the cost of
living rose, their pension rate was fixed much lower. However, the new law
which goes into effect in 1991 guarantees the workers a profit equal to the
market rate. The pensions which are not used by the workers will further be
guaranteed 12 % interest. One of the major drawbacks of this new law is that
it only affects workers who are hired in 1991.
In addition, a new law was introduced which introduces the "integral
salary" a salary which covers more than just the basic needs of an individual
(equivalent, perhaps to what we call in English the family wage). This
"integral salary", however, is only available for those who make more than
10 minimum wage salaries (only four percent of the Colombians population
earn this wage). However, the limited worker benefits provided by the new
"cesantas" laws are minimal, especially when one considers that only those
who work in the "formal" sector are affected by this legislation.
In order to consider how these political changes affecting industrial
development impact on women's labor force incorporation and household
strategies for income generation, we must return to a consideration of the
garment workers households. As previously stated, declining wages
accompanied by rising unemployment have led to women's assuming a
primary role in income generating strategies for household survival. Ina
addition the continuing declining value of the peso, coupled by sustained


CHAPTER FIVE
PROFILE OF LIFE IN THE GARMENT FACTORY
Introduction
The strongest phrase that I have heard in my
life is from a young girl who told me, "Working
in the factory is worse than working as a
prostitute.". . this is another type of
exploitation, that one has to produce so much,
and one has to work rapidly, very rapidly, and
one has to be perfect. . they earn less working
in the factory than working in the bar. . After
making the effort to learn a skill, the women
find this type of exploitation.
Interview with Sister Elena who runs a
workshop teaching women to sew.
This chapter considers the material conditions of production in the
garment industry emphasizing the organization of production, and
technology and machinery utilized in a factory which produces for export.
The chapter begins with a description of the technical organization of
production in the shirt making industry. A description of working
conditions is provided by excerpts from worker interviews. Next, working
conditions in the factory are discussed, emphasizing mechanisms of control
exercised by management over the workers. Strategies for organization and
resistance to management's control follow. The chapter ends with a
discussion of how changes in the organization of the production process in
the factory have affected the working conditions, focusing on the effect of
105


146
consumer ratio is higher among nuclear male-headed households than it is
among extended male-headed households. Although this data is not
statistically significant it suggests that female-headed households become
extended by incorporating workers, whereas male-headed households more
frequently incorporate consumers (which are most likely children) when they
become extended.
Table 6.11
Worker-to-consumer Ratio by Household Structure
Worker-to-consumer Ratio
Average
Female headed
Nuclear
.45
Extended
.52
Male Headed
Nuclear
.434
Extended
.333
To further explore the hypothesis that economic pressures of the
household encourage women to assume better-paying factory jobs, let us
consider the relationship of the major economic provider of the household to
the female worker by the place in which the woman works. If economic
pressures of the household do encourage women to assume better-paying jobs,
then it would follow that women, in the household of factory workers are
more often the principle economic providers. Female factory workers are
likely to be the principal breadwinners, or daughters while subcontracted
industrial outworkers are more often dependent on the spouse (Table 6.12).


74
produce their traditional coffee. In 1989 a 40 percent fall in coffee prices
led to the impoverishment of many small producers (Pearce 1990).
Decreases in regional production and commercialization of coffee
eliminated considerable regional employment in the rural areas. The
development of capitalist agriculture has affected the relations of
production in the rural areas. These rural workers, displaced by
technified machinery in the coffee fincas, migrate initially towards
Pereira and Dos Quebradas, forming part of the growing urban
proletariat and labor for import substitution.
Charles Bergquist describes the situation in the region as follows:
. In the decades since mid-century there has been steady
concentration of landholding patterns in Colombian agriculture,
an increase in mechanization and capitalist investment in
agriculture, and a corresponding growth in the number of landless
wage workers in the countryside. Even coffee production, which
historically proved so resistant to pure capitalist forms and
favored the growth and maintenance of small producers and the
family owned and operated farm, has witnessed in recent decades
a revolution in production techniques, tenancy and labor systems.
The application of capital and advanced techniques to coffee
production has, since mid-century slowly undermined the
competitive position of smallholders. (Bergquist 1986:371).
Undoubtedly developments in rural agriculture have affected
urban industrial developments. The growing urban population, in part,
determines the structure of the potential labor force.
Regional Manufacturing Industry
In Pereira, formal sector industrial production is dominated by
five industries: foodstuffs, beverages, textiles, garments and paper. Table
3.3 describes the structure of industrial production in the region. As this


Ill
Every day they give one a schedule with a list of your production
quotas, and every afternoon they check your work. . The
supervisor reviews the work. . and she is also generally the one
who studies the time it takes to complete tasks. .
I had to check the work of everyone in the workshops. I had to
pass by each machine 2, 3, or 4 times to review the work of each
operator. At the end in inspection they look to see if the work is
going well, what flaws there are, etc. For example, if I have to
check the work of one woman. . many don't like to have their
work returned. . but if I don't return it to her it's a problem for
me. I can't let anything bad pass . when work is done poorly it
has to be fixed.
Perhaps the most significant mechanism of control is the time and
motion studies. This measurement of time taken to perform each task is
done by a technologist. A union leader in Risaralda called this measurement
strategy a type of "slavery". He states:
From seven in the morning, they begin to take a type of count.
The engineers call this time and motion studies, to find out how
much each worker produces in an hour. It is a human
chronometer. So if the person produces, or rather if they are able
to complete the same production during the entire day, and
during the entire week, then they are given a type of bonus as an
incentive. . However, this is something which sucks the life out
of the women, it finishes them off both physically and mentally.
. Its not the same to produce at seven in the morning when
one has the mind clear and rested as it is to produce in the
afternoon hours when fatigue sets in. . this is a type of slavery.
(Personal Interview with male union official, May 25, 1989)
These points of control demonstrate the hierarchy which exists within
the factory. In order to become a supervisor, one had to either enter the
factory with very good recommendations (preferably from the SENA) or earn
supervisory status through consistently exceeding production quotas. If an
operator worked extremely well, she could first become a "supernumeraria"
which did not increase her salary but which permitted her to be eligible for


54
From Import Substitution to the Promotion of Exports
Colombia's first two National Front governments (1958-1962;
1962-1966) faced economic problems stemming from the low world price
for coffee and the shortage of foreign capital with which to import
consumer goods. Towards the end of the 1960s, under the government
of Lleras Restrepo, the industrial policy of ISI was reconsidered, and a
shift towards export promotion began. During this time, the goverment
assumed a protectionist policy towards the internal market and
supported exports through exchange (fiscal) policies and the creation of
tax incentives. Worker benefits established during the 1960's include:
Cajas de Compensacin Familiar (family compensation) in 1962 and
legislation regulating benefits for old age, death and disability in 1967.
The Instituto de Fomento Industrial (IFI), created in 1941, received
increasing financial support during this period. The IFI was originally
created to assist entrepreneurs wishing to purchase new technology.
Total credits extended by the IFI rose from $35 million in 1958 to $2,157
masculine rate (89.3 percent). In 1978, the increase in female activity had
reduced the difference with a rate of 29 percent for women and 71 percent for
men. This increase in women's labor force participation results in part from
the increasing urbanization of the population in the last few decades. In 1984
there was a greater percentage of women than men in urban areas (53 percent
versus 47 percent) while the reverse is true of rural areas (48 percent versus 52
percent {Flores, Echeverri and Mendez 1987}). This may be due, in large part, to
the employment available in cities for women, mainly domestic servants.
Marital status also affects the female labor supply in a market with
preferences for single women. The highest rate of women's economic activity
is in the group of separated women. This group increased its participation
from 4.1 percent (1976) to 8.5 percent (1984) which explains in part, the
increase in female labor force participation (Maldonado and Lozano 1987).
These figures, however, only reflect female labor force participation in what
has been termed the formal sector'.


90
intermediaries who bought, as well as distributed, the cloth were more
autonomous than those who only distributed the cloth, although the capital to
buy the cloth generally (though not always) came from the owner of the store
where the final product was sold. In all cases, the intermediaries were
employed in only the small- and medium- sized factories. The larger factory
had individuals who managed the small-scale enterprises, who were
employees of the factory. In this way, the factory owners were able to expand
production and maintain considerable control of the labor force.
The relationship between the factory owner and the intermediary also
varies between the types of larger enterprises which subcontract. On the one
hand, a factory owner may organize the work within the factory and also be
responsible for distributing work to intermediaries and subcontracted
industrial outworkers. On the other hand, a factory owner may only provide a
point to sell the finished goods, giving the intermediary the responsibility for
organizing the production process and distributing the work to the
subcontracted industrial outworkers and micro-enterprises.
The relationship between the factory owner and intermediary
determines the control which the intermediary exercises over the process of
production. Those owners who allow the intermediaries to distribute cloth
and pick up the finished product (providing only the store front for selling)
maintain much less control over the process than those who design the
garment, cut the fabric, and finish it in their centralized shop. By maintaining
this control, these owners are able to pay lower prices to home-based workers
(because the workers perform fewer tasks), charge higher prices for the
finished product, and maintain a larger profit by accumulating more of the
surplus generated by subcontracting out the production.


189
OPCIONAL
P8a. A donde exportan (y cuanto se exportan)?
(1987-1988 or 1986-1987)
Anos anteriores 1982


211
Schmink, M. ; Bruce, J. and M. Kohn (eds.)
1986 Learning about Women and Urban Services in Latin
America and the Caribbean. Washington, D.C.:
Population Council.
Schmukler, B.
1977 Relaciones actuales de produccin en industrias tradicionales
Argentinas: evolucin de las relaciones no capitalistas.
Buenos Aires: Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad.
Scott, J. and Tilly, J.
1978 Women, Work and Family. New York: Metheun.
Seccombe, W.
1974 The housewife and her labour under capitalism. New Left
Review 83:3-24.
1980 Domestic labor and the working class household. In Hidden
in the Household: Women's Domestic Labour Under
Capitalism. Bonnie Fox, ed., Pp. 255-100. Toronto: The
Women's Press.
Sen, G.
1980 The sexual division of labor and the working class
family: towards a conceptual synthesis of class relations
and the subordination of women. Review of Radical Political
Economies 12:2:76-85.
Smith, J. Wallerstein, I. and Dierter-Evers, H.
1984 Households and the World Economy. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Sokoloff, N.
1980 Between Money and Love: The Dialectics of Women's
Home and Market Work. New York: Praeger.
Standing, G.
1989 Global Feminization through Flexible Labor. World
Development 17:7:1077-1095.


175
This increasing incorporation of female workers contributes to
women assuming more important economic roles in the household.
Household relationships were shown to change with women's labor force
incorporation. However, by illustrating that women's labor force
participation does not lessen her household responsibilities, this research
demonstrates that labor force incorporation is not always liberating for
women. On the contrary, this activity often results in women's increasing
subordination and the "double day".
However, the fact that women's labor force incorporation is not
necessarily "liberating" for women does not mean that women should
remain at home and not work. Rather this study emphasizes that for paid
employment for women to be liberating, working conditions and pay
must be improved (for men as well as women) and measures must be
taken to alleviate women's houseyold burdens, not only through
informal kin networks, but through greater sharing of domestic tasks with
men and state support of child care.
One additional benefit of women's labor force incorporation is its
impact on authority patterns. However, this is not a direct and
mechanical relationship. Rather, women's increased authority in the
household appears to be correlated with the extent of their contribution to
the household budget. Ideological factors again play a role. It appears that
in Colombia, patriarchal ideology is stronger, perhaps because of the
influence of the Catholic church than in the Caribbean or Mexico (Safa
1990, Beneria and Roldan 1987).
This study contributes to research on women's labor force
incorporation in Colombia such as those by Leon (1982), Deere and Leon
(1982), Bonilla (1985), and Truelove (1988, 1990). Specifically this research


131
Table 6.1
Age of Workers by Workplace
Age Workplace
Home Factory
Domestic
Multinational
Less than 20
0
0
3%
20-29
11%
34%
30%
30-39
40%
45%
50%
40-49
37%
14%
15%
50-59
11%
6%
2%
Total
100% (35)
100% (35)
100% (40)
Table 6.2
Marital Status by Workplace
Workplace
Marital Status
Home
Factory
Domestic
Multinational
Single
26%
33%
57%
Married
40%
32%
34%
Free Union
23%
5%
6%
Separated or Divorced
8%
18%
0
Widow
3%
12%
3%
Total
100% (35)
100% (40)
100% (35)


21
Historical works document variations in household and family-
composition through time (Aries 1973; Arizpe 1977; Stolcke 1981). The
structure and composition of households also varies with the life-stages and
socio-economic income generating strategies of its members. The impact of
life cycle (elaborated in more detail in chapter six) on women's production
and reproductive responsibilities illustrates that life cycle is a major factor in
labor recruitment policies and strongly affects who is hired for particular jobs.
For example, as this research will demonstrate, daughters are preferred by the
multi-national factories. They are more flexible in their work hours (i.e.
more available for unscheduled overtime), and less likely to miss work
because of family problems. In addition, life cycle affects the way in which
women regard their earnings and the contributions they make toward the
household economy (Safa 1990). This case will be discussed in more detail in
chapter seven.
The impact of industrialization on families and households can be
seen in changing household strategies for income generation. The household
organizes labor for productive as well as reproductive tasks. For example, as
the ratio of workers to consumers changes over time, the income generating
activities of the women also change. It is hypothesized that ideological and
time constraints assigning domestic responsibilities to women, pull them
back into the home when other household members (especially children)
assume their income generating activities. As a result, both the composition
and the structure of households have a direct impact on women's lives, on
their labor for both market oriented and industrial outworking activities, and
in particular on their ability to gain access to resources, to labor and to
income.


27
be done by the minders of the machines; in the place of the
artificially produced differentiations of the detail workmen, step
natural differences of age and sex. (Marx 1967, p. 420).
Initially industrialization tended to substitute unskilled labor for
skilled, female labor for male, young labor for mature (Marx 1967).
In so far as machinery dispenses with muscular power, it
becomes a means of employing laborers of slight muscular
strength, and those whose bodily development is incomplete,
but whole limbs are all the more supple. The labor of women
and children was, therefore, the first thing sought for by
capitalist who used machinery. That mighty substitute for
labour and laborers was forthwith changed into a means for
increasing the number of wage-laborers by enrolling,under the
direct sway of capital, every member of the workman's family,
without distinction of age or sex (p.394).
Early theoreticians of women's work generally viewed this labor force
incorporation as liberating (Marx 1967; Engels 1972):
Since large-scale industry has transferred the woman from
the house to the labor market and the factory and makes her,
often enough, the bread-winner of the family, the last remnants
of male domination in the proletarian home have lost all
foundation (Engels 1968, p. 508).
Vogel criticized the notion of separation of reproduction from other
productive relations, arguing that although Engels conceptualized the family
as a significant analytical category, he failed to specify how the family
functioned within the overall process of social reproduction. Vogel (1983)
also critiqued this interpretation of women's labor force incorporation as
liberating. On the one hand, women's labor force incorporation provides an
income for these women which may permit them to exercise more power in
the household (as is explored later in this text). However, the reproductive


Appendix D
Household Ethnographies
Factory Worker's Household
Angela 29 has three children Sergio 10, Ruben 9, and Marcia 5. She
came to Pereira from a nearby rural community with her family and husband
when she was 18. They came to Pereira to look for work. Her father died four
years ago, at which time Angela began to work in a garment factory.
Although she had never worked as a seamstress, she quickly learned to sew
in the large multinational factory. She worked in the factory for 7 months,
but the schedule was difficult (from 7 in the evening to 6 in the morning
Monday through Thursday, Fridays from 7 till 5 and Saturday from 12 until
production was finished, sometimes going on until 10:00 at night). She was
fired when she had her third child.
However, one year after the birth of her child, they called her again.
She worked from 7 at night till 6 in the morning again. When she returned
home from, the factory she prepared breakfast for her husband and got her
children off to school. The youngest daughter stayed with a neighbor while
Angela slept. During the evening while she was at work, her husband
(unemployed) watched the children. (Angela's husband had worked in a
small micro-enterprise which made shoes, but the shop went bankrupt and
he lost his job in the fall of 1988.) Usually Angela went to bed at 8 or 9 in the
morning and slept till 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
When her children arrived home from school she'd prepare them
some dinner and prepare her "lunch" for work then leave to catch the bus for
the 20 minute ride to the factory. However, because Angela did not meet her
production quotas, she was transferred to one of the factories which
subcontracted to the large multinational factory and made women's blouses.
This factory was smaller. Whereas the other large multinational factory
employed over 900 operators, this factory employed only 300 workers, and
had approximately 4 workshops. However Angela stated that it was very hot
in the factory, especially during the day. Although she does not enjoy her
work, Angela's contribution to the household budget is essential for the
economic survival of her family.
(Interview #11)
195


CHAPTER EIGHT
CONCLUSIONS
The uneven and unrestricted expansion of
capitalism {in Colombia} brought poverty at
the same time as it created wealth. Two
economies emerged to mirror the two faces of
the political order: the formal, measured
economy with its impressive statistics of
economic growth, and the other, where the
majority of people live and work, the so-
called informal economy.
Pearce 1991
This research analyzed the relationship between the organization of
gender relations in the household and women's labor force incorporation.
In order to analyze the impact of industrial restructuring on social
reproduction of households, this research considered: 1) the impact of
changes within the domestic cycle of the household on (a) the availability
of female labor, and (b) new patterns of household authority resulting
from women's sources of income, 2) the impact of factory recruitment
strategies on women's labor force incorporation, and 3) the impact of
changes in the structure of production, due to both political and economic
pressures in the region, on women's labor force incorporation and the
composition and structure of the workers' households.
Women's labor force incorporation is conditioned by the demand
for laborers as expressed in recruitment strategies of factories, and the
changing structure of production within the industry. As in other
170


186
P20b. Ademas de los ingresos por sus trabajos que otra
entrada econmica se genera en el hogar y quien le aporta? (por
ejemplo: rentas, pensiones por accidentes, ayuda de familiares,
vende ropa, comida, pension del padre para los hijos, etc.)
P20bl Le pide permiso a alguien para gastarlo?
P20c. Que gastos de la casa cubre el marido?
P20d. Que gastos de la casa cubre Ud?
P20e. Le queda algo de ahorrar o para gastos personales?
P22. Dejara de trabajar si pudiera?
P23. Conoce otras seoras que costen?
ORGANIZACION FAMILIAR
CAPITULO IV
P1. De quien es esta casa?
P2. Como la consiguieron?
P3 Como se organizan los gastos de la casa?
P4 Quien los administra?
P5 Quien toma las decisiones importantes en la casa?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona (especificar)
8. No Sabe 9. NA
P6 Quien decide si los hijos van a la escuela?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona
8. No Sabe 9. NA
P7 Quien decide que van a comprar con la canasta familiar?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona
8. No Sabe 9. NA


20
oriented towards market production. Since reproductive tasks of the
household are considered women's responsibilities, women's labor force
participation is more dramatically affected by reproductive responsibilities
than men's. Domestic labor which has traditionally been the women's
responsibility constrains women's participation in market oriented
production. Therefore women's responsibilities for reproductive activities
determine in large part her possible productive activities. These tasks inhibit
or constrain women, especially middle aged married women, from selling
their labor in the market. Because the labor of these women is consumed
within the household, these workers have more difficulty working outside of
the home.
Family or Household
Before proceeding with an analysis of changes occurring in the
household during capitalist development, the concepts "family" and
"household" must be clearly defined. The term "household" refers to a co
resident group of persons who share most aspects of consumption, drawing
on and allocating a common pool of resources (including labor) to ensure
their material reproduction (Margulis 1980, Schmink 1984, Yanagisako 1979,
Jelin 1977, Harris 1981). Households are not necessarily based on kin
relationships, though a family and a household may in some cases be
equivalent. "Family" then refers to an institution based on kin relationships
governed by established socio-cultural practices. These individuals do not
necessarily share a common residence or commonly pool their resources.


145
The structure of the household is strongly related to women's
contribution to the household budget (Table 6.10). Working women in
female-headed households contribute a higher percentage towards the
household budget, while female workers in nuclear male-headed households
contribute a smaller proportion.
Table 6.10
Structure of Household by Percentage Women Workers
Contribute to Budget
Contribution to Budget
Household Structure
0 35%
36 49%
50 70%
71 -100%
Female Headed
Male Headed
24%
29%
28%
68%
Nuclear
55%
43%
48%
16%
Extended
21%
29%
24%
16%
Total
100% (42)
100% (7)
100% (29)
100% (25)
The worker consumer ratio by workplace provides an indication of the
economic pressures on the household. This was determined by taking the
total number of individuals in the household (workers and consumers) and
dividing it by the number of income earners. The more workers in the
household, the higher the ratio. Table 6.11 demonstrates that the ratio of
workers to consumers is greatest in the extended female-headed households
and lower in the nuclear female-headed household category. Male-headed
households demonstrate the reverse. In these households, the worker-to-


119
the people considerably and it is difficult to form groups.
For example, if you are the leader of this workshop, and I
work in quality, within two months, I don't work here
any more, but rather I am sent to another workshop. So I
am sent to another workshop continually. . it is difficult
to really know the women you work with well when they
are continually changing the workshops. (Interview # 8)
Changes in Organization of Production in Factory N
Increasing competition in the marketing of garments in both the
national and international markets has led to changes in the organization of
production. According to Lucia, a quality control supervisor:
There are many changes occurring in the process of
production, the style produced, even the personnel are being
constantly changed. For example, each day new people come
from the United States and other places, and they teach us that
this shouldn't be done in such a way, that the production has to
be changed, that its not accepted in the old way...
In addition to changing the organization of production within
the factory, the quality of the final product, and the speed with
which it is completed continue to be modified.
Another worker stated her reaction to increased production pressures:
I don't like all this pressure. There is always someone on top of
you saying "hurry up." But I know what I have to do. One
should be allowed to work according to one's conscience. One
knows that a certain job must be finished by a specific time, and
they know that you know this, but they still bother you
continually about this saying "What's happening, What are you
doing? We have to turn over this job at a specific time". Even
when they know that the work will be finished on time.
If one doesn't finish the job. . What happened? Sometimes it is
a very difficult operation, or the machine is damaged, or the
cloth is bad or cut wrong in Florida, or the girl who is working


96
means she can earn 35 pesos an hour. That would not even pay for a soda for
her lunch. Another home-worker was paid three pesos for both doing a button
hole and placing the button. Finishing off a shirt paid 10 pesos, finishing off a
pair of pants paid 12, putting a collar on a shirt paid 8 pesos, inspecting the
article before packing it paid 5 pesos. Some women were able to earn 4,000
pesos weekly, though most made only 2-3,000. When considering that the
minimum wage for factory workers was 25,500 biweekly, the considerable
differences in the pay between factory workers, and subcontracted industrial
outworkers becomes evident2. In most cases, the women who worked at
home also bought the thread and paid for the electricity which the production
required.
It is important to note that thread cost 100 pesos per small spool. To
complete an entire shirt (long sleeved adult) at least 2 spools of thread were
needed. Many of these subcontracted industrial outworkers were only making
170-200 pesos per shirt in the period of low demand, waiting for higher shirt
prices in the season of high demand (up to 400 pesos per shirt). Therefore,
during the times of low demand these households relied even more heavily
on the income generation of family members other than the subcontracted
industrial outworker.
2Although factory workers were entitled to receive the minimum wage, often
their pay was less, and the regulations for paying overtime and holidays was
insufficient. These problems with the factory will be discussed in more detail
in Chapter 5.


136
In addition to number of children, the age of the children is a
significant factor to be considered in an analysis of the impact of the domestic
cycle on women's labor force incorporation. Although the age differences of
the workers are reflected in the ages of their children, not all women have
children at the same age, therefore, a consideration of the ages of their
children is useful in analyzing the impact of the domestic cycle on women's
labor force incorporation. Eighty three percent of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers have no children under 6 years of age compared to 70% of factory
workers. Having young children, therefore, appears to be a significant
constraint to working in either setting. However, this constraint is greater in
factory work that requires leaving the home (Figure 6.2). Forty two percent of
women workers (both factory and subcontracted outworkers) stated that child
care prevents (or prevented at some point in the past) them from assuming
factory work. However, many households utilize the labor of other female
members to care for the children while the mother leaves the household to
work. Table 6.3 demonstrates the range of female relatives available to
assume child care activities for both factory and home-based workers. Factory
workers have a wider range of options while home-based workers more often
care for children themselves.
This section has demonstrated that factory workers are more likely to
be young and single. Subcontracted industrial outworkers are more
frequently married and older. The subcontracted industrial outworkers began
to have children at an earlier age, and they have fewer household members
to help with child care. Subcontracted workers are generally older, and more
frequently married. The older age of the subcontracted workers may be
responsible for their younger age at birth of their first child since age at birth
of first child has been declining. Few women in either category currently


45
Figure 3.1 Map of South America, Colombia highlighted.


53
relegated to the category obrera" (worker) as opposed to the category of
"empleada" (salaried wage worker). The payment for work completed by
empleadas was greater than that paid to "obreras" because the work of
empleadas supposedly required a higher level of formal education, and
therefore more 'technical expertise"(Sandroni 1982).
The situation of women in these early years of industrialization in
Bogota, bears some resemblance to the daily lives of the garment workers
today, in Pereira. In a thesis at the Universidad Nacional, Gabriela
Pelaez Echeverry (1944) notes:
The women who work in the factories in this study are single
and without children because of the personnel selection process of
the factory. . This is not found in the 'trilladoras' of coffee, who
represent the other extreme. It is difficult to find among them, a
woman who is single without children. . In these 'trilladoras'
one finds married women, single, women of all the marital states,
with children of various ages. Mothers carried their children to
work at their side. . (p. 72, cited in Sandroni 1982, my translation).
She further notes that:
Of the women who worked only 1 percent, do so to dedicate part
of their salary to personal expenses. Even those women who are
alone, orphaned or widowed, need their work in order to live. .
There are fewer cases in which the women must work because of
death or abandonment by the husband (p.72, cited in Sandroni
1982, my translation).
The similarities between women's proletarianization in the 1940s and
proletarianization in the 1980s demonstrate the continuous search by
capital for a cheap, vulnerable labor force.1
1 Statistics for Colombia show that the population of economically active
women increased between 1951 and 1978 from 18.7 percent to 28.8 percent
(Flores, Echeverri and Mendez 1987). However, the rate of female labor force
participation in 1951 (18.7 percent) was close to five times less than the


CHAPTER FOUR
SUBCONTRACTING AND INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS IN THE
GARMENT INDUSTRY
Introduction
The future generations laid
waste by the hunger of capital
for higher rates of accumulation
are yet to be known...The present
victims of its capacity are all
too frequently women...
Elson and Pearson 1981
Chapter Three discussed the socioeconomic aspects of regional
development responsible for the increase in subcontracting. This chapter
examines the structure of production within the garment industry as it
conditions women's labor force participation. "Putting-out" part of the
production process, through a formal or informal contract, is called
subcontracting. Subcontracting is a mechanism which fragments and
decentralizes production creating a hierarchy of better paid, more secure jobs
in the factory, which contrast in general with low-paying home-based
production. The linkages created by the process of subcontracting are discussed
as mechanisms which create and reproduce subordinate hierarchical social
relationships in the garment industry. A discussion of the variety of linkages
(intermediaries who obtain home-based workers for the factory who are
external to factory, factory workers who serve as intermediaries, or no
intermediaries) utilized to link subcontracted producers to different types of
81


116
pay them an additional 20 days (in addition to the 45 days), and if
they have more than 10 years with the factory, they pay them an
additional 30 days. Then, the factory must spend a lot of money
in this, but they get rid of the leaders, of the dynamic individuals
in the unions. Then, when they have weakened the union, they
buy off the directors and the union is wiped out. This is a tactic
which they have used in the last few years. This has made it
almost impossible to organize people. (Interview with male
union official May 1989).
Although there was one union in all of the garment factories in the
region, this union had been very "patronal". In other words, the union had
not been independent of management, but rather complied with
management's orders. For example, in 1983 the workers' vacation time was
denied to allow the factory to meet production deadlines. The workers' were
not reimbursed, nor were they given vacation at a later date. The union did
not fight for the workers' additional pay, nor their vacation time. Rather they
complied with the desires of management, in order to keep the factory
running smoothly. Only in the last three years had the union in this factory
changed the president, and in 1987 they affiliated with the CUT (making them
less patronal). The CUT for example, prohibited any union officials from
taking higher wages, or new positions offered by the management because
this had traditionally been a strategy of management to "buy off" the workers.
Unions had played a crucial role at one point, in defending garment
workers in the region. In an interview with the local president of the CUT,
he told how the workers of factory G resisted managements attempts to
remove the factory and its machinery. According to union officials in the
town, factory N discussed above was constructed on the same site as factory
G, using the same buildings with the same stock holders.
During this time (the 1970s) the owner of the factory was killed
in some family feud. This had repercussions for the workers.
Those who managed the factory intended to remove the


171
multinational industries, the managers of the multinational garment
factory studied in this research expressed the policy practice of hiring only
women under 25 years of age with an education equivalent to 10th grade,
preferably single with no children. Obviously these requirements limit
the women who will be hired for this type of work. This recruitment
strategy was not expressed by the factories with solely domestic capital,
only those with mixed capital. Further, in Colombia both the political
condition and the economic situation have encouraged the development
of small micro-enterprises subcontracted to the larger factories. The great
majority of workers in these small micro-enterprises which produce
garments in Risaralda are women (SENA 1987). Encouraging the
development of small-scale enterprises without regulating the types of
contracts possible with the larger factories, increases the exploitation of
women workers in these small factories. In fact, women working in the
small-scale enterprises are paid the lowest salaries and given the worst
benefits of any other workers (interview of History Professor in Pereira
1988).
Research Findings
At the household level, this research describes how women's domestic
responsibilities and social relationships in the household limit her options in
the labor market. It was found that women with additional household
responsibilities (especially wives and mothers) are more likely to participate
in home-based production. However, female heads of household are more
frequently found in the factory where they can command higher salaries.
Further, differences in household composition lead to different social


69
According to a study comparing the industrial development of
Pereira and Manizales by Manuel Rodriguez Becerra (1979), 75 percent of
the garment factories in Pereira today are the product of individuals or a
family who promoted and supported their own industry. In the rest of
the cases, the factories generally belonged to the action of a small group
of commercial businessmen.
In 1935 two industrialists from the Antioqueo region of
Colombia, Carlos and Israel Restrepo, initiated the Charles shirt factory.
Later, two gentlemen, Jaramillo and Cano, owners of the largest
imported goods store, opened a factory in the back of their shop called
'Jarcano'. The Jarcano shirt became a very respected label, and though it
was originally produced for the Garantia factory, they eventually became
independent, and a small workshop was opened in the home of
Jaramillo.
Foreign investment in the industrial development of Pereira
began in 1936 with the establishment of the garment factory La Garantia.
Foreign investment continues to provide substantial employment for
the region. In 1973 factories dominated by foreign capital employed 20
percent of the personnel incorporated in manufacturing industry
(Arango 1989).


13
pressure on the workers, there was a high incidence of work-related injuries in
this factory.
Three women, graduates of the local university in social sciences, were
contracted to assist in the interviews after finishing with the trial interviews.
These assistants were helpful in finding women who worked in the garment
industry in Pereira and Dos Quebradas. They completed two 3-hr sessions of
training to ensure their understanding of the interview technique. The
interviews with the workers in general, lasted from 1 to 1.5 hours. The
assistants were initially paid $2.00 an interview; however one interviewer who
was exceptionally good and assisted in more depth with other aspects of the
analysis was later re-hired at the rate of $3.00 an hour. The assistants completed
50 interviews with the workers in the two larger factories. I completed the trial
interviews with the workers (about 15), some interviews with factory workers
(20), interviews with the owners of the factories (41) and the domestic
outworkers (35). The final sample consisted of 40 workers of one export factory,
35 operators of one factory producing for the domestic market and 35 domestic
outworkers.
Other quantified information, including data from the manufacturing
census, and the household census of 1977, 1980 and 1987 was utilized in
determining the social structure of the region. Initially this data was used to
determine the site of study (i.e. an area where the production of garments was
predominant). Later, this information was used to complement the analysis of
labor force participation in the areas of Pereira and Dos Quebradas.


101
(1) Subcontracted Industrial Outworkers
-takes place in the workers' home
-do not hire additional non-family members
-often rely on female family members for assistance
-use only 1 machine
(2) Small-scale Enterprises (Family Based)
-takes place in workers' home
-seldom hire additional non-family members
-rely on family members (female usually) for assistance
-use more than 1 machine
(3)Small-scale Enterprises (Non-Familial)
-takes place outside workers' home
-usually hire additional non-family members
-use more than 3 machines
-may contract out to subcontracted industrial outworkers
Figure 4.2
Types of Subcontracted Units
The success with which subcontracted industrial outworkers convert
their earnings into profit and their homes into small-scale enterprises depends
on a variety of factors: (1) the capital which is available for purchase of raw
materials, (2) number and type of machines which are owned, (3) previous
experience or knowledge of the process of production (i.e. those who have
additional skills such as designing, cutting, sewing of various articles, and
ironing can negotiate a better rate for the items that they produce than can
individuals with limited knowledge of the production process), (4) family
members who work in the subcontracted enterprise for little or no


134
realize that the small size of the sample renders the results of the tests for
statistical significance less reliable.
Over fifty percent of female factory workers in the multinational
factory were single, compared with twenty six percent of subcontracted
industrial outworkers. This is not only a function of the life cycle of the
women, but also reflects the recruitment strategies of factories. Marital status
and age of potential workers (factors which also change throughout the
domestic cycle of the household) not only affect the supply of workers but are
also key determinants of the demand for workers reflected in factory hiring
preferences. Subcontracted industrial outworkers more frequently are older
(Table 6.1) and married (Table 6.2) while factory workers are younger and
more often single. The mean age of subcontracted industrial outworkers is
39 while that of factory workers is 32 (significant at the .0005 level).
Number of children in the household is also a significant factor
affecting women's labor force participation. As shown in Figure 6.2, 32
percent of the subcontracted industrial outworkers had one child or less,
while 62 percent of the factory workers had one child or less. Only 9 percent
of subcontracted industrial outworkers had no children, while the percentage
of factory workers with no children was much higher (33 percent). This may
be explained in part by the higher percentage of young, single women in the
factory. In this sample, the subcontracted industrial outworkers' households
have a larger number of children (most of whom are old enough to work)
than the households of factory workers. Seventeen percent of the
subcontracted industrial outworkers had three children while only 11 percent
of the factory workers did, and 22 percent of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers had four or more children, while only seven percent of the
factory workers fell into this category. The trend demonstrated by observing


80
subcontracting determines the context within which the home-based
workers and micro-entrepreneurs produce for the garment industry.


168
Conclusions
This chapter analyzes significant socio-economic and demographic
factors affecting household decision-making patterns. Workplace, position
in household, and access and control of budget were considered as significant
variables influencing women's decision making power in the household.
Although workplace affected women's income generating possibilities, it was
not a significant predictor of household decision making. Home ownership,
although significantly different by workplace, was not a significant predictor
of authority patterns either. The percent of income contributed to the
household budget was a significant predictor of the women's perception of
who controls the budget. In fact, women who contribute more to the
household budget state that their increased income positively affects their
position of authority within the household. In turn, women's position in the
household was found to be a significant predictor of her contribution to the
household budget with female heads of households contributing more.
When testing authority patterns against workplace and controlling for
women's position in the household, female factory workers who were single
mothers and household heads consistently felt that they had more authority
in the household. These were also the workers whose budgetary
contributions were higher. These households also had fewer male members,
indicating that it is more common for women workers to have authority
over other women than other men.
When testing the response to the question, "Do you feel that you have
more authority in the household because of your work?" against the age,


197
Berger, M., and M. Buvinic
1988 La Mujer en el Sector Informal: Trabajo Femenino y
Microempresa en America Latina. Caracas: Nueva Sociedad.
Bergquist, C.
1986 Labor in Latn America: Comparative essays on Chile,
Argentina, Venezuela, and Colombia. Stanford University
Press: Stanford, CA.
Bie, P. de
1969 Pereira: Las Experiencies de la Familia en una Zona de
Rapida Urbanizacin. Thesis, Universidad Catlica de
Lovaina, Lovaina: Spain.
Bonilla de Ramos, E.(ed.)
1985 Mujer y Familia en Colombia. Bogot:
Editorial Plaza and Janes.
1985 La Mujer Trabajadora: Una Contradiccin? In,
Mujer y Familia en Colombia. Bogot:
Editorial Plaza and Janes.
Boserup, E.
1970 Women's Role in Economic Development. London: George
Allen and Unwin.
Braverman, FI.
1974 Labor and Monopoly Capital. New York: Monthly Review
Press.
Bromley, R. and C. Gerry
1979 Casual Work and Poverty in the Third World. New York:
John Wiley.
Brown, J.
1970 A Note on the Division of Labour by Sex. American
Anthropologist, 72 (5) 1073-8.
Bruce, J. and D.Dwyer
1989 A Home Divided: Women and Income in the Third World.
Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Bushnell, D. and N. Macauley
1988 The Emergence of Latin America in the Nineteenth
Century. New York: Oxford University Press.


144
consolidate. Male-headed households on the other hand, begin nucleated
and extend under the consolidation phase. This differential pattern of
household expansion between male and female-headed households may be
due to the nature of employment of other women in the household (other
than the female worker). In male-headed households, women are more
frequently subcontracted industrial outworkers (Table 6.9). The higher wages
of men as compared to women explain, in part, why female-headed
households are expanded earlier in the domestic cycle of the household. In
addition, female-headed households tend to extend by incorporating workers
while male-headed households tend to extend by incorporating consumers.
This is seen by comparing the worker to consumer ratio by the household
structure. In male-headed households, children may have a better chance of
increasing their education and entering the labor force in a more
advantageous position, since the economic pressures of these households
during the consolidation phase are less.
Table 6.9
Household Extension by Domestic Cycle
Phase of Domestic Cycle
Type of Household Expansion Consolidation Dispersion Total
Nuclear Female
31 %
60 %
9%
100% (22)
Nuclear Male
37%
55 %
8 %
100% (40)
Extended Female
46 %
27%
7%
100% (15)
Extended Male
27%
63%
10 %
100%(30)


164
social values, which are reflected in household authority patterns. The
socialization process of the family provides children with a map to guide
them through their lives. Knowledge about the world is imparted through
the family. The degree to which parental structure influences the
socialization of children depends, to a large extent, on the structure of the
household.
Virginia Guttierrez de Pineda states that the dominant factor of
authority in Colombia is patriarchy, stimulated largely by the Church and the
State, who strive to maintain men in positions of power. According to
Guitterrez de Pineda (1986), children pass through a brief period when their
activities are indistinguishable by gender. Later on, the boy follows the father,
and helps him with his tasks, and the girl does the same, guided by the
mother and her values within the home. A period of socialization takes
place, in which the young boy is converted into a shadow of his father and
gradually assumes his tasks. The daughter is socialized in the image of her
mother, just as the male child assumes the roles of his father.
According to Rojas de Gonzales (1986) even though the number of
women who enter productive work is increasing, one still observes "cultural
and economic characteristics which are slow to change". She states:
. . cultural and economic characteristics which are only slowly
eradicated, transmitted through education and tradition from one
generation to another give way to family structures in which men
dominate over women. (P. 86 my translation).
Rojas de Gonzalez goes on to elaborate five principal issues affecting the
Colombian family in the recent decade. The following aspects centralized in
the urbanized districts of the intermediate and large cities include: (1) The
decreasing influence of the family in urban areas under highly competetive


15
alumnus provided me with contacts to ACOPI (Asociacin Colombiana de
Populares Industrias) for medium and small factories. This organization
further assisted me in Pereira, providing me with a telephone and office space.
In establishing relationships with homeworkers, building trust was the
key to successful interviews. Because the interviews intruded into the settings
of the women workers and their families, it was important for me to
reciprocate their attention towards me with offers of my time, assistance,
friendship, or a listening ear for their problems. The initial strategy was to
walk in the barrios, spend time getting to know the children, and then ask if
their mothers worked in the home. However, even after getting to know the
children, the mothers were suspicious of my activities, and few were willing to
grant me an interview. It was only after meeting people in a government office
which provided training in sewing and garment production for women
(SENA) that I was able to make inroads into the production in the home. The
SENA had a program for the development of small-scale enterprises, and also a
project for assisting women who worked in their homes. SENA personnel
allowed me to travel with them on their home visits, and I was able to get to
know the women, home-based workers and small-scale entrepreneurs in a
more personal way. With the introduction of the SENA worker, the women
trusted me more, and we were able to talk about their work in a more favorable
environment.
The following chapter considers the theoretical significance of
women's labor force incorporation. Women's labor force participation is
considered as part of a strategy of industrial capital to incorporate more
vulnerable labor, through restructuring and fragmentation of the production
process.


133
decrease their labor force participation because much of the economic
responsibility during this time falls on the children.
Life Cycle Variables of Women
vt
In order to investigate the hypothesis that women's life cycle plays a
crucial role in their labor force participation, I considered the marital status of
women in three different work contexts (Table 6.2). Three different categories
of women's labor force incorporation, factory workers (both domestic and
multinational) and subcontracted industrial outworkers are considered in
order to analyze the impact of the life cycle variables on labor force
incorporation considering workplace as the dependent variable. It is
hypothesized that married, older women are more likely to be subcontracted
industrial outworkers, especially if they marry at a younger age. Workers in
the factory with multinational capital (57%) are more frequently single while
those in the factory with domestic capital are distributed fairly evenly between
the category of single and married. Children are hypothesized to constrain
women's participation in the labor force for both material and emotional
reasons. While someone is needed to take care of the child, the women also
frequently expressed a desire to be near their children, even if the child care
tasks were performed by their mother or sister.
Although the difference in marital status between the two groups of
workers (factory and subcontracted industrial outworkers) is not statistically
significant, it does demonstrate a trend for factory women to be single while
subcontracted industrial outworkers are more frequently married. Factory
workers also are generally younger (Table 6.1). Age is a statistically significant
variable affecting women's labor force participation. However, we must


166
"No, work doesn't give one the right to command in the
house." (Interview #90)
"No, just because I work and provide some income, doesnt
mean that I'm going to demand more power" (Interview # 79)
"No, I wouldn't consider it fair"(Interviews #75, 76, 78)
"No, the decisions are made between the two" (Interview #125)
"The fact that one works doesn't give one any more authority,
nor does it take any away" (Interview #127)
"No, Everything is done together, there is no individuality"
(Interview #132)
"No, The fact that one works is a personal achievement,
everyone benefits" (Interview #139)
"All are equal and have the same rights." (Interview #112)
Those who did state that the work provided them with an economic basis for
more authority in the household stated the following:
"Yes, I'm contributing something and living experiences which
permit me to have more authority in the household and
demonstrate that I, too, am a person" (Interview # 89)
"Yes, but I only give orders to my children." (Interview # 68)
"I think so, because if I didn't work, my husband would be on
my back more. Working gives one more freedom." (Interview #
119)
"Yes, by having an income one has more security, more
autonomy." (Interview #131)
A few women reiterated the traditional belief that the male should be
considered the household head:


115
article are very weak. Where one would follow up on these
contracts one would find things are not good...
Forms of Resistance within the Garment Industry and Factory N
Given the number of complaints expressed in worker interviews,
surprisingly little organization was found within the garment industry. A
brief review of the stormy relationship between management and unions
provide clues to the contemporary phobia towards unionization by both
workers and management.
In Risaralda, there has been permanent harrassment of
union members by factory owners. Harrassment which has
consisted in sanctions, generally unjust: such as firing. Often
women who occupy directive positions in the union
organizations are tempted (by the company) to occupy positions
within administration, for example, positions such as head of
personnel. This is generally done in order to make them
denounce the union, in order to weaken it and finally end it.
This occurred in two factories in this region. In Factory F, they
weakened the union to such a point that at the end, they called
the few women who still belonged to the union, and paid them
off with promises that they would give them a certain amount
of money if they renounced both the union and the factory. .
This has been a very difficult struggle. The factory owners have
been able to eliminate unions. Factory V still has a union, but
for all intents and purposes, Factory V is controlled by Factory N.
(interview with male union official May 1989)
In order to weaken the unions, the owners of the garment factories attempted
to pay off the workers.
They began to fire workers, and pay them off. . because the law
states that if a worker is fired without a just cause, they must be
paid a specific amount of money, which consists of 45 days pay if
they have been there one year or less, if they have been
employed in the factory five years, they pay them 15 additional
days, if they have been in the factory from five to 10 years, they


110
accused the factory of serious violation of human rights. Instead of being
awarded the medal for exportation, these women insisted, the factory should
be awarded a medal for exploitation.
Mechanisms of Control in the Factory
Having described the material organization of production in the factory,
we now move to a consideration of the ways in which this production is
controlled by management. There are many mechanisms of control
employed by management throughout the production process. A
computerized sheet near the personnel manager's office shows which
"talleres" are producing most, which are keeping up with their production
quotas, and which are falling behind. Secondly, a blackboard at the end of the
workshop charts the production that each workshop should be completing
during the hour. Beside each hour is a light bulb. If the bulb is yellow, then
the hourly production quotas are being met. If the lightbulb is red, then the
hourly production quotas for that hour have not been met. This blackboard is
filled in by a technologist who is constantly inspecting production in the
'workshop'. Technologists are men as well as women. In fact, there were
more women technologists than men when I observed the production.
Another point of control is the quality control card filled in by the supervisor
for each worker. This card documents the article which the worker was
producing, the quota of their production for the day, the number of articles
produced, and how many of these articles where completed satisfactorily.
According to interviews with Lucia, a quality control supervisor:


141
Table 6.6
Average Contribution to Household Budget
by Position
in the Household
Women's Position
Average Contribution to
in the Household
Household Budget
Spouse and Mother
45%
Daughter
41%
Single mother
61%
Other (Aunt, Cousin)
38%
Table 6.7
Percent Contribution to Household Budget by Workplace
Workplace
Home Factory
Percentage
Contribution
to Budget
0-35%
50%
37%
36-49%
21%
8%
50-70%
25%
31%
71-100%
4%
23%
Total
100% (32)
100%
The structure of the household (extended or nuclear) also affects the
economic equilibrium of the household to the extent that the ratio of


165
circumstances (both economic and otherwise) emphasizing individual
achievement; (2) The tendency to permit women greater independence as they
increase their economic security; (3) According to a study by Ligia Echeverry de
Ferrufino (1987), the frequent and diverse types of de-facto union which make
up to 30% of the couples in the urban areas of Colombia lead to increasing
instability of the household; (4) The increasing amount of domestic violence
(Casa de la Mujer 1986) and (5) The influence of the mass media on the values
and ethics of the Colombian family. The increasingly widespread availability
of television and other forms of mass media portray a set of values and needs
which do not necessarily reflect the capacity of the average Colombian
household.
All of these factors contribute to the changing values of the Colombian
family, both within the household and workplace. Although it is anticipated
that women's income generation will increase their participation in
household decision making, this is not a direct correlation as the following
excerpts from interviews indicates (also see Ethnographic Vignettes in
Appendix D).
An analysis of ethnographic information from the interviews
demonstrates that the women's perception of 'authority' in the household is
an important factor to be considered in interpreting the data. The authority
and headship of the household is a result of the interaction of economic,
socio-demographic and socio-cultural factors. For example, when the women
were asked "Do you think that you have more authority in the household
because of your work?" a variety of responses were encountered. Their
clarification of the responses provides additional information about the
women's interpretation of authority within the household.


199
Echeverra de Ferrufino, L.
1987 La Familia de Hecho en Colombia. Bogot:
Ediciones Tercer Mundo.
Edwards, M.M., and R. Lloyd-Jones
1973 N.J. Smelser and the cotton factory family: A reassessment.
Pp. 304-318 in N.B. Harte, and K.G. Pon ting,Textile History and
Economic History Essays in Honour of Miss Julia de Lacy Mann.
Manchester, England: Manchester University Press.
Elson, D., and R. Pearson
1981 The subordination of women and the internationalization
of factory production. Pp. 144-66. In Kate Young, Carol
Wolkowitz,and Roslyn McCullagh, eds, Of Marriage and the
Market: Women's Subordination in International Perspective.
London: CSE Books.
Emmanuel, A.
1972 Unequal Exchange. London: New Left Books.
Engels, F.
1972 (1884) The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the
State. New York: Pathfinder Press.
Epstein, T. Scarlett
1982 A Social Anthropological Approach to Women's Roles and
Status in Developing Countries: The Domestic Cycle. In
Anker, R., M. Buvinic, and N.H. Yousseff (eds). Women's
Roles and Population Trends in the Third World. London:
Croom Helm.
Fernandez-Kelly, M.P.
1983 Mexican Border Industrialization, Female Labor-Force
Participation, and Migration, Pp.205-23. In Nash, J. and
Fernandez-Kelly, M.P. eds. Women, Men, and Industrialization.
Albany: SUNY Press.
1985 For We are Sold, I and My People. New York: CUNY Press.
Fortes, M., ed.
1963 Social Structure: Studies Presented to A. Radcliff-Brown.
New York: Russell and Russell.


125
The concept "household" refers to the group of people who live under
the same roof, organize their resources collectively, and share responsibilities
for generating an income to meet the consumption needs of the group
(Schmink 1984). Variables in the women's life cycle which may affect
women's labor force incorporation include: age, marital status, and number
and age of children. This research hypothesizes that older women who are
married will be more likely to work at home. In addition it is hypothesized
that subcontracted industrial outworkers will have more children because
having children at a younger age limits their possibilities for employment in
the factory. Significant variables of the domestic cycle of the household
include: woman's household position, family structure, age of household
head, and presence of young children in the family.
It is hypothesized that women who are spouses are more likely to be
home-based workers than women who are household heads. Because of the
lower salary of home-based workers, it is anticipated that these individuals
will require the additional support of a major income generator to support
the household's basic needs. Further, it is hypothesized that factory workers
will more frequently be members of female headed households because of the
reliance of these households on women's wages. And finally, it is anticipated
that the domestic cycle of the household (as defined and operationalized in
the following section) generates internal pressures (both economic and
ideological) which further affect the women's labor force incorporation.


29
disadvantaging women and leading to changes in the social relations of
production. These changes will be discussed in the next section.
Changes in the Social Relations of Production
The gradual displacement of cottage production based in the home
with industrial development in eighteenth century England, resulted in the
incorporation of young, single daughters of farm families into factory work;
often these were women who stopped working as soon as they were able to
marry (Fernandez-Kelly 1983). Under these conditions, women's lives were
divided into a paid productive phase and an unpaid reproductive phase in
which their activities were for the most part directed towards the renewal of
the labor force as purely housewives and mothers (Safa 1987).
Braverman (1974) demonstrates how, on the one hand, fragmentation
in the labor process degrades labor, breaking down and simplifying tasks
which permit the use of less skilled labor in one or more parts of the tasks
wrestling control out of the hands of the worker. On the other hand, this
leads to increased production for industrialists, cheapening the cost of labor,
and therefore increasing profits, as well as increasing control by management
over the labor process.
The centralization of work in the factory permitted industrialists to
determine the process of production: what would be produced, the rate at
which it would be produced, how many of certain articles would be produced,
and when they would be produced. Workers lost control of the article they
were producing which not only made them more vulnerable to capital, but
also increasingly alienated them from their work.


212
Stolcke, V.
1981 Women's labours: The naturalisation of social inequality and
women's subordination, In K. Young, C. Wolkowitz, and R.
McCullagh, eds. Of Marriage and the Market:
Women's Subordination in International Perspective.
London: CSE Books. .
Tiano, S.
1990 Maquiladora women: a new category of workers?
Pp. 193-224 in Kathryn Ward, ed., Women Workers and Global
Restructuring. Ithaca, New York: ILR Press.
Tilly, L., and J. W. Scott
1978 Women, Work and Family. New York: Holt, Rinehart and
Winston.
Truelove, C.
1985 The Informal Proletariat Revisited: The Case of the
Talleres Rurales Mini Maquilas in Colombia. Paper
presented at the Political Economy of the World-System
Conference, "Crisis in the Caribbean Basin: Past and
Present, Tulane University.
1990 Disguised industrial proletarians in rural Latin America:
women's informal-sector factory work and the social
reproduction of coffee farm labor in Colombia. Pp. 48 65, in
Kathryn Ward, ed. Women Workers and Global Restructuring.
Ithaca, New York: ILR Press.
Urrutia, M.
1969 The Development of the Colombian Labor Movement. New
Haven, CN: Yale University Press.
1985 Winners and Losers in Colombia's Economic Growth of the
1970s. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Vogel, L.
1983 Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward a Unitary
Theory. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Watanabe, S. (ed)
1983 Technology, Marketing, and Industrialization: Linkages
between Large and Small Enterprises. New Delhi:
Macmillan.


24
modernized jobs in the textile mills, women laborers were channeled into
other directions such as the "informal" labor market (Keremitsis 1984). Since
the first textile industries began in the Antioqueo region of Colombia in the
early part of this century women's labor has spurred the process of capitalist
development.
Women have always constituted a source of cheap labor for industrial
capitalism (Saffioti 1978), however, the way in which women are
incorporated into the labor force is not homogeneous. Their incorporation
into the labor force differs according to a number of variables including their
ethnicity, class and the stage of national development of the country (Safa
1977). The characteristics of women workers also differ regionally within the
same country. In Pereira, Risaralda, as will be demonstrated in chapter three,
the significance of the garment industry in regional development leads to a
labor market structure in which female participation in manufacturing
industry is higher than it may be in other regions of the country3.
One of the first scholars to provide a comparative analysis of women's
work based on data from a wide range of societies, Ester Boserup, emphasizes
gender as a significant factor in the division of labor. Boserup (1970) analyzes
factors affecting the sexual division of labor in agriculture. Her comparison of
male and female systems of farming corresponds to the African system of
shifting agriculture and the Asian system of plow cultivation. She was one of
the first theoreticians to emphasize that women's subsistence activities are
3in 1985 of 26,031 individuals employed in the manufacturing industry in
Risaralda, 30 percent were employed in garment production. Of 11,453
women who worked in the manufacturing industry in the region, 4,394 were
women associated with garment production (approximately 40 percent). Sixty
six percent of the total work force in garments are women. Of 14,578 men
who worked in the manufacturing industry, only 16 percent worked in
garment production, the majority as mechanics and supervisors.


156
workers are older, generally married. It is not surprising, therefore, that in
the case of the home-based workers, the household was owned by a male
household member, whereas in the case of the factory workers, the
household was owned just as frequently by a male or by a female family
member.
Table 7.1 demonstrates that there is a significant relationship between
workplace and home ownership (at the .05 level). A much larger percentage
of factory workers lived in households where another female family member
was the owner of the household (3% for home-based workers versus 19% for
factory workers), while a much higher percentage of home-based workers
lived in homes owned by a male family member (43% for home-based
workers versus 19 percent for factory workers). The largest percentage of
factory workers rented their home (43 percent compared with 34 percent for
home-based workers).
However, Table 7.2 demonstrates that home ownership does not
necessarily give women more perceived authority in the household. Of those
women who owned their home, less than 50% (6 out of 13) stated that they
had more authority in the household, regardless of their workplace.
To further analyze how authority relationships are manifested and
resolved in the households of the garment workers, let us consider the
following results of factory worker interviews which discuss management of
household economics through the budget.


18
fragmentation of the labor force for women's labor force incorporation and
the reproduction of the working class household.
The Household as Mediator of Women's Labor Force Incorporation
An analysis of women's labor force incorporation (be it in the factory or
industrial subcontracting) must include social relations of production as well
as social relations of reproduction (both of the domestic unit and the
workplace). Social relations of production in this study refer to the economic
ownership of productive forces (land, labor, and capital in strict marxist
terms). In other words, while the factory worker only owns her/his labor
power, the industrialist owns the machinery and the raw material required
for production. These conditions may differ in the case of small scale
producers, as will be seen in the discussion of subcontracting in chapter four.
Social relations of reproduction in this research emphasize two levels of
reproduction: the daily (and the generational) and the biological. The daily
level of reproduction includes cooking, child care, washing, cleaning, and
maintaining the household which over time leads to the reproduction of a
generation of workers (Harris and Young 1981). Women's reproductive labor
(involving activities such as giving birth to children, cooking, cleaning, and
childcare) influence women's incorporation into the wage labor force. Both
productive and reproductive functions of the household change over time (as
children grow, enter school, leave school and enter the work force). An
analysis of the household and its internal dynamics is essential for
understanding the influence of the domestic environment on women's labor
force participation. For this reason, when analyzing women's labor force


113
them that I had added up the accounts and told them to claim
their pay. So they fired all of those who went to claim their pay.
They paid them what they were due, but they fired them all.
They were fired for claiming 20 thousand pesos in one month.
Ana eventually retired from the factory. She was a good worker valued
highly by the factory. She commanded the respect of co-workers and
maintained production quotas.
However, the main reason for my retiring was because my child
was extremely sick. One day I went to organize the work in the
factory to resolve the production problems. The quality control
supervisor has to organize the workers, the operations, etc.
Then I said to the personnel director that I needed her to do me a
favor and grant me permission to take my child to the doctor. . I
thought that they would give me permission. I was sure of it. I
never skipped work. But she told me no, I am sorry, but I can't
give you permission. We have to finish this lot. But I told her
that we were ahead on production, that there were two other
supervisors, but the lot was a very large one, and pants which
are more difficult. So I had to make sure that everything was
going well. She told me that I couldn't go. . I started to think, I
don't earn much, I don't really have any responsibility, I haven't
done anything to earn this poor treatment. I am not going to
return because they exploit you very badly (personal interview
October 1988)...
In addition to inadequate payment for work, many operators complained
about the type of contracts which they signed. Workers were required, by law,
to give 30 days notice before quitting their job. These 30 days, however, were
seldom paid by the factory. In another interview with Ana, she recounted
several claims made in the factory for the type of contracts which were signed.
In the beginning, they hired the personnel in January and they
stayed until December. However, later they made one sign a
paper giving one leave, and they didn't pay you anything. In
other words, I would sign the paper, as if I had asked for time off
without pay. Of course because of this we made a claim at the
Ministry of Labor. But everything was done legally. And after


CHAPTER SEVEN
DECISION MAKING AND AUTHORITY PATTERNS IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Introduction
La autoridad en la casa. . los
dos compartidos, los dos tienen
puntos de autoridad.
Manuela (interview #139)
Authority in the household. .
we both share it, we both have
specific areas of authority.
Manuela (interview #139)
The study of the domestic cycle in the previous chapter demonstrates
that many socio-demographic and economic changes occur within the
household during this process. Often these changes lead to contradictions
and conflicts within the household. On the one hand, households generate
solidarity relationships which facilitate economic organization based on
multiple income-generating strategies. However changes occuring in the
domestic cycle also foment conflict in relationships of domination and
subordination in the workers' households. These power relationships express
themselves in decisions made daily.
This chapter discusses Colombian data to explore the hypothesis that
increasing women's income increases their authority (and their participation
in decision making in the household). In this research, women's
contribution to the budget is considered as an indicator of her economic
152


60
1) Contracting occasional workers these contracts are generally
for only one month and are distinct from the normal workings of
the factory.
2) Contracts of a definite term contracts of less than one year,
temporary replacement, labor related to requirements caused by
production increases, including labor related to the transportation
of goods or the sale of production due to this increase.
3) Contracts to home workers contracts related to the completion
of certain phases of the production process performed outside of
the factory. This work is generally paid by the piece.
Textile Production
To understand the implications of changes in the structure of
production and the social relations of production we now turn to a
study of the specific example of the textile industry. From the initial
phases of industrialization, textile production flourished in the
Antioquea region. In 1920, 13 companies existed in the region. By 1945
only four of the original 13 factories remained; the small factories were
absorbed by the larger ones. Until 1974, textile production developed
fairly rapidly, stimulated by the dynamism of the internal market and
the progressive opening of the export sector. Between 1970 and 1973
production and employment in textiles grew at an average annual rate of
between 13 percent and seven percent respectively (Londoo 1986). This
rate was superior to the industrial average, and the average of the total
economy. After 1974, the expansion of the textile industrial sector began
to decline, initially as a consequence of the reduction in the domestic
sales, an increase in internal prices of 60 percent, and a deterioration in
the ability of the majority of the population to purchase textiles (Paus
1982). Although total exports grew by 65 percent, during this year (1974)
contribution of the textile sector to exports was reduced to eight percent.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This research was made possible only through the collaboration of
many individuals and organizations. Undoubtedly some will be left out in
this recognition. My apologies to those people. So many people have
extended a helping hand during various stages of this project, that to name
them all would be impossible. First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt
appreciation to the women workers in the garment industry (both those who
worked in the factory and those who worked in the home). These women
took hours out of an otherwise incredibly busy day to talk to a curious
"gringa" who spoke a broken Spanish. These interviews (conversations)
provide the basis for the analysis presented here.
In Pereira, Risaralda, the local branch of the National Industrialists
Association, ANDI, provided letters of introduction for the large factories.
The association of medium and small producers, ACOPI, provided office
space as well as introduction to the meduim and small scale enterprise
owners. The social workers of the government's vocational school, SENA
assisted in finding home based workers and provided me access to the
garment classes offered through this government institution. In Pereira,
Germn and Marta Lucia Marin and Ricardo and Consuelo Gmez opened
their homes to a relative stranger, providing a family environment in which
I worked and lived for 8 months. Stella Brandt, sociologist of the
Technological University of Pereira, and the women of the Casa de la Mujer,
provided invaluable support and encouragement as feminists concerned with


65
In 1930, 73.7 percent of the coffee fincas occupied less than five
hectares and produced only 26 percent of the final crop, while
seven percent of the fincas occupied more than 20 hectares and
produced 46 percent of the crop. Thirty six years later, the large
fincas represented 85 percent of the total cnumber of hectares>
and had increased their participation in production to 65 percent
(Christie 1974).
Although an Agrarian Reform Program was begun in 1961, by the
end of the 1960's its goals for small peasant groups was far from being
realized. Land concentration and the weakening of the progressive
peasant organization (ANUC) implemented during Pastrana's
government contributed to the unsuccessful implementation of the
agrarian reform.
Statistics from 1970 demonstrate that in Risaralda, units of less
than 10 hectares composed 73 percent of the total arable land, and 7.2% of
its surface area, while units with over 100 hectares composed only 4
percent of the units, and covered 67 percent of the surface area (Fajardo
1980). According to statistics from the National Federation of Coffee
Growers in Colombia (FEDERACAFE) the area occupied by productive
coffee in 1970 was distributed as follows: Antioquia 14.5 percent, Tolima
12.8 percent, Valle 12 percent, Cundinamarca 9.6 percent, Caldas, 8.3
percent, Cauca 7.4 percent Quindio 7.9 percent, Santander 7.9 percent,
Risaralda 5.8 percent and the rest of the sections of the country 13.9
percent, placing Risaralda in eighth place. In 1980 the situation had not
changed considerably. Antioquia increased its participation by 14.7
percent within the superficies of coffee production, Caldas 9.9 percent
and Risaralda to 6.5 percent.


70
Table 3.2
Pereira-Dos Quebradas:
Foreign capital in local Industry, 1988
Enterprise Year Capital Percent of Personnel
Founded Origin Foreign capital Employed
Panos Omnes
(Textiles)
1950
Panama
France
United States
21
467
La Rosa
(Foodstuffs)
1950
England
100
700
Hilos Cadena
(Thread)
1952
Sweden
100
817
Papeles
Nacionales
(Paper)
1960
Canada
92
600
Colpapel
(Paper)
1967
United States
50
400
Nicole
(garments)
1975
United States
80
900
Suzuki
(Motors)
1982
Japan
85
311
Valher
(Garments)
1969
United States
51
500
Source: Jaime Arango Gaviria, 1989.
In the 1950's three factories of foreign capital initiated production
in Pereira: the factory Panos Omnes (1950), a subsidiary of a French
textile factory; the factory of Confites and Galletas La Rosa, 1950,
subsidiary of an English multinational, and the factory Hilos Cadena


32
According to Edwards, Reich, and Gordon (1980), the development of
monoply capitalism in the United States divided the working class:
The central thrust of the new strategies (to divide and
conquer workers) was to break down the increasingly unified
worker interests that grew out of both the proletarianization of
work and the concentration of workers in urban areas. As
exhibited in several aspects of these large firms operations, this
effort aimed to divide the labor force into various segments so
that the actual experiences of workers would be different and the
basis of their common opposition to capitalists would be
undermined (p. xiii).
Theoreticians concerned with the impact of monopoly capitalism on
women's labor force incorporation argue that the creation of large amounts of
surplus value under monopoly capitalism led to the creation of new
industries which employed primarily women. Among these new industries
was the development of the service sector which led to increasing
incorporation of women into the labor force. However, women were not
only increasingly employed in the service industries under monopoly
capitalism, but also in the industrial sector. In certain aspects of this sector
(especially the garment industry), unskilled tasks continued to dominate
production, and women's labor force incorporation increased.
While women generally are increasingly incorporated into the labor
force during the twentieth century in low waged and unskilled tasks, some
women are being pushed out with the development of more capital intensive
techniques of production. While monopoly capitalism has pulled women
increasingly into the labor force, new levels of technological development
organized to maximize profits and the accumulation of surplus have
contradictory consequences for women's labor (Sokoloff 1980, p. 91). Some of
these contradictory consequences can be seen in more detail in the analysis of


147
Table 6.12
Major Economic Provider by Workplace
Home Factory
Spouse
37%
12%
Self
37%
43%
Other
26%
45%
Total
100%
(35)
100% (75)
(Chisquare=17.718/ DF =11, Prob .088)
The percentage which women contribute to the household budget
reflects in part the economic pressures for women's labor force incorporation.
The greater the economic pressures for women's labor force participation, the
larger the percentage of the household budget women would be expected to
contribute. If the economic pressure were less, then women would be
expected to contribute less to the household budget. In the current study, a
significant relationship between women's workplace and their contribution
to the household budget was found. Subcontracted industrial outworkers
contributed an average of 45 % while the average for factory workers was 65%.
In this sample per capita income did not differ significantly by
workplace (Table 6.13). In fact, there is only a slight tendency for factory
workers households to have a higher per capita income.3 Factory workers'
households are more often female-headed (when compared to subcontracted
industrial outworkers households Table 6.8). The lower than expected per
3However, because of the way in which data were gathered on income (i.e. in
categories not as individual estimates), this measurement may not be exact.


19
incorporation, this research considers both women's factory based productive
activities, as well as her household responsibilities.
Lamphere (1987) demonstrates the interrelationship between the two
spheres in the following quote:
Production entails reproduction, and there are elements of both
productive labor and reproductive labor in the factory and in the
household. When women are tending spinning frames or
looms, they are producing a product (cloth) but their labor is set
in a system of social relations in which they sell their labor for a
wage and work for someone who owns the machinery and the
factory they work in. . Yet there are also elements of
reproduction in the factory or textile mill. The means of
production must be reproduced or replaced, that is, the
machinery needs to be repaired, the buildings refurbished...the
social relations of production, the divisions between owners,
managers, and workers, need to be reproduced through the
continuous replacement of individuals in these categories and
through the socialization of workers and managers to their jobs,
including an acceptance of the system as legitimate (Lamphere
1987 p. 18)
However, the terms production and reproduction must not be used as
synonyms for household and workplace. They are rather analytic concepts
which describe relationships and changes which occur in either place.
There are ways in which "production:" finds its way into the
home, even though most productive work does not take place
there under either industrial or monopoly capitalism. First, the
organization and scheduling of work impinge on and determine
the family's schedule for eating, sleeping, and leisure time.
Second, the wages paid to adult male workers determine
whether other members of the family will work for wages in
order to provide subsistence for the household. .Third...their
participation in the labor force may necessitate the reallocation
of reproductive labor within the home.(Lamphere 1987, 18).
As Lamphere demonstrates, the relationship between productive and
reproductive tasks is complex and dynamic. Household activities involved
in the daily reproduction of the labor force generally occur alongside activities


154
However, household authority patterns cannot be reduced merely to
access and control of monetary income. Many factors aside from gender and
income (factors such as age and educational level) also affect power
relationships within the household. The structure of the household (nuclear
or extended), and male or female headship which influences women's labor
force incorporation must also be considered in an analysis of authority
patterns.
Household Authority Patterns
Workplace
When questioned about authority in the household, the majority of
the home-based workers and factory workers said that they did not feel that
having an income gave them any more power or authority within the
household. Factory workers in general did not state that they had any more
authority than subcontracted industrial outworkers. In fact, a larger
percentage of home-based workers felt that they had more authority in the
household than did factory workers (40 percent for home-based workers
versus 25 percent for factory workers Figure 7.1). However, this may be due to
the higher percentage of married women among home-based workers
compared to factory workers.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Kathleen Gladden was born in Grove City, Pennsylvania, in 1960. She
received a B.A. in psychology with a Spanish minor from Allegheny College
in Meadville, Pennsylvania, 1982 and a masters degree in Latin American
studies from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1984. Upon graduation
from the University of Florida she will continue her research interests in the
impact of development on women and children in Latin America.
214


34
boundaries and allowing market mechanisms to operate
without constraint. Import substitution required the
development of an internal market, which had to be supported
through the extension of domestic purchasing power to the
middle and working classes. In export manufacturing, however,
the market is entirely external. It demands the maximum
reduction of production costs, principally wages, in order to
compete effectively on the international level (Safa 1990a, p. 2).
The new international division of labor fosters women's employment
(because they are "cheaper") by multinational corporations (Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1985). This employment generates contradiction by
providing economic opportunities for these women (Lim 1983) while also
intensifying and reinforcing their subordinate position in society through
the way in which they are incorporated into the labor process (Elson and
Pearson 1981, Ward 1990).
From plants in the Third World, multinational
subsidiaries export manufactures to their home countries. From
their home countries they import capital and technology in
exchange. Cheap labor, combined in many cases with
government subsidized capital costs, including tax holidays and
low interest loans from government banks give these countries a
comparative advantage in world trade in labor intensive
products.
It is labor intensive industries, then, that tend to relocate
manufacturing plants to developing countries, thereby becoming
multinational in their operations. This is a rational competitive
response to changing international comparative cost advantages
(Lim 1983: 72).
An example of women's labor force incorporation in order for
industries to minimize operation costs can be seen in the relatively recent
expansion of export processing zones, and the development of factories which
perform only assembly operations. This offshore manufacturing represents a
new strategy of capital investments which is linked to a reorganization of the


83
subcontracting which utilized intermediaries. The high percentage of
subcontracted industrial outworkers in the category of horizontal
subcontracting is due in part to the cost of the raw materials. In horizontal
subcontracting the subcontracted industrial outworkers do not have to provide
these raw materials, facilitating entrance into this sector. In general, vertical
subcontracting (which requires enough initial capital to purchase raw
materials on the part of the worker) was done directly with the small-scale
enterprises and subcontracted industrial outworkers; intermediaries were not
involved.
Horizontal subcontracting accentuates the differences between the factory
and the subcontracted industrial outworkers. Generally the control of the raw
materials and structuring of the process of production remains with the large
factory. Under vertical subcontracting, the price for the final garment is
significantly higher, and the subcontracted industrial outworker maintains
more control of the production. This control ranges from designing the
garment and cutting it to finishing it off.
Production which occurs in the home as subcontracted industrial
outwork is usually small-scale, unregulated, and labor intensive, which places
it in the category of "informal sector" production. Whether we are discussing
sub-contracting relationships between the first world and the third world,
within a country, or within a city, subcontracting represents a fragmentation
and decentralization of the labor process.
The Subcontracting Relationship in Risaralda
The subcontracting relationship structures a considerable amount of
production in the garment industry in this region. According to this research,


HANGING BY A THREAD: INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING
AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION IN A COLOMBIAN CITY
BY
KATHLEEN ANN GLADDEN
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1991

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This research was made possible only through the collaboration of
many individuals and organizations. Undoubtedly some will be left out in
this recognition. My apologies to those people. So many people have
extended a helping hand during various stages of this project, that to name
them all would be impossible. First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt
appreciation to the women workers in the garment industry (both those who
worked in the factory and those who worked in the home). These women
took hours out of an otherwise incredibly busy day to talk to a curious
"gringa" who spoke a broken Spanish. These interviews (conversations)
provide the basis for the analysis presented here.
In Pereira, Risaralda, the local branch of the National Industrialists
Association, ANDI, provided letters of introduction for the large factories.
The association of medium and small producers, ACOPI, provided office
space as well as introduction to the meduim and small scale enterprise
owners. The social workers of the government's vocational school, SENA
assisted in finding home based workers and provided me access to the
garment classes offered through this government institution. In Pereira,
Germn and Marta Lucia Marin and Ricardo and Consuelo Gmez opened
their homes to a relative stranger, providing a family environment in which
I worked and lived for 8 months. Stella Brandt, sociologist of the
Technological University of Pereira, and the women of the Casa de la Mujer,
provided invaluable support and encouragement as feminists concerned with

the condition of women workers in the city. Flor Maria Gonzalez and her
sister Gloria completed many of the factory worker interviews.
In Bogot, Elssy Bonilla provided invaluable institutional support at
the Universidad de los Andes. She and Magdalena Leon read the initial draft
of the survey and assisted me in better understanding the Colombian reality.
The women of the Grupo de la Mujer y Sociedad at the National University
provided a forum for discussion of feminism in Colombia which greatly
enriched my experience there. The Fulbright Foundation provided economic
and logistical support throughout the entire process. I wish to thank the
entire staff, particularly Dr. Augustin Lombano and Consuelo Valdivieso, of
the Fulbright Commission office in Bogot for their financial and personal
support.
Adelia Romero opened her home to me in Bogot, and her families
generosity facilitated my entry into Colombian society. In Colombia I was
fortunate to have the support of friends and North American researchers:
Ann Hornsby, Nancy Nelson, Rich Stoller, and Gary Long. Throughout 6
years of friendship, fellow anthropologist Julian Arturo has provided
stimulating debates on Colombian events and deepened my understanding of
the region tremendously.
My colleagues in the anthropology department and the Center for Latin
American Studies at the University of Florida have provided support and an
arena for intellectual debate helping me to relate the ivory tower concepts of
anthropological theory to the experience of fieldwork and data interpretation.
In particular, Gay Biery-Hamilton, Avecita Chicchn, Florencia Pea, and
Vance Geiger read and commented on initial drafts of the dissertation. Gay's
wonderful sense of humor helped maintain my sanity throughout the
graduate school experience. Lois Stanford provided invaluable support

through many late night long distance discussions. Augusto Gmez also read
and commented on several chapters of the dissertation. His knowledge of
Colombia strengthed the history chapter considerably, and his friendship and
support at crucial moments helped keep the dissertation process in proper
perspective. Chris Canaday's comments on the statistical analysis and his
assistance with the maps are greatly appreciated. Gary Shaeff also assisted
with the maps. Debbie Dow Marshal and Clara Sotelo, provided significant
words of encouragement during various stages of the process. Pamela Starr,
Susan Parker, and Donna Wills Green provided long distance support during
late night conversations throughout many years of friendship. Maria Roof
has been an inspiration to me since my undergraduate days, and I thank her
tremendously for her support and the example she provided for women at
Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.
I also wish to thank my dissertation committee who patiently read and
critiqued various chapters of the dissertation at different stages of the process.
Although any errors in the final production are my own, the insightful
comments of both Dr. Helen Safa, committee chair, and Dr. Marianne
Schmink who critiqued each chapter on numerous occasions, were extremely
helpful along the way. Dr. David Bushnell also read the entire document
several times. His comments, editorial and substantive, were very useful.
Dr. Paul Doughty and Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith also provided significant
words of wisdom throughout the process.
iv

Finally, I am grateful to my family (including Betty Richardson, who is
like family), whose encouragement throughout my graduate studies has
supported me in this lengthy process. My mother, especially, through her
example, has taught me the value of perserverance in difficult tasks; without
her support, economic and otherwise, this dissertation would not have been
completed.
V

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Introduction 1
Methodology 7
Survey Methodology 9
Qualitative Data 14
CHAPTER TWO
WOMEN'S WORK IN HOME AND FACTORY: THEORETICAL
PERSPECTIVE
Introduction 16
The Household as Mediator of Women's Labor Force Incorporation 18
Family or Household 20
Female-headed Households 22
Women's Labor Force Incorporation 23
Women's Labor Force Incorporation and the Development of
Industrial Capitalism 26
Changes in the Social Relations of Production 29
Monopoly Capital and Women's Labor Force Incorporation 31
The New International Division of Labor 33
The Informal Sector 37
Subcontracted Industrial Outwork 39
Industrial Outwork and Capitalist Development 39
Conclusion 41
CHAPTER THREE
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN COLOMBIA
Introduction 43
Development of the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia 49
Women's Contribution to Industrial Development 52
From Import Substitution to the Promotion of Exports 54
Temporary Employment 58
Textile Production 60
vi

Export Promotion and Industrial Development 62
Antioqueo Colonization of Old Caldas and the Subsequent
Development of Pereira as a producer of consumer goods 64
Agricultural Development 64
Industrial Development 68
Regional Development 72
Regional Manufacturing Industry 74
Contemporary Colombian Development 76
Conclusion 79
CHAPTER FOUR
SUBCONTRACTING AND INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS IN THE
GARMENT INDUSTRY
Introduction 81
The Subcontracting Relationship 82
The Subcontracting Relationship in Risaralda 83
Subcontracting as Articulation Between Formal and Informal
Sectors 87
Intermediaries as Agents of Articulation 89
Levels of Subcontracting 94
Subcontracting and Subordination in the Garment Industry 95
Access and Control of Markets 97
Access and Control of Raw Materials 98
Relationships within the Subcontracted Enterprise 99
Conclusion 103
CHAPTER FIVE
PROFILE OF LIFE IN THE GARMENT FACTORY
Introduction 105
Material Relations of Production within the Factory 106
Working Conditions of Women 108
Mechanisms of Control in the Factory 110
Forms of Resistance within the Garment Industry and Factory N 115
Changes in Organization of Production in Factory N 119
Conclusion 120
CHAPTER SIX
HOUSEHOLD STRUCTURE AND WOMEN'S LABOR FORCE
PARTICIPATION
Introduction 122
Domestic Cycle 126
Life Cycle Variables of Women 133
Household Variables 137
Conclusions 149
Vll

CHAPTER SEVEN
DECISION MAKING AND AUTHORITY PATTERNS IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Introduction 152
Household Authority Patterns 154
Workplace 154
Home ownership 155
Access and Control of Budget 158
Culture and the Household 163
Conclusions 168
CHAPTER EIGHT
CONCLUSIONS
Research Findings 171
Theoretical Contributions of this Study 173
Prospects for the Colombian Case 176
APPENDIX A 179
Interview with Workers 179
APPENDIX B 188
Questionnaire for personnel managers (In Spanish) 188
APPENDIX C 191
Spouse Employment 191
Appendix D 194
Household Ethnographies 194
LIST OF REFERENCES 196
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 213
Vlll

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
HANGING BY A THREAD: INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING AND
SOCIAL REPRODUCTION IN A COLOMBIAN CITY
By
Kathleen Gladden
May 1991
Chairman: Dr. Helen Safa
Major Department: Anthropology
This study of one sector of the urban labor force describes women's role
in social reproduction of the working class in the garment industry.
Women's labor force incorporation is considered as one aspect of the broader
struggle by households to ensure their social reproduction. Based on 110
interviews with home-based and factory workers, the research analyzes the
impact of factors such as the domestic cycle of the household and the life cycle
of the women on their participation in the labor force.
Women's domestic responsibilities and social relationships in the
household limit her options in the labor market. This study found that
women with additional household responsibilities (especially wives and
mothers) were more likely to participate in home-based production.
However, female heads of household were more frequently found in the
factory where they can command higher salaries. Further, differences in
IX

household composition led to different social relationships which were
correlated with different authority patterns within the household.
At the workplace level this research demonstrated how informal
methods of contracting labor are increasing due largely to growing
international competition which requires cheaper labor to produce less costly
goods. Recent restructuring of production in the garment industry in
Colombia is a significant mechanism, incorporating home-based workers and
small and medium sized factories into the process of production in the
garment industry. This increasing informality of contracts affects not only
subcontracted industrial outwork but also labor relationships within the
factory (especially the factory with solely domestic capital) making them less
stable. This increasing informalization of the labor market and utilization of
subcontracting leads to increasing subordination of women's position in the
labor market.
The research concludes that the restructuring of production at both the
national and international level, while increasing employment options for
women, reinforces their subordinate position in the labor force. The fact that
women are now major economic providers for the household demonstrates
the increasing vulnerability of these units. Since women traditionally have
been relegated to the most precarious economic positions, it is no surprise
that they continue to represent a vulnerable and exploited labor force. As
women's economic contributions to the household rises at the same time as
factory wages are falling, the possibilities for social reproduction of the
working class become more difficult. The households are "hanging by a
thread," a slender thread frequently provided by the salary of the women
workers.
X

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Introduction
Pienso que de pronto que
explotaban las condiciones de
la mujer. Porque son mas
responsables. Hay mas
permanencia de las mujeres en
los puestos de trabajo por la
necessidad...
Doa Constancia, trabajadora
social del SENA en Pereira
I think that, just maybe they
exploited the conditions of the
women...Because they are more
responsible...There are more
women who stay in jobs because
of need...
Doa Constancia, Social
Worker in SENA in Pereira
This research analyzes the relationship between the organization of
gender roles in the household and women's labor force incorporation, in order
to explore the impact of industrial restructuring in one industrial sector (the
garment industry) on social reproduction. This study considers the impact of
internal forces of the household and external forces of the labor market on
women's labor force participation in an intermediate sized industrializing city
in Colombia, South America. The supply of workers cannot be analyzed
completely separate from the demand for workers. Economic pressures on the
household result from a variety of factors including macro-economic factors
such as the current economic crisis inflation, high unemployment and regional
1

2
processes of industrialization, as well as micro-economic factors such as the
structure and domestic cycle of the household. Household responsibilities
considerably constrain women's labor force incorporation. This analysis of the
interaction between the household and the labor market considers 1) the
impact of household structure and composition on (a) the availability of female
labor (Chapter 6), and (b) new patterns of household authority resulting from
women's sources of income (Chapter 7), 2) the impact of factory recruitment
strategies on women's labor force incorporation, and 3) the impact of changes
in the structure of production, due to both regional and national political and
economic pressures on women's labor force incorporation and the composition
and structure of the workers' households.
The term internal forces of the household refers to material and
ideological pressures generated within the household due to changes in the
structure and composition of this unit during the domestic cycle. In other
words, as time passes, the socio-demographic changes occuring within the
household produced by the birth, migration, and death of its members, lead to
changes in their material and ideological conditions (Orlandina de Oliveira,
Lehalleru and Salles 1989). For example, growing numbers of dependent
family members lead to increasing economic pressure on the household's
income generating capacity. Migration can increase or decrease the economic
pressure on the household depending on whether the one who migrates is an
income generator or not. If the individual who migrates contributed
substantially to the household income, their migration (if they do not send
remittances) increases economic pressure on the household for other
individuals to increase their income generation to fulfill the household's
needs. Changing material conditions lead to restructuring social relationships
in the household, which may, in turn, lead to changed ideologies. However,

3
these changes are not direct and mechanical. Changes in social relationships
within the household reflect new patterns of decision making and the
assumption of different authority relationships within the household.
Women, whether married, widowed, divorced, or separated are often forced to
assume the role of primary income generator. These changes may lead to the
women's assuming more authority in the household decision making.
Changing material and ideological conditions of the household strongly
influence the way in which women are able to generate an income through
their labor force participation, whether as wage laborers, or subcontracted
industrial outworkers1. Social relationships within the household (such as
those between the husband and the wife, the father and the daughter, the
mother and the grandmother) structure home-based production. For example,
the number of people available to assist in home-based production dictates to a
large extent, the amount of work which can be performed. The work which is
performed in the household, further, also alters the relations themselves.
When women begin to work in the household, other members may assume
the domestic tasks previously performed by these women. This research
hypothesizes that women household heads are less constrained by traditional
ideological beliefs of the home as women's primary responsibility as compared
to women who were spouses. In addition, wives are under less pressure
(economically) to provide an additional income for the household.
Women's labor force incorporation is further conditioned by the
demand for laborers as expressed in recruitment strategies of factories and the
changing structure of production within the industry. Since June of 1989 the
Subcontracted industrial outworkers refers to home-based workers whose
work depends on contracts with larger industrial enterprises (the details of
these contractual relationships will be discussed in depth in chapter 4).

4
managers of the multinational garment factory studied in this research
expressed the policy practice of hiring only women under 25 years of age with a
junior high education, preferably single with no children. Obviously these
requirements limit the women who will be hired for work in this factory. This
recruitment strategy was not expressed by the domestic factories, only those
with mixed (national and international) capital.
In Colombia both the political and the economic situation have
encouraged the development of small micro-enterprises subcontracted to the
larger factories. In 1984 the government of Betancout introduced a National
Plan of Microenterprises in order to increase production and generate
employment. This plan was revised in 1988 to assist small-scale enterprises
with minimal technological capacity to grow and generate more employment.
Political conditions such as the National Plan of Microenterprises fostered
changes in the structure of production by facilitating the initiation of new
small-scale enterprises. Increasing the number of small-scale enterprises
available for subcontracted outwork provided the larger capitalist enterprises
with skilled home-based producers looking for a market in which to sell their
garments. These changes influenced women's labor force incorporation,
augmenting the prevalence of subcontracting in the garment industry.
The description of home-based workers and factory workers presented in
this research compares and contrast variables such as household structure and
composition, the women's work history (i.e. when do women enter wage labor
production, when do they leave this wage labor production to work in the
home), and personal history (i.e. age at marriage or first union, her age at birth
of first child, etc.). This study hypothesizes that the manner in which women
are incorporated into the labor force (1) weakens organized labor through
fragmentation of the labor process, (2) restructures production to the benefit of

5
the large industrialists within the garment industry, (3) increases the
penetration of international capital into an intermediate industrializing
community.
In order to unravel the complex relationships between women's
household and workplace activities, this research considers factors at the level
of the household, the workplace, and the regional and international economy.
The factors at the household level include 1) household responsibilities such as
child care, cooking, and cleaning, which constrain women's labor force
incorporation (both in the factory and home-based situations); 2) the
relationships of industrial outworkers (once the wide variety of their situation
has been described) to the factories; 3) the middlemen and their effect on the
working conditions of these women; 4) the effect of women's labor force
incorporation on the structure and composition of workers' households (both
subcontracted industrial outworkers and home-based workers); and 5)
renegotiation of gender relations in the home based on new income sources
including the sexual division of labor and authority patterns.
At the workplace level the following aspects are considered 1) the
organization of production in the factory; 2) changes in the structure of
production, specifically subcontracting, as they affect women's labor force
participation; 3) the new emphasis on exportation in the garment industry in
this region in the last few years as it affects women's incorporation into the
workforce; and 4) the mechanisms used by management to control women's
labor in the factory setting.
These factors provide the framework for exploring the following
research hypothesis: (1) women's domestic responsibilities limit her
participation in the labor force. Therefore women with additional household
responsibilities (especially mothers and wives) are more likely to participate in

6
home-based production than single women; (2) economic pressures on female
headed households leads these women to assume positions in the factory, and
(3) male-and female headed households differ in household composition and
household survival strategies, which in turn lead to different patterns of
decision making and authority in the household.
At the workplace level, it is hypothesized that (1) informal methods of
contracting labor in the factory are increasing due to the increasing
competitiveness of the international market, leading to a search for even
cheaper labor, and (2) the emphasis on diversification of exports has been
accompanied by an increased production of garments, and increased
competition in the garment industry.
This chapter provides a discussion of the methodological tools (both
quantitative and qualitative) utilized in the study. Chapter Two discusses the
theoretical framework, including an analysis of the relationship between
industrialization and women's work, the productive and reproductive
responsibilities of women, and the changes occurring in the structure of
production and women's labor force incorporation with industrial
development in Latin America. Chapter Three discusses the history of
industrialization in Colombia, focusing on the research sites of Pereira and Dos
Quebradas (Dos Quebradas is the industrializing region to the north of the city)
in the department of Risaralda. Chapter Four describes the organization of
work within the factory, highlighting changes occurring in the relations of
production within the factory including mechanisms of control utilized by
management. Next, Chapter Five describes the structure of the labor force and
subcontracting mechanisms operating within the garment industry. Chapter
Six provides a more in depth analysis of the domestic cycle of the households
of female workers. Chapter Seven relates the domestic cycle analysis to

7
authority patterns in the household. The conclusion, Chapter Eight, details
how industrial restructuring affects the structure and composition of
households, and the strategies assumed by women in the households to assure
the reproduction of these units.
Methodology
The investigative process utilized included both quantitative (such as
the design, implementation and analysis of a survey questionnaire, and the
analysis of census data including data on manufacturing production) and
qualitative research methodologies (such as key informant interviews, both
structured and unstructured, participant observation, and historical archival
research).
I completed the study in several stages. The first stage involved
development and refinement of the research survey which had been devised
after a 3-month study in the textile city of Medellin, Colombia in 1986. During
this stage, census data was consulted in order to determine the most
appropriate city for a study of the garment industry. Experts in the area were
also consulted for their comments on the study and the survey instrument.
In order to address the social construction and reproduction of gender
hierarchies, the questionnaire implemented analyzes the influence of family
cycles on women's patterns of wage labor; what resources household members
exchange; the difference between pre- and postmarital occupational histories;
and current insertion into homework and wage labor.
Stage two of the study involved travel to Pereira, and pre-testing of the
survey instrument there (see Figures 1.2 and 1.3). During this stage,

8
government officials, local leaders, university professors and union organizers
were consulted to determine the appropriateness of the survey and the study
site. Other data on the neighborhoods in the region, the urbanization of
different cities in the department, and statistics on the production and
exportation of garments was also gathered in determining the history of the
garment industry in the region.
The first part of the third phase of the study involved interviewing the
factory owners, choosing the factories that would be included in the study, and
acquiring lists of workers for the interviews. The second part of this phase of
the study involved choosing the assistants, training them, and implementing
the survey instrument with factory workers. With the assistance of workers of
the Servicio Educacional Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA, as will be described
in detail later), homeworkers were contacted. By December, 1988 the
interviews with 75 factory workers from two different factories had been
finished, and reviewed. A preliminary summary of the study was presented in
Pereira in November, 1988. A preliminary analysis of the data was presented to
the Fulbright Foundation in January of 1989.
The fourth phase of the study was initiated on my return to the site in
February 1989. During this time I finished coding the interviews which had
been completed with factory workers, and continued working with one
interviewer. Through her we located some additional homeworkers and
found additional factory workers who had not been on the original lists from
the factory. In-depth interviews with these workers were completed during
February and March. In March and April I worked with SENA officials
interviewing home-based workers. In total, 120 worker interviews were
completed. Excluding the 10 pre-test interviews, 110 interviews are utilized in
this analysis: 35 interviews were completed with home-based workers, and 75

9
interviews with factory workers (40 from the multinational factory, 35 from the
national factory). During this time, I also participated in a seminar sponsored
by the local unions and was able to interview the leader of the only garment
factory union in the department. In March and April I worked with a womens
savings and loan cooperative. Although these women were generally not
factory workers, they were very active in the community, and helpful in
locating other home-based garment workers.
Survey Methodology
The city of Pereira in Colombia was chosen as the site of research due to
the predominance of garment production in the region. The study utilized a
number of techniques. The interview was the principal method of collecting
information about the home-based workers and the factory workers (see
Appendix A for a copy of the survey utilized with factory workers and home-
based workers). The goal of this interview was two-fold: in addition to
describing the structure and composition of these workers' households
(emphasizing income generating strategies), a description of the personal and
work histories of these women factory workers was obtained. This was done in
order to determine the role of the domestic environment and cycle of the
household in women's labor force incorporation. The survey instrument was
revised and discussed after a month of research by sociologists and
anthropologists in Bogot. The interview was revised one more time after
consultation with other professors and professionals in Pereira, and a third
time after conducting ten trial interviews in that city. The initial sample list of
workers was chosen (every tenth name in the list of workers) by the personnel

10
manager of the large export factory. This list, however, was expanded utilizing
the snowball method to discover other workers.
The interview schedule addressed concerns of the women workers
(determined, as previously mentioned by pre-tests of the survey with the
women workers, discussions with community workers in Pereira, and
university professors familiar with the sociology of the region). The interview
described and analyzed the women's material conditions, (including factors
such as limited access to resources, lower wages, etc) and their ideological
constructs (such as household authority patterns) in part through an
exploration of the social relationships (such as marriage and the birth of
children) which constrain or facilitate women's incorporation into the labor
force. Studying women's labor force participation in the home as well as in
the factory in a single industrial activity delineates factors which constrain
women's labor force participation.
In order to avoid a narrow focus on the household and factors affecting
the supply of women workers, the structure of the labor market, and
preferential hiring practices of the larger factories were incorporated into the
methodology through interviews with the factory owners. These interviews
explored factors which influence the demand for women workers and further
constrain women's incorporation into the labor force. One aspect of demand
for women's labor in Colombia is the governmental policy encouraging the
development of small-scale enterprises (first implemented in 1984, and revised
in 1988). The impact that this policy has on structuring women's labor force
incorporation (wage-labor, as well as home-based) will be analyzed using
information from these interviews.
This interview schedule for the factory owners was modified in Bogot
and then again in Pereira (see Appendix B). In total 40 owners were

11
interviewed. It was applied to all owners of small, medium and large sized
garment factories in Pereira and Dos Quebradas (the industrializing region to
the north of the city; administratively Dos Quebradas is part of the municipal
area of Pereira) who agreed to participate in the study. The goal of this
interview was to determine the composition of the work force in these
factories, outline the chain of subcontracting in the city, and uncover
recruitment strategies of the factories.
The sample of factories was chosen through the assistance of two groups.
The major contact with the owners of the large factories was ANDI (The
National Association of Industrialists) while the contact with small
organizations was ACOPI (the Colombian Association of Popular Industries).
A representative of each of seven large garment factories in Pereira and Dos
Quebradas was interviewed, and representatives of 80% of those factories
registered with ACOPI participated in the study. Some factories which
participated in the production process through subcontracting, but did not
appear in the list of ANDI nor in ACOPI, were discovered. In other words,
during the interview with owners of factories from ANDI or ACOPI, factories
would be mentioned as those which were subcontracted to or from which
material was received, who did not appear in the original lists. The managers
of these factories were then approached for interviews.
After the initial interviews with the managers of the seven large
factories, two were chosen for more in-depth studies, in order to compare the
production process and women's labor force incorporation, between export-
oriented factories with mixed capital and those which were oriented towards
the domestic market. The largest export factory in the region was chosen
because of its predominance in industrial production in the region. The other
factory chosen for the study was one which did not export, but rather produced

12
for the domestic market. The owners of these factories collaborated in
suggesting the names of workers for the interviews. (Although it is possible
that this collaboration introduced some bias into the sample, it was impossible
to interview the workers without the permission of the managers. However,
where possible, the social network method was used to uncover friends of
these workers, and individuals who had been fired from the factory were
sought out for additional information on working conditions in the factories.)
The sample of domestic outworkers was chosen by asking the larger
factories to indicate who produced for them (small-scale enterprises, or home-
based workers). When the factories did not submit workers' names, a social
network of the home-based workers known by workers in other factories was
utilized. This method involved asking the workers if they knew other women
who worked sewing in their homes. In this way, twenty subcontracted
industrial outworkers were found. Also, the SENA (National Vocational
Training School) assisted in the location of home-based workers and small-
scale garment entrepreneurs. The SENA conducts courses in sewing skills
geared to particular factories, as well as providing courses in how to start up a
small enterprise in garments, including courses in design, cutting, and
marketing. This governmental institution also serves as a placement agency
for these workers and small-scale enterprises. The woman responsible for
organizing the classes for small-scale enterprises allowed me to accompany her
on her home visits. I was also permitted to attend classes in SENA and
interview participants outside of class hours. I actually took garment classes for
a week (to learn the basic stitches and procedures taught in the introductory
courses). I attempted to work in a factory, but this was impossible for insurance
reasons (according to the personnel managers). Apparently because of the

13
pressure on the workers, there was a high incidence of work-related injuries in
this factory.
Three women, graduates of the local university in social sciences, were
contracted to assist in the interviews after finishing with the trial interviews.
These assistants were helpful in finding women who worked in the garment
industry in Pereira and Dos Quebradas. They completed two 3-hr sessions of
training to ensure their understanding of the interview technique. The
interviews with the workers in general, lasted from 1 to 1.5 hours. The
assistants were initially paid $2.00 an interview; however one interviewer who
was exceptionally good and assisted in more depth with other aspects of the
analysis was later re-hired at the rate of $3.00 an hour. The assistants completed
50 interviews with the workers in the two larger factories. I completed the trial
interviews with the workers (about 15), some interviews with factory workers
(20), interviews with the owners of the factories (41) and the domestic
outworkers (35). The final sample consisted of 40 workers of one export factory,
35 operators of one factory producing for the domestic market and 35 domestic
outworkers.
Other quantified information, including data from the manufacturing
census, and the household census of 1977, 1980 and 1987 was utilized in
determining the social structure of the region. Initially this data was used to
determine the site of study (i.e. an area where the production of garments was
predominant). Later, this information was used to complement the analysis of
labor force participation in the areas of Pereira and Dos Quebradas.

14
Qualitative Data
Primary sources of qualitative information included interviews with
garment workers and key informants such as local leaders of credit unions,
women's organizations, civic societies, labor organizations, and professors in
the university. Follow-up unstructured interviews with 3 women workers
provided more in-depth information on women's insertion into the labor
force, exploring their work and family history in more depth than the initial
survey interviews. Newspaper articles of the two major local papers (El Diario
del Otun, and La Tarde) were consulted from their initiation in the 1940s till
1989. For this process, two assistants from the National University in Bogot
were hired to help review the papers (only from 1980's on) and collect articles
on garment production and industrialization in the area of Pereira and Dos
Quebradas.
Secondary sources for qualitative information include books on regional
development of the 'Old Caldas' region, several student theses from the
Technological University in Pereira, and data from the National Planning
Office.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the research was gathering information
through interviews. In Colombia, individuals do not grant interviews if they
have nothing to gain. The identity of the person who makes the interview
contact for the researcher was very important. I was fortunate to have been
introduced to the director of the ANDI (Associacion Nacional de Industrias)in
Pereira. She later provided me with a letter of introduction for the large
factory owners in the region. An introduction by a University of Florida

15
alumnus provided me with contacts to ACOPI (Asociacin Colombiana de
Populares Industrias) for medium and small factories. This organization
further assisted me in Pereira, providing me with a telephone and office space.
In establishing relationships with homeworkers, building trust was the
key to successful interviews. Because the interviews intruded into the settings
of the women workers and their families, it was important for me to
reciprocate their attention towards me with offers of my time, assistance,
friendship, or a listening ear for their problems. The initial strategy was to
walk in the barrios, spend time getting to know the children, and then ask if
their mothers worked in the home. However, even after getting to know the
children, the mothers were suspicious of my activities, and few were willing to
grant me an interview. It was only after meeting people in a government office
which provided training in sewing and garment production for women
(SENA) that I was able to make inroads into the production in the home. The
SENA had a program for the development of small-scale enterprises, and also a
project for assisting women who worked in their homes. SENA personnel
allowed me to travel with them on their home visits, and I was able to get to
know the women, home-based workers and small-scale entrepreneurs in a
more personal way. With the introduction of the SENA worker, the women
trusted me more, and we were able to talk about their work in a more favorable
environment.
The following chapter considers the theoretical significance of
women's labor force incorporation. Women's labor force participation is
considered as part of a strategy of industrial capital to incorporate more
vulnerable labor, through restructuring and fragmentation of the production
process.

CHAPTER TWO
WOMEN'S WORK IN HOME AND FACTORY: THEORETICAL
PERSPECTIVE
Introduction
Conoc a mi esposo en Top 10, Yo
trabaje como fileteadora, y el
cortaba la tela. .
Lucia, operara de confeccin
I met my husband in the
garment factory Top 10,1 was
working as a fileteadora
(finishing edges), and he
worked cutting the cloth.
Lucia, factory worker
This chapter begins with an analysis of the impact of industrialization
on the sexual division of labor (both in the household and in the workplace).
Essential to this analysis is a discussion of women's labor, considering
productive and reproductive responsibilities which occur in both the
workplace and the home. Because women's labor force participation is
conditioned by their household responsibilities, women cannot be considered
only as workers, but must also be considered as daughters, wives, sisters,
aunts or mothers. Domestic responsibilities often limit women's possibilities
for employment in the 'formal sector', concentrating them in the unregulated
or 'informal' sector of the economy (Redclift and Mingione 1985). Women's
labor force participation is considered as part of a strategy of industrial
16

17
capitalists to incorporate more vulnerable labor, through restructuring and
fragmentation of the production process.
The discussion follows with an analysis of informal sector expansion1.
The new international division of labor is considered as a mechanism leading
to increasing fragmentation of the production process, augmenting 'informal
sector' production. Home-based workers (considered part of the 'informal
sector' in this research) are 'cheaper' than factory workers; not only are their
salaries lower, but they require little or no investment in infrastrucure or
social benefits. In order to understand the mechanisms which create, modify
and reproduce this 'informalization' a comparison of industrial outwork
occuring during the transition to capitalism in eighteenth century Europe is
made with that of capitalist development in contemporary Latin America.
The introduction of large scale factory production and its impact on social
relations in the household are considered. The conclusion discusses the
significance of the expansion of the informal sector and increasing
1Many scholars criticize the term informal sector. While its value as a
descriptive measure is often conceded, its usefulness as an analytical category
is fiercely debated. Researchers argue that the informality observed in the
economy is actually a very functional part of the formal sector. However,
according to scholars such as Portes and Sassen-Koob, the profound economic
crisis of the industrialized capitalist countries (since the mid 1970's) led to the
development of new mechanisms to adjust for the lack of demand for
products, and avoid substantial reductions in industrial profits. These
strategies assumed by capitalists include transferring plants to countries
where costs would be reduced, robotization of the factory (industrial
conversion), experiments to increase workers productivity, and
informalization (Portes 1983). In this case, informalization is a strategy
utilized by capitalists to assure their flexibility and adaptation and minimize
their costs. In this research, the term informal sector must be understood as a
dynamic concept, as part of the global process of restructuring production,
facilitating the competition of national and multi-national factories in the
international market.

18
fragmentation of the labor force for women's labor force incorporation and
the reproduction of the working class household.
The Household as Mediator of Women's Labor Force Incorporation
An analysis of women's labor force incorporation (be it in the factory or
industrial subcontracting) must include social relations of production as well
as social relations of reproduction (both of the domestic unit and the
workplace). Social relations of production in this study refer to the economic
ownership of productive forces (land, labor, and capital in strict marxist
terms). In other words, while the factory worker only owns her/his labor
power, the industrialist owns the machinery and the raw material required
for production. These conditions may differ in the case of small scale
producers, as will be seen in the discussion of subcontracting in chapter four.
Social relations of reproduction in this research emphasize two levels of
reproduction: the daily (and the generational) and the biological. The daily
level of reproduction includes cooking, child care, washing, cleaning, and
maintaining the household which over time leads to the reproduction of a
generation of workers (Harris and Young 1981). Women's reproductive labor
(involving activities such as giving birth to children, cooking, cleaning, and
childcare) influence women's incorporation into the wage labor force. Both
productive and reproductive functions of the household change over time (as
children grow, enter school, leave school and enter the work force). An
analysis of the household and its internal dynamics is essential for
understanding the influence of the domestic environment on women's labor
force participation. For this reason, when analyzing women's labor force

19
incorporation, this research considers both women's factory based productive
activities, as well as her household responsibilities.
Lamphere (1987) demonstrates the interrelationship between the two
spheres in the following quote:
Production entails reproduction, and there are elements of both
productive labor and reproductive labor in the factory and in the
household. When women are tending spinning frames or
looms, they are producing a product (cloth) but their labor is set
in a system of social relations in which they sell their labor for a
wage and work for someone who owns the machinery and the
factory they work in. . Yet there are also elements of
reproduction in the factory or textile mill. The means of
production must be reproduced or replaced, that is, the
machinery needs to be repaired, the buildings refurbished...the
social relations of production, the divisions between owners,
managers, and workers, need to be reproduced through the
continuous replacement of individuals in these categories and
through the socialization of workers and managers to their jobs,
including an acceptance of the system as legitimate (Lamphere
1987 p. 18)
However, the terms production and reproduction must not be used as
synonyms for household and workplace. They are rather analytic concepts
which describe relationships and changes which occur in either place.
There are ways in which "production:" finds its way into the
home, even though most productive work does not take place
there under either industrial or monopoly capitalism. First, the
organization and scheduling of work impinge on and determine
the family's schedule for eating, sleeping, and leisure time.
Second, the wages paid to adult male workers determine
whether other members of the family will work for wages in
order to provide subsistence for the household. .Third...their
participation in the labor force may necessitate the reallocation
of reproductive labor within the home.(Lamphere 1987, 18).
As Lamphere demonstrates, the relationship between productive and
reproductive tasks is complex and dynamic. Household activities involved
in the daily reproduction of the labor force generally occur alongside activities

20
oriented towards market production. Since reproductive tasks of the
household are considered women's responsibilities, women's labor force
participation is more dramatically affected by reproductive responsibilities
than men's. Domestic labor which has traditionally been the women's
responsibility constrains women's participation in market oriented
production. Therefore women's responsibilities for reproductive activities
determine in large part her possible productive activities. These tasks inhibit
or constrain women, especially middle aged married women, from selling
their labor in the market. Because the labor of these women is consumed
within the household, these workers have more difficulty working outside of
the home.
Family or Household
Before proceeding with an analysis of changes occurring in the
household during capitalist development, the concepts "family" and
"household" must be clearly defined. The term "household" refers to a co
resident group of persons who share most aspects of consumption, drawing
on and allocating a common pool of resources (including labor) to ensure
their material reproduction (Margulis 1980, Schmink 1984, Yanagisako 1979,
Jelin 1977, Harris 1981). Households are not necessarily based on kin
relationships, though a family and a household may in some cases be
equivalent. "Family" then refers to an institution based on kin relationships
governed by established socio-cultural practices. These individuals do not
necessarily share a common residence or commonly pool their resources.

21
Historical works document variations in household and family-
composition through time (Aries 1973; Arizpe 1977; Stolcke 1981). The
structure and composition of households also varies with the life-stages and
socio-economic income generating strategies of its members. The impact of
life cycle (elaborated in more detail in chapter six) on women's production
and reproductive responsibilities illustrates that life cycle is a major factor in
labor recruitment policies and strongly affects who is hired for particular jobs.
For example, as this research will demonstrate, daughters are preferred by the
multi-national factories. They are more flexible in their work hours (i.e.
more available for unscheduled overtime), and less likely to miss work
because of family problems. In addition, life cycle affects the way in which
women regard their earnings and the contributions they make toward the
household economy (Safa 1990). This case will be discussed in more detail in
chapter seven.
The impact of industrialization on families and households can be
seen in changing household strategies for income generation. The household
organizes labor for productive as well as reproductive tasks. For example, as
the ratio of workers to consumers changes over time, the income generating
activities of the women also change. It is hypothesized that ideological and
time constraints assigning domestic responsibilities to women, pull them
back into the home when other household members (especially children)
assume their income generating activities. As a result, both the composition
and the structure of households have a direct impact on women's lives, on
their labor for both market oriented and industrial outworking activities, and
in particular on their ability to gain access to resources, to labor and to
income.

22
However, the household cannot be conceived of as existing in
isolation, but rather is embedded in a specific socio-economic class in a
community within a certain geographical region. All these factors affect
women's access to and control of resources. Extra-household kin
relationships are also important in regulating women's access to and control
of resources. In the case of garment workers in Risaralda, kinship networks
are important in obtaining work and machinery for women to perform work
in the home (to be discussed in relation to the garment workers in more
detail in chapter five).
Female-headed Households
The concept of the female-headed household is growing in importance.
According to the household headship reported by the women workers,
approximately 30% (35/110), were female headed. However, when women's
position within the household was analyzed, over 50 percent of the workers
interviewed classified as female household heads, considering the major
economic provider as household head (the difference between reported
household headship and headship considering economic contribution to the
budget will be further analyzed in chapter 6). In the case of Risaralda,
Colombia, it appears that rapid industrialization based largely on women's
labor force participation has led to a high degree of female-headed households
in the urban areas.
International data reviewed on the socioeconomics of women
heads of household suggest a direct linkage between processes of
modernization -- particularly those stemming from economic
development and its policies -- and the rise of households
headed by women. . Most studies suggest that explanatory

23
factors for female family headship should be sought in both
internal and international migration; mechanization of
agriculture; the development of agribusiness; urbanization;
overpopulation; lower class marginality, and the emergence of a
class system of wage labor all of which are integral
parts/consequences of rapid economic transformation. (Buvinic
and Youseff 1978 p.iii, italics mine.)
Female household heads may be women who are widowed, separated,
abandoned, divorced, or single mothers. In Colombia many women were
separated from a legal marriage, but few were divorced2. Low wages and high
male unemployment contribute to preferences for non-legalized unions as
opposed to marriage and to precipitating the break-up of such unions
(Buvinic and Youseff 1978). Often female heads of households are part of
consensual unions which have dissolved. This research frequently found
that women considered themselves "single" after ending a consensual union
which had resulted in children. However, to understand the impact that the
demand for workers has on women's labor force incorporation, we must now
consider how industry pressures households to develop new survival
strategies and to devise new patterns of labor allocation.
Women's Labor Force Incorporation
Industrialization has changed the structure of Latin American societies.
As women become increasingly incorporated into the labor force, the
structure and composition of households is transformed. In Colombia,
women provide labor for the development of both national and international
industries. Keremitsis (1984) documents how women's labor fueled the
development of the textile industry in Mexico and Colombia. As machinery
2Because of Colombia's close tie to the Catholic Church cColombia is the only
country in Latin America which still has a signed convenio with the Vatican
in Rome>, divorce is difficult.

24
modernized jobs in the textile mills, women laborers were channeled into
other directions such as the "informal" labor market (Keremitsis 1984). Since
the first textile industries began in the Antioqueo region of Colombia in the
early part of this century women's labor has spurred the process of capitalist
development.
Women have always constituted a source of cheap labor for industrial
capitalism (Saffioti 1978), however, the way in which women are
incorporated into the labor force is not homogeneous. Their incorporation
into the labor force differs according to a number of variables including their
ethnicity, class and the stage of national development of the country (Safa
1977). The characteristics of women workers also differ regionally within the
same country. In Pereira, Risaralda, as will be demonstrated in chapter three,
the significance of the garment industry in regional development leads to a
labor market structure in which female participation in manufacturing
industry is higher than it may be in other regions of the country3.
One of the first scholars to provide a comparative analysis of women's
work based on data from a wide range of societies, Ester Boserup, emphasizes
gender as a significant factor in the division of labor. Boserup (1970) analyzes
factors affecting the sexual division of labor in agriculture. Her comparison of
male and female systems of farming corresponds to the African system of
shifting agriculture and the Asian system of plow cultivation. She was one of
the first theoreticians to emphasize that women's subsistence activities are
3in 1985 of 26,031 individuals employed in the manufacturing industry in
Risaralda, 30 percent were employed in garment production. Of 11,453
women who worked in the manufacturing industry in the region, 4,394 were
women associated with garment production (approximately 40 percent). Sixty
six percent of the total work force in garments are women. Of 14,578 men
who worked in the manufacturing industry, only 16 percent worked in
garment production, the majority as mechanics and supervisors.

25
usually omitted in statistics of production and income (1970:163). In addition,
Boserup's comparative analysis projected the different sexual division of
labor encountered in farming systems onto patterns of women's participation
in non-agricultural activities. Boserup's work has been criticized, however,
for neglecting the concept of reproduction (Beneria and Sen 1981). Although
Boserup discusses technological changes introduced with commercial
agriculture, her modernization perspective leads to the conclusion that this
change is generally beneficial to society, if not to women. The assumption
that modernization is generally a neutral process, ignores the fact that it
generates and intensifies inequalities, making use of existing gender and class
hierarchies to subordinate women and men (both within the household and
within the workplace). Boserup's analysis focuses solely on women's
productive role, neglecting the effect of reproduction on the sexual division
of labor.
In order to understand the theoretical importance of women's labor
force incorporation, the historical moments when this labor force
participation increase, and/or changes its form, must be considered.
Women's incorporation into the industrial labor force generally occurred
during early periods of industrialization (as in Europe, with England being
the classical case); during times of economic and/or political crisis (as in the
United States during the Second World War); in situations where extreme
competition forces industry to minimize operation costs, and/or
restructuring of the labor process (such as the increase in clerical workers in
the United States in the 1970s, and more recently the restructuring of
manufacturing), and when production remains labor intensive (as in the case
of the garment industry). The next section considers women's labor force

26
incorporation and the development of industrial capitalism as it occurred in
eighteenth century England.
Women's Labor Force Incorporation and the Development of Industrial
Capitalism
Prior to the onset of industrialization, manufacturing and agriculture
were performed on a much smaller scale in the home in feudalistic Europe.
The home was the physical location of the reproduction of daily life, as well
as production for the market. Under these conditions, a division of labor
developed within the home or workshop. In the textile industry, for
example, women spun thread, while men frequently wove cloth.
As industrialization developed, productive activities were broken
down into a series of tasks. The different functions were arranged
hierarchically depending on factors such as knowledge of the process,
strength, and manual abilities. As production became increasingly technified
and modernized, machines began to perform the labor of workers, and
production moved out of the home. Under industrial capitalism, initially the
location of production shifted from the household to the factory. The factory
replaced the household as the center of productive activity because it was
better suited to the technified production of larger machinery. Under this
arrangement, a new division of labor emerged in which the worker became
merely an appendage of the machinery.
Along with the tool, the skill of the workman (sic) in
handling it passes over to the machine . .Thereby the technical
foundation on which is based the division of labor in
manufacture is swept away. Hence, in the place of the hierarchy
of specialized workmen (sic) that characteristics manufacture,
there steps, in the automatic factory, a tendency to equalize and
reduce to one and the same level every kind of work that has to

27
be done by the minders of the machines; in the place of the
artificially produced differentiations of the detail workmen, step
natural differences of age and sex. (Marx 1967, p. 420).
Initially industrialization tended to substitute unskilled labor for
skilled, female labor for male, young labor for mature (Marx 1967).
In so far as machinery dispenses with muscular power, it
becomes a means of employing laborers of slight muscular
strength, and those whose bodily development is incomplete,
but whole limbs are all the more supple. The labor of women
and children was, therefore, the first thing sought for by
capitalist who used machinery. That mighty substitute for
labour and laborers was forthwith changed into a means for
increasing the number of wage-laborers by enrolling,under the
direct sway of capital, every member of the workman's family,
without distinction of age or sex (p.394).
Early theoreticians of women's work generally viewed this labor force
incorporation as liberating (Marx 1967; Engels 1972):
Since large-scale industry has transferred the woman from
the house to the labor market and the factory and makes her,
often enough, the bread-winner of the family, the last remnants
of male domination in the proletarian home have lost all
foundation (Engels 1968, p. 508).
Vogel criticized the notion of separation of reproduction from other
productive relations, arguing that although Engels conceptualized the family
as a significant analytical category, he failed to specify how the family
functioned within the overall process of social reproduction. Vogel (1983)
also critiqued this interpretation of women's labor force incorporation as
liberating. On the one hand, women's labor force incorporation provides an
income for these women which may permit them to exercise more power in
the household (as is explored later in this text). However, the reproductive

28
responsibilities of women in the household (the biological, daily, and
generational) continue, especially for women who are mothers and wives.
Therefore, she argued, labor force incorporation is not "liberating" for
women.
With the development of the factory system, women whose primary
responsibility was the household, became dependent on the husband for their
income. The household was no longer the unit of production, rather
individuals within the household (particularly men) became responsible for
the income of the entire household. Both push and pull factors affected
women's income generating activities. When factories needed "cheaper"
workers, women were pulled into factory employment, often in positions
subordinate to men. The significance of the male's primary role as
breadwinner, subordinated the role of women workers (and their salaries)
legitimizing management's perception of the women workers as "cheaper".
In the lower income brackets, the depressed income of male wage earners
necessitates the employment of women. The low household income pushes
women into the labor force in these sectors. However, in all cases, these
women in the wage labor force were not only income generators, but often
also housewives and mothers. Participation in factory labor did not reduce
their household responsibilities.
Women's labor force incorporation under industrial development
may therefore be described as contradictory (Lim 1983). Benefits derived from
income generated by the women who leave the home to work necessitate
increasing the women's work load unless other family members assume the
household responsibilities. Industrial development further fragmented the
production process into a hierarchy of tasks. This increasing technification
often led to the replacement of women for men in the labor force,

29
disadvantaging women and leading to changes in the social relations of
production. These changes will be discussed in the next section.
Changes in the Social Relations of Production
The gradual displacement of cottage production based in the home
with industrial development in eighteenth century England, resulted in the
incorporation of young, single daughters of farm families into factory work;
often these were women who stopped working as soon as they were able to
marry (Fernandez-Kelly 1983). Under these conditions, women's lives were
divided into a paid productive phase and an unpaid reproductive phase in
which their activities were for the most part directed towards the renewal of
the labor force as purely housewives and mothers (Safa 1987).
Braverman (1974) demonstrates how, on the one hand, fragmentation
in the labor process degrades labor, breaking down and simplifying tasks
which permit the use of less skilled labor in one or more parts of the tasks
wrestling control out of the hands of the worker. On the other hand, this
leads to increased production for industrialists, cheapening the cost of labor,
and therefore increasing profits, as well as increasing control by management
over the labor process.
The centralization of work in the factory permitted industrialists to
determine the process of production: what would be produced, the rate at
which it would be produced, how many of certain articles would be produced,
and when they would be produced. Workers lost control of the article they
were producing which not only made them more vulnerable to capital, but
also increasingly alienated them from their work.

30
The success of work organization in the factory in the United States
and European industrial contexts resulted in part from changes in the control
of the work process: workers' control over the production process in the
household was replaced by management's control in the factory. The
intensification of task specialization under monopoly capitalism increases
management's control over the work process (Baran and Sweezy 1966). In
Colombia, this research demonstrate a similiar process. Factory workers
perform only one part of the production process one seam, one pleat, one
sleeve, cuff, etc. In addition to fragmenting the production of different
articles, the workers were also moved from one workshop to another. In
other words, when one workshop completed an order of women's dresses, a
worker would be moved to a workshop of men's shirts (if she was lucky
enough to have her her contract renewed). The fragmentation of production
is furthered by the increasing informalization of work in the factory.
Workers are hired only for the production of specific garments. .
The assembly line production and the organization of the large-scale
enterprises at the turn of the century in Europe was organized specifically to
increase control and profits for capital (Baran and Sweezy 1966). Contrary to
the idea that specialization increases the skills needed by each worker so that
they may be more knowledgeable and in greater control of the production
process, in a society based on the purchase and sale of labor power, dividing
the craft actually cheapens the cost of labor for producing the individual parts.
In this way, subcontracting part of the work further divides the labor (outside
the factory setting whereas the assembly line divides it within the factory
setting), once again cheapening the labor costs involved in producing the
garment.

31
Monopoly Capital and Women's Labor Force Incorporation
During the latter half of the twentieth century a substantially different
structure of industrialization has emerged. Baran and Sweezy (1966) elaborate
on this new stage of development called monopoly capitalism. While
monopoly capitalism decreases the need for workers in certain sectors of the
labor force, it creates demands for workers in new production branches.
Under the stage of monopoly capital, big businesses use all available methods
- organizational and technological to decrease their risks and losses (Sokoloff
1980). Under monopoly capitalism there is a systematic tendency for surplus
to increase dramatically (Baran and Sweezy 1966). By controlling prices
among the few major corporations in a field, the large companies maximize
their profits more efficiently. Management increases its control over the
production process (including decisions regarding production and sale of
commodities such as the type, price, quantity and quality of products.)
However, control over markets and increased control over production by
large corporations are not the only new elements of monopoly capitalism.
Monopoly capitalism also leads to new forms of social organization.
With the rise of monopolies, new forms of social
organization began to appear. The expanding commodity
market of products and services effected a historic break in the
relationship between women and industry. It is possible that
monopoly capital was more decisive for the lives of most
working-class women than the rise of capitalism itself. The need
for controlled markets demanded a mobilization of all social
resources for potential profit (Blaxandall, Ewen and Gordon
19xx).

32
According to Edwards, Reich, and Gordon (1980), the development of
monoply capitalism in the United States divided the working class:
The central thrust of the new strategies (to divide and
conquer workers) was to break down the increasingly unified
worker interests that grew out of both the proletarianization of
work and the concentration of workers in urban areas. As
exhibited in several aspects of these large firms operations, this
effort aimed to divide the labor force into various segments so
that the actual experiences of workers would be different and the
basis of their common opposition to capitalists would be
undermined (p. xiii).
Theoreticians concerned with the impact of monopoly capitalism on
women's labor force incorporation argue that the creation of large amounts of
surplus value under monopoly capitalism led to the creation of new
industries which employed primarily women. Among these new industries
was the development of the service sector which led to increasing
incorporation of women into the labor force. However, women were not
only increasingly employed in the service industries under monopoly
capitalism, but also in the industrial sector. In certain aspects of this sector
(especially the garment industry), unskilled tasks continued to dominate
production, and women's labor force incorporation increased.
While women generally are increasingly incorporated into the labor
force during the twentieth century in low waged and unskilled tasks, some
women are being pushed out with the development of more capital intensive
techniques of production. While monopoly capitalism has pulled women
increasingly into the labor force, new levels of technological development
organized to maximize profits and the accumulation of surplus have
contradictory consequences for women's labor (Sokoloff 1980, p. 91). Some of
these contradictory consequences can be seen in more detail in the analysis of

33
the new international division of labor. The new international division of
labor represents yet another phase of monopoly capitals increasing control
over the production process. No longer bound by national sovereignty, these
entities continue to maximize profit generation by reorganizing the
production process on a global level.
The New International Division of Labor
The new international division of labor refers to the restructuring of
production on a global scale. Traditionally the international division of
labor consisted in the exportation of raw materials by Third World countries
to more industrialized countries where they were processed and marketed.
These "Third World" countries then bought manufactured goods from the
"First World" at a much higher price. The next phase, import substitution
industrialization was promoted by the Economic Council on Latin America
in the 1960s. Import substitution industrialization encouraged the
domestic production of goods formerly imported. As Safa (1990) notes, in
many Latin American countries this industrialization was financed by
dividends earned from agricultural production or by foreign capital. In the
past decade, the policy of import substitution industrialization has been
replaced by one of export promotion. This represents a new stage in the
international division of labor, and therefore the name, the New
International Division of Labor.
. . Export manufacturing represents a new stage in the
international division of labor in which developing countries in
Latin America and the Caribbean are becoming exporters of
manufacturing goods to advanced industrial countries...Contrary
to import substitution, the new trend seems to encourage
foreign investment by minimizing the importance of national

34
boundaries and allowing market mechanisms to operate
without constraint. Import substitution required the
development of an internal market, which had to be supported
through the extension of domestic purchasing power to the
middle and working classes. In export manufacturing, however,
the market is entirely external. It demands the maximum
reduction of production costs, principally wages, in order to
compete effectively on the international level (Safa 1990a, p. 2).
The new international division of labor fosters women's employment
(because they are "cheaper") by multinational corporations (Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1985). This employment generates contradiction by
providing economic opportunities for these women (Lim 1983) while also
intensifying and reinforcing their subordinate position in society through
the way in which they are incorporated into the labor process (Elson and
Pearson 1981, Ward 1990).
From plants in the Third World, multinational
subsidiaries export manufactures to their home countries. From
their home countries they import capital and technology in
exchange. Cheap labor, combined in many cases with
government subsidized capital costs, including tax holidays and
low interest loans from government banks give these countries a
comparative advantage in world trade in labor intensive
products.
It is labor intensive industries, then, that tend to relocate
manufacturing plants to developing countries, thereby becoming
multinational in their operations. This is a rational competitive
response to changing international comparative cost advantages
(Lim 1983: 72).
An example of women's labor force incorporation in order for
industries to minimize operation costs can be seen in the relatively recent
expansion of export processing zones, and the development of factories which
perform only assembly operations. This offshore manufacturing represents a
new strategy of capital investments which is linked to a reorganization of the

35
international division of labor (Frobel, Heinrichs, Kreye 1979; Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1983).
Offshore manufacturing enables the transfer of labor intensive aspects
of the productive process to peripheral areas, with the incorporation of large
numbers of women into direct manufacturing activities in these areas (Nash
and Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Safa 1982). Historically the first example of this
offshore production occurred in Puerto Rico during the 1950's in Operation
Bootstrap (Safa 1974). More recent examples of this can be seen in Asian
countries (Lim 1983; Mies 1988; Sen 1980), the Mexican-American border
(Fernandez-Kelly 1985) and off-shore production characteristic of the
Caribbean (Safa 1981). These industries demonstrate a preference for young,
single, women who are perceived as cheaper and more docile than men.
The so-called "feminization of the labor force" results, in large part,
from an emphasis on labor flexibility in both developing and industrialized
economies (Standing 1989). Not only are women being substituted for men,
but men's jobs are also being transformed into low wage, unstable
employment, typical of traditional women's jobs. Standing (1989) traces this
"feminization of labor" to the global economic situation beginning in the late
1970's. The rise in low income countries' participation as manufacturing
exporters, increasingly rapid rates of lending, increased technological
innovation, and more intense international competition reinforced the
supply side ideology focusing on market mechanisms and cost
competitiveness as key determinants of economic development. Increased
trade liberalization and export promotion policies result from this emphasis.
Therefore, in order to increase profits, governments are removing labor
market regulations, eroding union strength, and increasing the use of
temporary, part time, and subcontracted workers. Colombia is no exception.

36
These policies further reduce worker's (both men's and women's) possibilities
for skilled employment and income securities. The following quote
demonstrates this trend:
At the same time, industrial enterprises have been
introducing modern technologies that have been associated with
changing skill and job structures. The debate over the de
skilling or upgrading effects of modern technology is
unresolved, but the evidence seems to support two pertinent
trends. The use of craft skills learned via apprentices and
prolonged on-the-job learning have declined; such crafts have
traditionally been dominated by male "labor aristocracies."
Second, there is a trend toward skill polarization, consisting of
an elite of technically skilled, high status specialist workers
possessing higher level institutional qualifications, coupled with
a larger mass of technically semiskilled production and
subsidiary workers requiring minor training typically imparted
through short term courses of a few weeks or even by on the job
learning. (Standing 1989, p.938 )
Lim (1983) states that third world women workers are the most heavily
exploited group of workers in the world, both relative to their output
contribution and relative to other groups. Although all experience capitalist
exploitation, third world women workers are additionally subject to what she
terms "imperialist exploitation" and "patriarchal exploitation".
Imperialist exploitation the differential in wages paid to workers
in developed and developing countries for the same work and
output arises from the ability of multinationals to take
advantage of different labor market conditions in different parts
of the world a perfectly rational practice in the context of world
capitalism. In the developing countries, high unemployment,
poor bargaining power vis-a-vis the foreign investor, lack of
worker organization and representation and even the repression
of workers' movements, all combine to depress wage levels,
while the lack of industrial experience, ignorance and naivete of
workers with respect to the labor practice in modern factory
employment enable multinational employers to extract higher
output from them in certain unskilled operations.

37
Patriarchal exploitation-the differential in wages paid to
male and female workers for similar work and output-derives
from women's inferior position in the labor market . .(Lim 1983:
80)
In the context of the current international economic and political
situation in the late 1980's, Latin American countries (including Colombia)
must reorganize their economies in response to increasing international
financial problems. Reduced reliance on salaried workers earning fixed wages
and fringe benefits enables factories to cut production costs in order to meet
international competition. Increased reliance on 'cheaper' sources of labor
such as women working at home, and reduction in factory wages increase
international competitiveness. As noted above, these economic problems
have resulted in a shift from direct to indirect employment. In other words,
this restructuring has led to a revival of industrial outwork and
subcontracting increasing production in the "informal sector".
The Informal Sector
Scholars of industrialization in Latin America debate the degree to
which informal sector production and employment can be isolated and
analyzed as separate from that of the formal economy (Portes 1983, Portes,
Castells and Benton 1989)4 Although the informal sector was originally
equated with the traditional subsistence sector opposed to economic
modernization which occurs in the "market" (Geertz 1963), this dualistic
4Portes states that a substantial "informal proletariat" provides the urban
formal sector with the extra-market means of production. According to his
hypothesis, the urban informal proletariat is readily identifiable since it a)
does not receive regular money wages; b) does not receive the indirect wage of
social security coverage; and c) does not retain contractual relations with its
employers.

38
perspective has been strongly criticized. Scholars who criticize this perspective
emphasize the close articulation between formal and informal sectors, the way
in which this articulation cheapens labor, and the importance of this
unregulated production for social reproduction (in terms of both production of
goods for the market and a source of employment) (Safa 1987).
Portes and Benton estimated that in 1984, 40 percent of Colombia's urban
labor force was in the informal sector. For intermediate Colombian cities such
as Pereira, informal sector participation in production has been estimated to be
61 percent (Lopez 1987). Recent studies on the process of expansion of the
informal sector and the restructuring of the labor process demonstrate that the
most exploited segments of the paid labor force are female (Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1983, Sassen Koob 1984, Fernandez-Kelly 1985, Beneria and
Roldan 1987, Safa 1990).
Portes (1983) distinguishes between three types of production within the
informal sector: (1) direct subsistence (including subsistence agriculture and
home production), (2) petty commodity production and exchange (based on the
labor of the self-employed who produce goods and services for the market); and
(3) backward capitalist production, which includes small enterprises employing
unprotected wage labor. The first two may be considered traditional methods
of incorporating labor in the informal sector, while the third is relatively new
in Colombia and elsewhere. This research considers subcontracted industrial
outwork (which Portes terms backward production) as a mechanism for
incorporating women's labor in a more vulnerable (less protected, more
unstable or insecure) position.

39
Subcontracted Industrial Outwork
Subcontracted industrial outwork has recently received renewed
interest by researchers, largely as a result of the decentralization of production
since the 1970s (Beneria and Roldan 1987).
At the conceptual level, homework involves a mixed
organization of production in which capital takes advantage of
the prevalent social and economic relations within the
household. The jobber, the workshop, or the factory gives the
materials to the worker who is paid by the piece wages for the
work, but has no control over the product since it is returned to
the jobber. There is appropriation of labor on the part of the
jobber, much along the lines based on capitalist relations of
production (Beneria and Roldan, p.66 1987).
However, in order to understand the implications of subcontracting for social
relations of production and women's labor force incorporation, we must
distinguish between the putting out system of the early European transition
to capitalism, and industrial outwork performed in contemporary Latin
America.
Industrial Outwork and Capitalist Development
Although striking similarities exist between the development of the
putting out system in Europe and subcontracted industrial outwork in
Colombia, significant differences also exist. Women's labor force
incorporation under capitalist development in Colombia is more subordinate
to both national and multinational capital than it was in Europe. Women, in
Colombia, maintain less control of the production process, and less frequently
own the means of production.

40
In order to better understand the way in which macro-economic
processes influence women's labor force incorporation and the household, it
is important to study these differences between the European case and the
Colombian case. In general, during the transition to capitalism in Europe,
the putting out system was controlled by commercial capital, while in
Colombia today it is controlled by industrial capital. In the garment industry,
even when production is performed in the home, the large factories maintain
control of cutting and finishing the product.
In addition, the accumulation process initiated by commercial capital
in Europe facilitated the development of national industrial capital (Beneria
and Roldan 1987). However, in Colombia, this production contributes to the
accumulation of both national and multinational capital. Though
subcontracting into the home was less frequent among the factories with
multinational capital, other forms of contracting works to small workshops
outside the factory did persist (these will be discussed in detail in Chapter
Four). Thus small scale entrepreneurs' production contributes to the
generation of surplus profits by the large multinational factories.
Further, the ownership of the means of production was different in the
two cases. At least initially, the putting out system in Europe utilized
independent producers who owned the means of production (such as sewing
machines and looms). In Colombia, the machines, as well as the locale where
production takes place (if it does not occur in the workers home) are often
owned by the larger factory. In Colombia, the entrepreneur (manager of a
small scale enterprise) may have the rent for the machines or locale taken out
of her meager earnings for this subcontracted production.

41
Conclusion
This chapter discussed the impact of capitalist development on
women's labor force incorporation. Women's labor force incorporation in
eighteenth century Europe was compared to present day Colombia,
emphasizing the change in location of production as it affects women's
productive and reproductive responsibilities. The reorganization of social
relations within the home as a result of the transition from craft production
to factory production highlighted womens' increasing marginalization within
the production process. The increasing penetration of international
capitalism in Third World Countries has led to a deskilling of the work force
under contemporary monopoly capitalism conditions. The increasing
feminization of the labor force illustrates the search for increasingly more
vulnerable labor by industrial capitalists.
This discussion demonstrates that industries (even those which
traditionally utilized female labor) such as the garment industry are
restructuring production to reduce labor costs and to incorporate workers in a
cheaper, more vulnerable position, with less job security and fewer benefits.
Both subcontracted industrial outworkers and factory workers are relegated to
"informal" types of production. The factory workers work becomes
"informal" when these workers are contracted as temporary workers, for less
than 90 days, prohibiting them from receiving the benefits of legal contractual
workers. This incorporation occurs at a time when male unemployment is
increasing, wages are low, and women's contribution to the household
income is highly significant.

42
Women's labor force incorporation in the new international division
of labor, is becoming increasingly subordinate to the interests of national and
multinational capital. However, this incorporation does not occur in a
vacuum. Women's labor force incorporation is mediated by their household
responsibilities. The household adapts to the changing forms of women's
labor force incorporation by assuming new strategies for household
sustenance. As households (both male and female-headed) jockey for their
survival, and for a more advantageous position in the work force, they
reorganize and reallocate their labor. This reallocation of labor is in part the
result of households' responses to the structure of the labor market (this is
discussed in depth in chapter 6) and to the current economic crisis.
In order to understand the mechanisms governing this incorporation
of female labor in increasingly subordinate positions, it is necessary to link
the household, and the family with the wider regional, national and
international patterns of development, including social, economic, political
and ideological processes, within which they are embedded. The next chapter
discusses the process of industrialization in Colombia emphasizing the
increase in temporary labor contracts, and the growth of the informal sector
along with women's increasing labor force participation.

CHAPTER THREE
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN COLOMBIA
Introduction
...Se utilizan solo la mano de
obra de la region, y dentro del
Plan Vallejo se trabaja para
enviar ...De los EEUU mandan
todo la material los patrones y
aqui se trabaja ... se ponen la
mano de obra al estilo Taiwan.
Pereira es el epicentro del Plan
Vallejo al nivel de la confeccin
en este sentido.
Dona Blanca, Tecnologa del
SENA
They utilize only the labor of
the region, under the Plan
Vallejo they work to export...
From the United States they
send all of the material, the
patterns, and here they
assemble it, using the style they
use in Taiwan. Pereira is the
epicenter of the Plan Vallejo in
the garment industry in this
sense.
Doa Blanca, Technologist from
the SENA.
This chapter begins with a discussion of the origins of the
manufacturing industry in Colombia emphasizing the relationship
between state policy and industrialization in Colombian economic
development. A description of the structure of the labor force in
Colombia discusses the historical importance of women's labor force
43

44
incorporation. Next, a brief review of the Antioqueo colonization of
the Old Caldas region (which today is Risaralda, Caldas and Quindio)
provides the background for a discussion of the capitalist development
of the Risaralda region (see Figure 3.1, 3.2). Finally, an exploration of the
contemporary structure of the manufacturing industry in the
department of Risaralda focuses specifically on the role of the garment
industry in the process of industrialization of Pereira and Dos Quebradas
(see Figure 3.3).
In order to understand the origins of the manufacturing industry
in Colombia, we must first consider the extraction of primary products
which provided the initial capital for industrialization. From the mid
nineteenth century, the export sector has been considered the principal
source of capital accumulation for the country. According to Jose
Antonio Ocampo, a prominent Colombian economist: "The export
experience of the nineteenth century was, in the long run, discouraging
and in terms of specific markets, very unstable (1979: 25)". Ocampo
delineates three elements which explain the limits to expansion of
exports in the Colombian case: (1) the position of Colombia in the world
economy, which tended to generate strong competitive disadvantages for
the Colombian producers, (2) the presence of backward forms of
production and (3) the tendency of Colombian capitalists to behave as
"speculators". (1979: 26). During the last century, investment by
Colombians was concentrated in commercial and speculative activities
or in buying certain goods (such as land or cattle) which could be rapidly
liquidated, serving as a type of money. Investment in productive
activities was only attractive when world prices for the products were
high. Consequently, Ocampo states, the expansion of the export sector

45
Figure 3.1 Map of South America, Colombia highlighted.

46
Figure 3.2 Colombia South America by departments

47
DEPARTAMENT OF RISARALDA
o
L
SCALE
10 15 km
Figure 3.3 Municipality of Pereira, including Dos Quebradas.

48
only occurred when almost any type of production was acceptable in the
world market. For this reason, the producer exporters, did not have
much incentive to maintain a high level of investment of fixed capital
in industrial development. Their role was more that of speculators.
Gold was the major export product until the mid nineteenth
century. During the second half of the nineteenth century, coffee
assumed increasing importance as a product for exportation. According
to Alvaro Lopez Toro (1975) gold production for export in the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries generated disequilibrium between Antioquia's
dynamic mining economy and its stagnant traditional agriculture. A
powerful merchant class emerged to balance this disequilibrium through
trade. Lopez argues that merchants supplied the export sector with food,
tools, and clothing, and collected gold for export. Capital accumulation
in the hands of merchants enabled them to displace the cultural, social,
and political influence of the class of large landowners engaged in
traditional agriculture in the highlands around the region's capital,
Medellin.
Charles Bergquist (1986) demonstrates how the boom and bust of
export agriculture structured the political history of the nation during
the nineteenth century. During the first three decades of this century,
despite considerable growth of gold, banana, and petroleum exports (after
1925), coffee exports rose from 40 to more than 70 percent of the value of
Colombia's total exports. The remarkable expansion of the coffee export
economy enabled the Colombian government to become a major
recipient of the flood of finance capital emanating from New York banks
in the years preceding the Great Depression (Bergquist 1986: 297).

49
From an early stage, rural coffee producers depended on
industrially based textile production for their own use. This explains, in
part, why coffee producing regions often become centers of textile and
garment production.
Small coffee farmers never engaged in home textile
production as rural families in other sectors of the Colombian
economy traditionally did. Unlike the small tobacco farmers in
Santander during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who
produced textiles in their homes for distribution in other regions,
and the wool spinners and weavers of highland Boyaca and
Cundinamarca, coffee farmers depended from the beginning on
industrially manufactured (and initially imported) cotton cloth for
most of their clothing needs. Women and female children did,
however fashion much of their own clothing by hand until the
use of imported treadle sewing machines became widespread in
recent decades. Males customarily had their cotton pants made by
tailors in the towns, a practice that continues to this day,. . Small
children, especially among the most impoverished coffee families,
often still wear little or no clothing. (Bergquist 1986: 322)
Development of the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia
Until the end of the 1880's, industry in Colombia was basically
artisanal, concentrated in the production of clothes, chocolates, candles,
and beer located mainly in Bogota. It was only during the first years of
the twentieth century that industrialization of consumption goods,
focused in Medellin and Bogota, was begun on a large scale.
The textile industry in Medellin was a major leader in industrial
development in the Antioqueo region (of which Medellin is the
capital). Capital accumulated in coffee exports funded the dynamic
expansion of this sector in the Anqioqueo region. From 1910 till 1930
coffee exports increased at a rate superior to 10 percent yearly. Textile
industrialization flourished in Medellin after 1907 under protectionist

50
measures first introduced by the Reyes government. Further, capital
accumulated through coffee production in this region expanded and
consolidated the internal market for textiles, assisted in the formation of
large enterprises in the industrial sector, and through these activities
strengthened the creation of a salaried workforce in the cities
(Montenegro and Ocampo 1985). Coltejer and Fabricato, two of the
largest textile factories in the country were developed through efforts of
the largest family of coffee merchants (Echavarria).
Colombian industrialization was assisted by economic and fiscal
reforms of the administration of Pedro Nel Ospina (1922-27). The
reorganization of public finances made possible a greater access to
external credit, while the creation of a central bank provided the base for
the formation of a monetary system and modern capital market. The
immediate effects of these reforms were to reduce the interest rates and
provide a more secure access to sources of financing for new
investments. The increase in the physical infrastructure put forth by the
same administration further stimulated more investment in industry
(Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
Colombia was, relatively speaking for Latin America, a late-comer
to industrialization. However, the industrial growth in Colombia
between 1931 and 1939 was, on the average 12.4 percent, not only the
highest in Latin America in that decade, but also the highest in the
industrial history of Colombia. The process of Import Substitution
Industrialization (ISI) began during the later years of the Liberal
governments (1940-44), reaching its peak in the late 40's and early 50's
when Antioquefto industrialists wielded great influence in the
Conservative Administration. Nevertheless, this rate of growth was

51
reduced to 5.4 percent between 1939 and 1945, only to recuperate to 10.2
percent in the 1950's. While industries such as threads, textiles and
cigarettes were concentrated in Antioquia, cement and beer were
centralized in the province of Cundinamarca, and the processing of
sugar was centralized in Cali.
With the initiation of industrialization, workers organizations
also began to flourish. In 1931 worker's organizations were legitimized
by the government. In 1936 the creation of the CTC (Confederacin de
Trabajadores Colombianos) promoted advances in the area of social
security legislation such as law 53 of 1938 which allowed for sick leave
and maternity leave for workers. The Union of Colombian Workers
(UTC) was founded in 1946 with assistance from the Catholic church.
In the years 1945-1950, significant changes in the structure of
production occurred. The processing of foodstuffs (Galletas la Rosa,
Cicolac, Fruco) and production of artificial fibers (Pantex, Tejicondor)
began the diversification of consumer goods. Further, the expansion of
intermediate goods, mainly in the industries of leather, chemicals, paper,
and metal products increased dramatically. Growing consumer demands
made investments in this sector more profitable (Jimenez and Sideri
1985).
The acceleration of import substitution industrialization (ISI) after
the Second World War supported by state intervention fostered the
development of large national textile factories that met most of the
demands of the internal market. Policies established during this period
encouraged national production of manufactured goods and reduced the
need for imports (i.e., ISI). Between 1950 and 1958, an increase in the
production of intermediate goods was accompanied by a decrease in the

52
expansion of consumer goods. The most dynamic industrial activities
were those of wood, paper, leather, chemicals, petroleum derivatives,
basic metals and non-electric machinery. Although, in general,
intermediate goods provided the motor for industrial development in
the 1950s, the situation varied in each region, depending on the structure
of production in the region; on the integration of factory activity in this
structure; on modifications given by the installation of new enterprises;
and on the expansion of markets. In other regions, such as Antioquia
and Old Caldas, industrial development continued to focus on consumer
goods (79 percent to 90 percent respectively), although the participation
of these in the total production of other manufacturing regions was
decreasing (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
Women's Contribution to Industrial Development
In the 1945 industrial census of Colombia, there were 135,000
workers registered in the industrial sector, of those 90.111 were men and
45.289 women (approximately 33 percent female). Approximately one
third (34.5 percent) of these workers were distributed among 6
occupations: thread spinners, 3.7 percent, garment workers, 7.6 percent,
folders, 2.5 percent, packers, 5.6 percent, weavers, 8.5 percent and yarn
knitters, 6 percent. The occupations most often associated with female
employment were those which were extensions of the women's
domestic role, such as textiles, garments, food, and tobacco. This early
census demonstrates that women's employment was not only limited to
specific industries, but also to specific occupational categories within
these industrial categories. Women were much more frequently

53
relegated to the category obrera" (worker) as opposed to the category of
"empleada" (salaried wage worker). The payment for work completed by
empleadas was greater than that paid to "obreras" because the work of
empleadas supposedly required a higher level of formal education, and
therefore more 'technical expertise"(Sandroni 1982).
The situation of women in these early years of industrialization in
Bogota, bears some resemblance to the daily lives of the garment workers
today, in Pereira. In a thesis at the Universidad Nacional, Gabriela
Pelaez Echeverry (1944) notes:
The women who work in the factories in this study are single
and without children because of the personnel selection process of
the factory. . This is not found in the 'trilladoras' of coffee, who
represent the other extreme. It is difficult to find among them, a
woman who is single without children. . In these 'trilladoras'
one finds married women, single, women of all the marital states,
with children of various ages. Mothers carried their children to
work at their side. . (p. 72, cited in Sandroni 1982, my translation).
She further notes that:
Of the women who worked only 1 percent, do so to dedicate part
of their salary to personal expenses. Even those women who are
alone, orphaned or widowed, need their work in order to live. .
There are fewer cases in which the women must work because of
death or abandonment by the husband (p.72, cited in Sandroni
1982, my translation).
The similarities between women's proletarianization in the 1940s and
proletarianization in the 1980s demonstrate the continuous search by
capital for a cheap, vulnerable labor force.1
1 Statistics for Colombia show that the population of economically active
women increased between 1951 and 1978 from 18.7 percent to 28.8 percent
(Flores, Echeverri and Mendez 1987). However, the rate of female labor force
participation in 1951 (18.7 percent) was close to five times less than the

54
From Import Substitution to the Promotion of Exports
Colombia's first two National Front governments (1958-1962;
1962-1966) faced economic problems stemming from the low world price
for coffee and the shortage of foreign capital with which to import
consumer goods. Towards the end of the 1960s, under the government
of Lleras Restrepo, the industrial policy of ISI was reconsidered, and a
shift towards export promotion began. During this time, the goverment
assumed a protectionist policy towards the internal market and
supported exports through exchange (fiscal) policies and the creation of
tax incentives. Worker benefits established during the 1960's include:
Cajas de Compensacin Familiar (family compensation) in 1962 and
legislation regulating benefits for old age, death and disability in 1967.
The Instituto de Fomento Industrial (IFI), created in 1941, received
increasing financial support during this period. The IFI was originally
created to assist entrepreneurs wishing to purchase new technology.
Total credits extended by the IFI rose from $35 million in 1958 to $2,157
masculine rate (89.3 percent). In 1978, the increase in female activity had
reduced the difference with a rate of 29 percent for women and 71 percent for
men. This increase in women's labor force participation results in part from
the increasing urbanization of the population in the last few decades. In 1984
there was a greater percentage of women than men in urban areas (53 percent
versus 47 percent) while the reverse is true of rural areas (48 percent versus 52
percent {Flores, Echeverri and Mendez 1987}). This may be due, in large part, to
the employment available in cities for women, mainly domestic servants.
Marital status also affects the female labor supply in a market with
preferences for single women. The highest rate of women's economic activity
is in the group of separated women. This group increased its participation
from 4.1 percent (1976) to 8.5 percent (1984) which explains in part, the
increase in female labor force participation (Maldonado and Lozano 1987).
These figures, however, only reflect female labor force participation in what
has been termed the formal sector'.

55
million in 1969, and $4,935 million in 1972. In 1959, Decree 1345
provided increased tariff protection for industrial capital goods and
intermediate manufactured goods produced in Colombia. The
protections applied to the manufacture of paper, iron, glass, electrical
equipment, fertilizers, synthetic fibers and other high technology
products. These protectionist policies encouraged the national
production of textiles from cotton as well as synthetic fibers.
Another policy effecting technological change in Colombian
manufacturing was Law 81 of 1960 which gave industrial tax exemptions
and write-offs of up to 10 years for investments in a wide variety of
heavy and high technology industries, as well as providing tax
incentives for exports of these products. This policy was intended to
expand import substitution beyond consumer durables to include
"intermediate" industrial products which served as inputs to the
manufacture of consumer goods. Thus these policies were designed to
protect national industry, reduce imports, and promote exports in an
attempt to improve Colombia's balance of payments and decrease the
need to borrow foreign capital. These programs encouraged production
in larger factories, although the degree to which these factories relied on
smaller enterprises and outwork is not known.
Few programs were established to provide credit to smaller, more
labor intensive industries. Some funds from the IFI, especially those
from the In ter-American Development Bank brought in after 1969, were
specified for small and intermediate-sized manufacturing plants.
Another initiative was the establishment in 1967 of the Corporacin
Financiera Popular (CFP) which provides credit to small industrial
enterprises that employ less than 100 individuals and have a minimal

56
reserve of capital for production. In Risaralda, the CFP has been
significant in fomenting small scale production in the garment industry.
The creation of the Fondo Financiero Industrial (FFI) in 1968
initiated a special means of credit extension to small and medium-sized
industrial establishments. The FFI provides capital for these
establishments, decentralizes credit to less developed regions, and
attempts to create new opportunities for employment.
During the years 1959-1968, the process of diversification was
strengthened along with the expansion in the production of
intermediate goods and of consumer durables. Further, the division of
work at a regional level was accentuated giving rise to what became
known as the "golden triangle".2 Industrial development in the Old
Caldas region, the major coffee producing zone in the country, focused
on the two major urban centers of Manizales and Pereira. This region
demonstrated a tendency towards specialization in the production of
consumer goods, and the rate of growth of the sector of intermediate
goods surpassed that of the national average (Jimenez and Sideri 1988).
In 1964 the Sindical Confederation of Colombian Workers (CSTC)
was founded as a rival to the CTC and the UTC. In 1971 the General
Confederation of Workers (GCT) originated. This group began in a
meeting of Antioqueo activists (Accin Sindical Antioquea ).
The ideological and political division of the union movement and the
^The golden triangle refers to the development of Medellin, Bogota, and Cali
as three major industrial centers of the country. Pereira, Risaralda is centrally
located providing advantageous access to national as well as international
markets. This regional development is significant in the development of the
city of Pereira, first as a major commercial center, and later as a producer of
consumer goods.

57
changes which have been expressed in the last 30 years are manifested in:
(1) the growth of new centers, the CSTC in 1964 and the CGT in 1970, (2)
the loss of power of the CTC to the UTC, and (3) more recently the
considerable growth of the unions not affiliated with any confederation
(Gomez, Perry, Londoo 1986).
A legal system of contracting workers for selected periods of time,
or items of production was accepted in 1965 with decree 2351 of the
Colombian Labor Code (Corchuelo 1987). Article 4 of this decree
practically institutionalized this contracting method. These unprotected
workers may actually appear to participate in "formal" sector production
when they are hired as workers within the factory for periods of less than
90 days. Under these contracts, workers do not receive any social security
benefits, and have no guarantee of job security. This may be interpreted
as "informalizing" the "formal" sector by contracting labor for
production in a much more 'casual' manner (Bromley and Gerry 1978).
Article 4 of decree 2351 states that contracts for less than one year are
possible in order to replace workers on vacation, for increases in
production, or increases in sales.
However, according to a representative of the Union of Colombian
Workers, the CUT,
The managers of the factory have abused this article and made
this practice a custom. This type of contract has been increasing
since 1970, very sporadically contracts are made for 1 year -
especially in the garment industry. All contracts are made for 2
or 3 months. This practice has been institutionalized to the
detriment of the workers. Every year workers' benefits are
liquidated and the worker signs a new contract starting from
zero. Another year passes and the same thing occurs. This
practice has generated much unemployment, among other
things...(personal interview May 20 1989).

58
Temporary Employment
Considering both the salaried work force and independent
workers, temporary employment represented 16 percent of total
employment in 1984, a rise from 10 percent in 1980 (DANE 1984). The
productive activity which relies most heavily on the generation of
temporary work in Colombia is the manufacturing industry (Corchuelo
1987). Subcontracting is a specific case of contracting where the labor
demand is generally oriented towards home-based workers or small-
scale enterprises. The utilization of the subcontracting arrangement is
usually based on the relatively cheaper labor costs, the evasion of labor
norms in these work places, the technological level of the home-based
worker or small-scale enterprise, and the flexibility in the contracting
and firing of workers due to changes in the level of economic activity.
At the national level, the number of temporary workers in private
employment in Colombia increased from 10.5 percent of the labor force
in 1980 to 16.5 percent in 1987.3 According to the Colombian labor code,
there are two styles of labor contracting: contracts for fixed terms, and
contracts for an indefinite term. The stipulations for fixed term contract
include:
3ln this region, temporary employment has increased as owners of the largest
exporting factory rehire workers under new contracts. Recently this
enterprise bought another large factory in the region. Management then
began to move the workers from one factory to another. When the workers,
who had a contract for a fixed period of time circulated from one factory to the
other, they signed new contracts changing the status of their work from a
fixed time period, to a shorter period of time, less than 90 days -- or solely for
the production of a specific article (interview with union leader).

59
(1) The contract for fixed term must always be written, their
duration cannot be less than 1 year or greater than 3 years, but it is
renewable indefinitely; (2) Temporary or occasional workers can
be used to replace workers on vacation, to meet increases in
production demand, etc. (this is discussed in more detail under
temporary workers); (3) If prior to the expiration date of the
contract, neither party advises the other party in writing, of their
intentions to not prolong the contract with anticipation of 30 days,
the contract will be understood to be renewed for one year; (4) a
contract requiring highly specialized or technical work may be for
less than a year (personal interview May 1989 with union official).
The contract of indefinite work is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The contract not stipulated to be under a fixed contract will
refer to one of indefinite time, the duration of this work is not
determined by the nature of the task, and does not refer to casually
contracted labor. (2) The indefinite contract is valid as long as the
conditions which gave rise to its origin and the material of work
are available. The worker can terminate the contract through a
written notice of 30 days. If this advance notice is not given, then
article 8 number 7 will apply for the entire time, or for the lapse of
working time which was not completed (personal interview May
1989 with union official).
Often temporary workers are hired under the fixed term contracts.
According to the Colombian work code, temporary employment is
classified into two groups: that constituted by temporary workers
contracted directly by the factory, and temporary workers contracted by an
independent agency called "Bolsas de Empleo". The most prevalent
form of employment in the garment industrial branch of manufacturing
activity in Colombia is contracted directly by the factory. Two of the
three modalities involve work within the factory, the third is contracted
outside the factory. The types of work encountered in this group
include:

60
1) Contracting occasional workers these contracts are generally
for only one month and are distinct from the normal workings of
the factory.
2) Contracts of a definite term contracts of less than one year,
temporary replacement, labor related to requirements caused by
production increases, including labor related to the transportation
of goods or the sale of production due to this increase.
3) Contracts to home workers contracts related to the completion
of certain phases of the production process performed outside of
the factory. This work is generally paid by the piece.
Textile Production
To understand the implications of changes in the structure of
production and the social relations of production we now turn to a
study of the specific example of the textile industry. From the initial
phases of industrialization, textile production flourished in the
Antioquea region. In 1920, 13 companies existed in the region. By 1945
only four of the original 13 factories remained; the small factories were
absorbed by the larger ones. Until 1974, textile production developed
fairly rapidly, stimulated by the dynamism of the internal market and
the progressive opening of the export sector. Between 1970 and 1973
production and employment in textiles grew at an average annual rate of
between 13 percent and seven percent respectively (Londoo 1986). This
rate was superior to the industrial average, and the average of the total
economy. After 1974, the expansion of the textile industrial sector began
to decline, initially as a consequence of the reduction in the domestic
sales, an increase in internal prices of 60 percent, and a deterioration in
the ability of the majority of the population to purchase textiles (Paus
1982). Although total exports grew by 65 percent, during this year (1974)
contribution of the textile sector to exports was reduced to eight percent.

61
In the textile sector, inventory represented up to 13 percent of production
in contrast with five percent in previous years.
The overvaluation of the peso due in part to the 1970s coffee
bonanza and the beginning of the drug trade resulted in a decrease in
textile exports. The influx of coffee and drug earnings was also
inflationary resulting in a large increase of contraband and legal imports,
and a loss of industrial and export possibilities. At the height of the
textile crisis (1979-82) the repercussions for workers began to be seen
through collective and individual firing, indemnification of workers
and forced retirement. The increase in the internal prices for textiles, as
part of the decrease in exports, especially in the first part of the crisis had
further ramifications in the garment factories. Many of these garment
factories were forced to close during this period in part because of the
increasing price of textiles..4
In 1975, the world recession, and the dramatic drop in exports
worsened the situation. Competition from countries such as Hong
Kong, Taiwan and Korea decreased the demand for Colombian
industrial exports. In general, the factory owners blame the government
of Lopez Michelsen for this decrease.5 Other scholars, however, state that
aspects such as the monopolistic and overprotective structure of the
4ln Bogota and Barranquilla 9 garment factories closed down, leaving
approximately 4,900 workers without jobs. In Pereira 2 large enterprises Galex
and Jarcano also closed (Londoo 1986). These factory closings in Pereira will
be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6.
5 The government's liberation of interest rates, decrease in the rate of
monetary devaluation, and liberation of imports produced an increase in the
financial costs of the industry, and an increase in the inputs and labor which
affected the ability of the industry to compete with contraband on the internal
market, and with other industrializing nations in the external market
(Londoo 1986).

62
industry leading to low productivity have been determinants in the loss
of competitiveness of the industry in the international market
(Morawitz 1989).
Export Promotion and Industrial Development
Emphasis on export promotion continued with the conservative
government of Misael Pastrana Borrero (1970-1974). During this period
spatial concentration of industrial development continued in eight
major centers including: Bogota, Cali and Medellin, and on a lesser
scale, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Pereira and Manizales.
When considering the industrial growth of the regions by sectors,
Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Pereira and Manizales demonstrated
growth rates of the production of intermediate goods superior to those of
the rest of the country. In regard to capital goods, Medellin, Barranquilla,
Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Pereira and Manizales present superior growth
levels. The greater dynamism of the sectors of intermediate and capital
goods in the eight industrial centers confirms the progressive
transformation of the productive industrial structure of the country, as
well as the unexpected and rapid growth of Cartagena, Manizales,
Pereira, and Bucaramanga during the 1970's (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
The importance of Medellin, Bucaramanga, Manizales and Pereira
in the production of consumer goods can be seen in specific activities:
textiles for Medellin, tobacco in Bucaramanga, garments in Pereira, and
foodstuffs in Manizales, areas in which these cities have been
specializing since the late 1960s. Specifically in the case of Manizales

63
and Pereira, the industrial centers of Old Caldas, the determining factor
in the industrial expansion appears to be the new investment of foreign
capital. Contrary to what happened in the Antioqueo region, the local
industry of Pereira has grown without a strong connection to the
agricultural coffee barons in the region. This differs from the
development of the textile industry in Medellin, and has led to
investment of the capital accumulated in industrialization in the
region, to other geographical areas (Jimenez and Sideri 1985).
At the national level, despite a decline in coffee income, the
export sector grew in 1989 with a 16 percent increase in earnings over the
previous year. Coffee accounted for just 23 percent of export earnings,
approximately the same percentage as petroleum. Textiles and garments
were among the fastest growing sectors doubling their value in 1989 to
an estimated 507 million, eight percent of total exports (Colombia Today
1/91).
More recently, Colombian industrial enterprises have been
affected by the international economic recession, and the Latin American
debt crisis. Although Colombia's foreign debt ($16,500 million by 1988)6
was manageable by Latin American standards, it placed a large drain on
scarce resources, as the debt cost the country seven percent of the GNP
for that year.
^Of this 16,500 million dollars, 13,100 was owed by the public sector; 40 percent
by electricity and coal and oil sectors alone.

64
Antioqueo Colonization of Old Caldas and the Subsequent Development of
Pereira as a producer of consumer goods
The foundation of Pereira in 1863 was an important event in the
Antioqueo colonization of Western Colombia, causing profound
economic, social and cultural changes in the country. Prior to the
nineteenth century, the lack of successful colonization of this region was
attributed to the physical difficulties of the area. By the end of the
eighteenth century, groups of peasants and merchants from the eastern
area of Medellin (Rionegro and Marinilla) began to migrate southward.
For over 100 years, this migration opened up the southeastern part of
what is today the Antioqueo region, and all of the Old Caldas region. A
combination of factors led to the opening of the southern border of the
Antioqueo region including: (1) the search for other sources of gold, (2)
the expansion of agricultural cultivation to satisfy the needs of the
growing population, (3) the search for new and more fertile lands for the
production of coffee.
Agricultural Development
The economy of the Old Caldas region was initially based on
agriculture, mining, and cattle raising. Cocoa, leather, and gold were the
principal commercial articles. Coffee, introduced into the region in 1865,
only became a fundamental pillar of the Old Caldas economy during the
beginning of the twentieth century. The production of coffee in this
region was based on small-holder plots. However, in recent years there
has been an increasing concentration of land into large latifundios.

65
In 1930, 73.7 percent of the coffee fincas occupied less than five
hectares and produced only 26 percent of the final crop, while
seven percent of the fincas occupied more than 20 hectares and
produced 46 percent of the crop. Thirty six years later, the large
fincas represented 85 percent of the total cnumber of hectares>
and had increased their participation in production to 65 percent
(Christie 1974).
Although an Agrarian Reform Program was begun in 1961, by the
end of the 1960's its goals for small peasant groups was far from being
realized. Land concentration and the weakening of the progressive
peasant organization (ANUC) implemented during Pastrana's
government contributed to the unsuccessful implementation of the
agrarian reform.
Statistics from 1970 demonstrate that in Risaralda, units of less
than 10 hectares composed 73 percent of the total arable land, and 7.2% of
its surface area, while units with over 100 hectares composed only 4
percent of the units, and covered 67 percent of the surface area (Fajardo
1980). According to statistics from the National Federation of Coffee
Growers in Colombia (FEDERACAFE) the area occupied by productive
coffee in 1970 was distributed as follows: Antioquia 14.5 percent, Tolima
12.8 percent, Valle 12 percent, Cundinamarca 9.6 percent, Caldas, 8.3
percent, Cauca 7.4 percent Quindio 7.9 percent, Santander 7.9 percent,
Risaralda 5.8 percent and the rest of the sections of the country 13.9
percent, placing Risaralda in eighth place. In 1980 the situation had not
changed considerably. Antioquia increased its participation by 14.7
percent within the superficies of coffee production, Caldas 9.9 percent
and Risaralda to 6.5 percent.

66
In the department of Risaralda, from 1932 to 1970 the number of
coffee farms relative to the municipal areas increased slightly in the
areas of Marsella Apia and Guatica, a bit more in Pueblo Rico, Pereira,
Balboa Santa Rosa de Cabal, and Belen de Umbria, and in the other
three administrative units (Mistrato, Quinchia and Santuario), it
decreased:
Those who have acquired coffee lands are from a class
which is not linked directly to agriculture, rather it is the
professional class. If you go to Marsella, a typical municipio, one
finds coffee land owned by engineers, lawyers, dentists because,
through this mechanism, they pay a high price for the coffee
lands. . They are changing a peasant class for an industrial class
which does not have any peasant ancestry, but which is joining,
with a great force, the cultivation of coffee at the national level
(Lopez 1988: 108, my translation).
Table 3.1 shows the concentration of coffee lands in the
department. In 1970, for example, the coffee fincas with less than 4
hectares represented 53.8 percent of the total and comprised only 10.1
percent of the land. Coffee lands with less than 10 hectares (77.7 percent
of the total of the producers) constituted 26.7 percent of the land. In the
other extreme, 346 coffee fincas (2.5 percent of the total) had coffee areas
based on the size of 50 hectares occupied 29.1 percent of the land. The
rest, or 44.2 percent of coffee land was managed by medium sized
producers (from 10 to 49.99 hectares) which constituted 19.8 percent of
the total of coffee units.
This brief discussion of the coffee economy in the department
reveals the growth of an agrarian economy in which the large capitalist
coffee enterprises assume an important role in coffee production, with a
tendency to exclude the small producer (Lopez 1982). The relationship

Table 3.1
Number of Coffee Farms, Area and Production of Coffee by Hectares of Fincas, 1970
Groups by
Size
(in hectares)
Number of
fincas
Percentage
of group
Area Percentage Productive
Non
Productive
Productivity
Kilos/Hectare
Less than one
2.245
15.97
1,226.3
0.95
1,166.4
6.2
1.172.6
631.521
1.74
541.4
1- 1.99
2.438
17.35
3,477.2
2.71
3,020.3
16.4
3,036.7
1,498,518
4.13
496.1
2- 3.99
2.878
20.50
8,212.7
6.40
6,338.7
38.6
6,377.7
3,266,958
9.01
515.3
4- 5.99
1.595
11.35
7,775.9
6.06
5,443.7
19.0
5,351.7
2,919,697
8.05
547.5
6- 7.99
1.061
7.55
5,283.9
5.70
4,577.1
28.2
4,605.3
2,613,208
7.20
570.9
8- 9.99
707
5.03
6,268.6
4.90
3,807.9
23.2
3,831.1
2,164,766
5.97
508.4
10- 11.99
546
3.90
5,932.6
4.62
3,455.3
22.4
3,477.7
1,931,405
5.32
558.9
12- 13.99
387
2.75
4,991.5
3.90
2,774.5
25.9
2,800.4
1,574,412
4.34
567.4
14- 15.99
314
2.25
4,674.4
3.64
2,623.7
11.9
2,635.6
1,533,470
4.23
584.4
16- 17.99
242
1.72
4,082.1
3.18
2,113.6
22.1
2,135.7
1,204,401
3.32
569.8
18- 19.99
188
1.33
3.557.1
2.77
1,826.8
4.5
1,831.3
1,127,784
3.11
617.3
20- 49.99
1,104
7.85
33,454.5
26.10
14,333.3
137.6
14,470.9
9,223,560
25.5
643.5
50- 99.99
239
1.70
16,034.5
12.50
5,252.3
24.9
5,276.8
3,455,198
9.53
657.8
100-199.99
78
0.55
10,310.5
8.04
2,741.7
10.2
2,751.9
1,897,165
5.23
691.9
200-499.99
24
0.17
7,295.2
5.70
1,203.0
14.2
1,217.2
1,010,013
2.78
839.5
500 and over
5
0.03
3,632.6
2.83
552.8
0.0
552.8
199,209
.54
360.3
TOTALS
14,051
100.00
128,209.6
100.00
61,120.1
404.9
61,525.0
36,251,285
100.00
593.1
Source: Lopez, William Gutierrez, 1982.

68
between coffee production in the rural areas, and the industrial growth
manifested in the urban sector will be considered next.
Industrial Development
In the 1920's the first large industrial establishments appeared in
Pereira. This period coincided with one of economic prosperity for
Colombia. In part this was the consequence of the price of coffee which
reached high levels between 1924 and 1927. After 1940, the garment
industry developed rapidly based on existing artisanal activities.
Clothing production in the 1930's and 1940s had been realized primarily
by artisans in small factories. The following quotation demonstrates the
type of relationship which existed between the outworkers, agents, and
factory owners in the 1930s:
As agents we contracted seamstresses who worked in their homes.
Monday we gave them the cloth, already cut, thread, buttons, and
other materials. Friday we received the merchandise to take it to
the market on Saturdays and Sundays. The relationships with the
workers were informal, based on friendship and mutual trust. For
example it was a common practice to advance money to the
workers in times of economic necessity. It was also common to
loan money to workers so that they could buy sewing machines
(Manuel Rodrigo Becerra, 1979: 23, my translation).
Almost all of the garment factories of Pereira were established by
merchants or individuals who had worked as laborers in garment
factories. Some were merchants who started their factories based on a
small workshop located in the back of their stores. Some of these owners
were operators of garment factories, who, based on modest savings from
the profits of their work, established small workshops.

69
According to a study comparing the industrial development of
Pereira and Manizales by Manuel Rodriguez Becerra (1979), 75 percent of
the garment factories in Pereira today are the product of individuals or a
family who promoted and supported their own industry. In the rest of
the cases, the factories generally belonged to the action of a small group
of commercial businessmen.
In 1935 two industrialists from the Antioqueo region of
Colombia, Carlos and Israel Restrepo, initiated the Charles shirt factory.
Later, two gentlemen, Jaramillo and Cano, owners of the largest
imported goods store, opened a factory in the back of their shop called
'Jarcano'. The Jarcano shirt became a very respected label, and though it
was originally produced for the Garantia factory, they eventually became
independent, and a small workshop was opened in the home of
Jaramillo.
Foreign investment in the industrial development of Pereira
began in 1936 with the establishment of the garment factory La Garantia.
Foreign investment continues to provide substantial employment for
the region. In 1973 factories dominated by foreign capital employed 20
percent of the personnel incorporated in manufacturing industry
(Arango 1989).

70
Table 3.2
Pereira-Dos Quebradas:
Foreign capital in local Industry, 1988
Enterprise Year Capital Percent of Personnel
Founded Origin Foreign capital Employed
Panos Omnes
(Textiles)
1950
Panama
France
United States
21
467
La Rosa
(Foodstuffs)
1950
England
100
700
Hilos Cadena
(Thread)
1952
Sweden
100
817
Papeles
Nacionales
(Paper)
1960
Canada
92
600
Colpapel
(Paper)
1967
United States
50
400
Nicole
(garments)
1975
United States
80
900
Suzuki
(Motors)
1982
Japan
85
311
Valher
(Garments)
1969
United States
51
500
Source: Jaime Arango Gaviria, 1989.
In the 1950's three factories of foreign capital initiated production
in Pereira: the factory Panos Omnes (1950), a subsidiary of a French
textile factory; the factory of Confites and Galletas La Rosa, 1950,
subsidiary of an English multinational, and the factory Hilos Cadena

71
(1954) subsidiary of a Swiss multinational. In the 1960's the presence of
foreign capital increased in Pereira with the addition of the following
factories: (1) Papeles Nacionales, which began in 1962 as the subsidiary of
a Canadian firm; (2) a car assembly firm (Roa Hispano Colombiana)
founded by a group of Spaniards and a group from Pereira, a project
which later failed.
In the 1960's several different projects were developed to foment
manufacturing industry in the city. These projects were promoted by a
groups of Pereirano industrialists (one third of whom were garment
factory owners) who actively participated in the promotion and
strengthening of industries different from the traditional ones and the
foundation of the group "Promotora Industrial". This group provided
the base for the creation of the Corporacin Financiera del Occident
which provided economic assistance and credit to large scale factories.
The foundation of a local branch of the Corporacin Financiera Popular
in Pereira in 1969 significantly advanced manufacturing production in
the city by providing credit to small scale producers. This organization
has played a central role in the development of small scale industries,
especially in the garment industry.
The exportation of garments in Colombia is regulated by the Plan
Vallejo first implemented in 1967. The Plan Vallejo is one of the most
important tools in the promotion of exports and in international
commerce for the region. This decree defines the operations in which
individuals, societies, exporters, or merchants can import raw materials
destined for assembly in the country, and later export the assembled
materials. The raw material or disassembled pieces imported under this
plan, must be used exclusively in the production of goods destined for

72
exportation. Through this process, the importers acquire the right to
bring into the country, on a second occasion, the same quantity of raw
material previously imported without having to pay taxes.
The majority of exports under the Plan Vallejo are destined to the
United States. Further, more than 80 percent of imports which come
from the United States for assembly in Colombia are destined to garment
production. In Pereira, more than 20 firms participate directly in
production for exportation under the Plan Vallejo and about 25 garment
factories participate either indirectly (subcontracted) or directly.
Regional Development
Pereira, the capital of Risaralda, is a city which has grown from
115,000 to 287,00 inhabitants between 1951 and 1985. In 1951, 66 percent
of the population of the Risaralda was rural and 34 percent urban. In
1985, only 19 percent of the population lived in the rural areas and
Pereira figured as the tenth city in national importance for its urban
population. However, the industrial development of Pereira must be
evaluated in direct relation to the changes and evolution of the
population in Dos Quebradas (the industrial zone to the north of the
city). Dos Quebradas doubled its population between 1973 and 1985
passing from 50,000 to 103,000 inhabitants. Dos Quebradas grew notably
in its density from 700 inhabitants /square km to almost 1500 inhabitants
/square km. Pereira had a moderate increase with the population in its
total area increasing from 346 to 438 inhabitants per square km. In the
two municipal areas, the "rural" density also doubled.

73
These facts demonstrate the tendency of the population of
Risaralda to be concentrated in these two cities. While in 1973 Pereira
and Dos Quebradas maintained approximately 55 percent of the
Risaralda population, in 1985 this proportion had grown to almost 63
percent.7 In 1973 the rate of in-migration was 35 percent for Quindio, 30
percent for Risaralda and 17 percent for Caldas. In the same year, Pereira
presented a high rate of immigration with 56 percent. As with other
large cities (Bogota, Ibague, Cali and Armenia among others), Pereira
maintains a rate of immigrants to natives greater than 1.
In order to understand these processes of redistribution and
relocation of the population, we must consider the material conditions
in which the regional economy develops. As previously mentioned,
coffee production dominates the regional economy. In the last few years,
coffee production has decreased its importance because of the rapid
decline in international prices (e.g. the breaking of the London Pact in
1989), the invasion of a bacteria called roya, and the increase in the price
of the inputs and fertilizer required. All of these factors contribute to the
precarious condition of the small coffee farmers who can hardly afford to
7Census data from 1973 and 1985 for Pereira and Dos Quebradas demonstrate
that salaried workers (empleados, obreros and jornaleros and empleados
domsticos) who made up 73 percent of the labor force in 1973 maintained this
level of participation in 1985. However, independent workers grew from 12
percent in 1973 to 19 percent in 1981 demonstrating that the informal sector of
the economy continues to expand while the formal sector maintains its level of
productivity. During the past decade, economic concentration in the Pereira -
Dos Quebradas region has led to an increase in the economically active
population, especially in the category of independent worker. The increasing
number of productive small scale enterprises in the region demonstrate some
of the variety of ways in which workers are increasingly incorporated into the
labor force in a disadvantaged state, with few benefits and no protection.

74
produce their traditional coffee. In 1989 a 40 percent fall in coffee prices
led to the impoverishment of many small producers (Pearce 1990).
Decreases in regional production and commercialization of coffee
eliminated considerable regional employment in the rural areas. The
development of capitalist agriculture has affected the relations of
production in the rural areas. These rural workers, displaced by
technified machinery in the coffee fincas, migrate initially towards
Pereira and Dos Quebradas, forming part of the growing urban
proletariat and labor for import substitution.
Charles Bergquist describes the situation in the region as follows:
. In the decades since mid-century there has been steady
concentration of landholding patterns in Colombian agriculture,
an increase in mechanization and capitalist investment in
agriculture, and a corresponding growth in the number of landless
wage workers in the countryside. Even coffee production, which
historically proved so resistant to pure capitalist forms and
favored the growth and maintenance of small producers and the
family owned and operated farm, has witnessed in recent decades
a revolution in production techniques, tenancy and labor systems.
The application of capital and advanced techniques to coffee
production has, since mid-century slowly undermined the
competitive position of smallholders. (Bergquist 1986:371).
Undoubtedly developments in rural agriculture have affected
urban industrial developments. The growing urban population, in part,
determines the structure of the potential labor force.
Regional Manufacturing Industry
In Pereira, formal sector industrial production is dominated by
five industries: foodstuffs, beverages, textiles, garments and paper. Table
3.3 describes the structure of industrial production in the region. As this

75
table demonstrates, foodstuffs generated the most production, as well as
employed the largest number of personnel. However, garments
maintained the largest number of establishments and were not far
behind foodstuffs in 1981 with 26.5 percent of the personnel employed.
Further, because the nature of subcontracting within the garment
industry hides many workers in clandestine workshops or their homes,
the total number of employees, and actual production figures are
probably higher than census estimates.
Table 3.3
Pereira-Dos Quebradas. Manufacturing Industry.
General Summary: Percent Participation, 1981
Industrial
Number of
Gross Product
Classification
Establishments
Millions of Dollars
Workers
Foodstuffs
18.6
34.3
Beverages
2.2
9.7
Textiles
7.4
11.4
Garments
24.7
14
Paper 2.2
10.9
Others
44.9
19.7
Total
231 (100%)
20,525 (100)%
Source: Arango 1989.
Percentage of
Total
Major indicators of manufacturing industrial activity in Colombia
situate the metropolitan area of Pereira-Dos Quebradas as the sixth in
importance in value added, number of establishments, production,

76
intermediate consumption, salaries, and benefits. In 1982 Pereira
occupied the fifth place in quantity of personnel occupied with the most
active industrial activities including food, drinks, textiles, garments, and
paper. Garments, together with foodstuffs, account for over 50 percent of
the industrial activity in the region. The active presence of foreign
investment in the large factories reinforces the concentration of capital
in the industrial sector. This foreign investment is often consolidated to
the point that many establishments (including those involved in
garment production), have less than 20 percent Colombian participation
(Arango 1989). The increasing foreign participation in the regional
economy demonstrates their increased dependence on international
forces for generating the capital for local and regional industries.
Contemporary Colombian Development
Recently the Colombian economy has begun a process of "opening".
This process is part of a plan to internationalize the Colombian economy and
modernize their productive capacity. The liberalization of exports and
"opening up" of the Colombian economy to foreign investors affects all
industrialists (large, medium and small).
This so called "opening up" of the Colombian economy will allow
products from the exterior to compete with Colombian products. This
opening involves (in addition to changes in foreign commerce policy) a
variety of entities (including "proexpo" the Colombian entity inovlved with
regulating Exports, and Incomex, the agency involved in regulating Imports)
and a series of structural reforms in financing, foreign exchange,
transportation and labor (Semana 12/21/1990). The goal of this process is to

77
increase the growth rate of the econoomy, limited by the size of the national
economy. One theory is that if industrialists become more competitive in the
international market and suceed in selling their product, their growth
possibilities are greater and they will be able to generate more employment.
However, this "economic opening" must occur gradually in order to
allow the industrialists to prepare for competition in the foreign market.
This involves "industrial conversion" or the modernization of the
machinery in the factories. Often this modernization results in the
utilization of machinery which replaces the work of several individuals.
This "industrial conversion" contradicts the above mentioned theory of
employment generation which should accompany the industrial opening. If,
in order to compete in the international market, workers are replaced with
machines (which supposedly do the job faster and more efficiently) where is
the employment generation?
While these policies may be beneficial to the large scale producer, the
small scale producers are in a disadvantaged position. Their lack of
independent access to a market (without being subcontracted) their lack of
access to capital, their limited access to technology, and their lack of
knowledge of the production process subordinate these producers to the
larger capitalist enterprises. The weakest link in this chain of development
(which begins with increasing production of the large scale capitalist and ends
with employment generation) are the workers. Even though the Colombian
Congress has approved "the most ambitious labor reform in forty years" the
degree to which these reforms actually protect the workers, and the degree to
which they can be adequatley enforced are debatable.
These labor reforms modify four aspects of the labor regime: (1) the
individual's rights to work, (2) the collective rights of workers, (3) the

78
management of temporary work agencies and (4) norms regarding the closure
of factories. In the regulation of labor laws the most important changes
related to the "cesantas" or pensions of the workers. Cesantas are pensions
(or an extra mointh of pay) received by workers. The new labor reform
eliminates the retroactive nature of pensions. The pensions of the workers
was set when they were hired and, and was subject to the cost of living at that
time. Under this plan workers were disadavantaged because while the cost of
living rose, their pension rate was fixed much lower. However, the new law
which goes into effect in 1991 guarantees the workers a profit equal to the
market rate. The pensions which are not used by the workers will further be
guaranteed 12 % interest. One of the major drawbacks of this new law is that
it only affects workers who are hired in 1991.
In addition, a new law was introduced which introduces the "integral
salary" a salary which covers more than just the basic needs of an individual
(equivalent, perhaps to what we call in English the family wage). This
"integral salary", however, is only available for those who make more than
10 minimum wage salaries (only four percent of the Colombians population
earn this wage). However, the limited worker benefits provided by the new
"cesantas" laws are minimal, especially when one considers that only those
who work in the "formal" sector are affected by this legislation.
In order to consider how these political changes affecting industrial
development impact on women's labor force incorporation and household
strategies for income generation, we must return to a consideration of the
garment workers households. As previously stated, declining wages
accompanied by rising unemployment have led to women's assuming a
primary role in income generating strategies for household survival. Ina
addition the continuing declining value of the peso, coupled by sustained

79
violence in rural areas has lead to increased prices for food, and a rising cost
of living, adding to the economic pressures at the household level.
Conclusion
This chapter began with a discussion of the origins of the
manufacturing industry in Colombia emphasizing the relationship
between state policy and industrialization in Colombian economic
development. The evolution of industrial development in Colombia
was characterized by certain regions specializing in the production of
consumer goods, with other regions assuming dominance in the
production of capital goods. The development of a "golden triangle"
provided Pereira with an advantageous position for the production of
consumer goods. The increasing technification of coffee production in
the last few years and the industrial growth in the Metropolitan Area of
Pereira (including Pereira and Dos Quebradas) have led to high rates of
migration from the rural to urban areas. Finally, an exploration of the
contemporary structure of the manufacturing industry in the
department of Risaralda demonstrated the predominance of the garment
industry in the process of industrialization of Pereira and Dos Quebradas.
The dominance of garment production (which utilizes mainly a female
labor force) in the history of industrialization of this region highlights
the importance of women's labor force participation in regional
development.
In the next chapter I consider the structure of the labor market of
the garment industry in more detail, focusing on the mechanism of
subcontracting within the process of production. The process of

80
subcontracting determines the context within which the home-based
workers and micro-entrepreneurs produce for the garment industry.

CHAPTER FOUR
SUBCONTRACTING AND INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS IN THE
GARMENT INDUSTRY
Introduction
The future generations laid
waste by the hunger of capital
for higher rates of accumulation
are yet to be known...The present
victims of its capacity are all
too frequently women...
Elson and Pearson 1981
Chapter Three discussed the socioeconomic aspects of regional
development responsible for the increase in subcontracting. This chapter
examines the structure of production within the garment industry as it
conditions women's labor force participation. "Putting-out" part of the
production process, through a formal or informal contract, is called
subcontracting. Subcontracting is a mechanism which fragments and
decentralizes production creating a hierarchy of better paid, more secure jobs
in the factory, which contrast in general with low-paying home-based
production. The linkages created by the process of subcontracting are discussed
as mechanisms which create and reproduce subordinate hierarchical social
relationships in the garment industry. A discussion of the variety of linkages
(intermediaries who obtain home-based workers for the factory who are
external to factory, factory workers who serve as intermediaries, or no
intermediaries) utilized to link subcontracted producers to different types of
81

82
enterprises (subcontracted industrial outworkers, family small-scale
enterprises, and non-familial, small-scale enterprises) follows, emphasizing
the autonomy and/or subordination of the producer in relation to the larger
capitalist factories.
The role of intermediaries, their characteristics, and the control which
they exercise over subcontracted producers' access to, and control of, key
resources are discussed. The significance of the division of labor by gender can
be seen in that the majority of the intermediaries are men. These
intermediaries, in turn, control the labor of subcontracted industrial
outworkers, who are generally women. The work of an intermediary requires
traveling alone and working with male factory owners. For these reasons, the
majority of the intermediaries are men. In this research, only one woman
intermediary was encountered. This woman was a widow, free from the
ideological constraints which prohibit most women from traveling alone as
intermediaries.
The Subcontracting Relationship
Watanabe (1983) distinguishes two types of subcontracting: (1) those
factories that contract out production without raw materials (in other words,
the home-based worker is responsible for providing the raw materials) and (2)
those that provide raw materials and other inputs. Beneria and Roldan (1987),
in their study of subcontracting relationships in Mexico, refer to the first as
"vertical subcontracting" and the second as "horizontal". Both methods of
subcontracting were encountered in this Colombian study. The majority of
the subcontracted industrial outworkers, however, participated in horizontal

83
subcontracting which utilized intermediaries. The high percentage of
subcontracted industrial outworkers in the category of horizontal
subcontracting is due in part to the cost of the raw materials. In horizontal
subcontracting the subcontracted industrial outworkers do not have to provide
these raw materials, facilitating entrance into this sector. In general, vertical
subcontracting (which requires enough initial capital to purchase raw
materials on the part of the worker) was done directly with the small-scale
enterprises and subcontracted industrial outworkers; intermediaries were not
involved.
Horizontal subcontracting accentuates the differences between the factory
and the subcontracted industrial outworkers. Generally the control of the raw
materials and structuring of the process of production remains with the large
factory. Under vertical subcontracting, the price for the final garment is
significantly higher, and the subcontracted industrial outworker maintains
more control of the production. This control ranges from designing the
garment and cutting it to finishing it off.
Production which occurs in the home as subcontracted industrial
outwork is usually small-scale, unregulated, and labor intensive, which places
it in the category of "informal sector" production. Whether we are discussing
sub-contracting relationships between the first world and the third world,
within a country, or within a city, subcontracting represents a fragmentation
and decentralization of the labor process.
The Subcontracting Relationship in Risaralda
The subcontracting relationship structures a considerable amount of
production in the garment industry in this region. According to this research,

84
70 percent of the garment factory owners in Pereira and Dos Quebradas
participate in the subcontracting chain, either directly or indirectly. In other
words, 70 percent of the owners stated that they work for other factories,
meaning that they produce part or all of a garment for the other factory during
certain times of the year. Fifty percent said that they send work to others,
meaning that they send work out to other factories, small-scale enterprises, or
subcontracted industrial outworkers, while 40 percent of the factories
participate in both forms of contracting, that is, they work for other factories
and send work to other factories. These data demonstrate the importance of
analyzing the industrial mechanism of subcontracting in order to accurately
analyze the structure of the labor force in the industry (see Figure 4.1).
LARGE AND MEDIUM SIZED FACTORIES WHICH
CONTRACT OUT TO OTHERS
50% of Owners interviewed
MEDIUM AND SMALL FACTORIES WHO RECEIVE WORK, AND
SUBCONTRACT WORK OUT TO OTHER FACTORIES
40 % of Owners Interviewed
/
SUBCONTRACTED INDUSTRIAL OUTWORKERS
70-80 % of total workers in garment industry (Estimate)
Figure 4.1
Diagram of Subcontracting Chain in Pereira, Risaralda
Subcontracting work to homeworkers occurs most frequently at the end
of the year (Christmas holiday season), father's day, and mother's day. These
are times of the year when the demand for clothing as gifts is highest. In this
case, subcontracting offers the possibility of transferring the risks of

85
fluctuations in production and the costs associated with temporary increases in
the production, both in machinery and personnel, to homeworkers.
Subcontracting extends fragmentation of the labor process beyond the
factory. The process of decentralization within the factory lowers the cost of
the labor force through deskilling of the workers (Braverman 1974). This
occurs through the breaking down of jobs into smaller and smaller tasks, and
the utilization of workers with less skills who work for a lower salary. This
division can also be seen between large, medium, small factories and
subcontracted industrial outworkers. The organization of production through
subcontracting not only minimizes labor costs, but also wrestles control from
actual producers over their products. Fragmentation of the labor process,
therefore, is extended beyond the factory (Beneria 1989).
The garment industry makes women's work invisible by contracting it
out into the home. The main mechanism by which this process is pushed
underground and made invisible is through organization of production
through subcontracting. Subcontracting decreases the infrastructure
investment necessary on the part of the large capitalist enterprise in machines,
electricity, and building space. There is also a reduction in the number of
workers for whom the factory is responsible in terms of social security
payments and other benefits. Key informants of this research stated that
approximately 80 percent of workers participating in the garment industry
perform their jobs outside the formal factory setting. The research of Florencia
Pea (1989) for Mexico supports this, stating that for every factory worker there
are at least three homeworkers. Violeta Sara-Lafosse (1985) estimates that, for
Peru, approximately 80 percent of workers in the garment industry are hidden
in their homes.

86
The main characteristics of subcontracting include the supplying of raw
material to the producers (who remain in their houses) by agents who
afterwards collect the finished goods and pay the producers their wages on a
piece rate basis. Although this system has existed since garment production
began in the late 1920's in Risaralda, the new element is the extreme
horizontal and vertical division of labor, reorganizing women's work on what
has been called "an invisible assembly line" (Mies 1982). By the horizontal
division of labor, I refer to the fact that the labor of these homeworkers is
appropriated by middlemen and larger factory owners in such a manner that
the women are isolated in their homes, isolated not only from factory
production, but also from other women who produce the same garment. This
isolation reinforces the women's vulnerability and prohibits the formation of
solidarity and class consciousness.
The assembly line created by subcontracting work is called invisible
because the women workers do not see how it operates. Only the middle men
(who, as previously mentioned, are men) or factory owners (also generally
men) know how the putting-out system functions, and who performs which
operations. The knowledge of how to make an entire garment is often
unavailable to these women. In addition, the subcontracted industrial
outworkers do not know for which exporters agents work, they do not know
anything about the agents' margin of profit, and in many cases they don't even
know the names of the agents. Although the homeworkers see and talk with
the agents, they don't understand the relationship between agents and the
factory. To the extent that the women never know how the entire garment is
produced, or what their relationship with the intermediary means, they do not
totally understand the process of production.

87
Subcontracting as Articulation Between Formal and Informal Sectors
Small-scale enterprises rely on family labor and local resources, low
capital investment, labor intensive technology, high competition, ease of
entry, utilization of an unskilled work force, and acquisition of skills outside
of the formal educational system. In this research, subcontracted
microenterprises fall within the sector of economic activity that is generally
not registered with government agencies, is unrepresented by official statistics,
and does not comply with regulations governing labor practices, taxes, and
licensing. These 'informal sector' activities are informal in terms of their
internal organizational structure, and in terms of their relationships with the
social structure which surrounds them (Sethuraman 1976). Of the
subcontracted industrial outworkers interviewed in this study, fewer than five
percent signed any type of written contract with an intermediary (because there
were generally no formal contracts with the intermediaries).
In all cases, the articulation is part of a highly integrated system
of production segmented into different levels and of an overall
process of accumulation that encompasses all of the levels. In
this sense the conceptualization of formal, informal dichotomy
is not appropriate insofar as the two sectors are viewed as
separate and independent of each other. (Beneria and Roldan:
187).
In the informal sector, production fluctuates greatly. Because informal
sector business operators have little access to capital, they often must stop
production when they run out of the raw materials needed for production. In
general, they cannot accumulate an inventory, or purchase the necessary
technology or machinery that would enable them to secure their position in

88
the market. They often depend on intermediaries to bring them work from
factory owners. Their dependency may force them to take work at a lower pay
rate, or for only a short period of time, with the hope that more steady work
will become available for them in the future.
In cases of horizontal subcontracting, this study encountered four
methods of articulation between subcontracted industrial outworkers and the
larger factory. Three of these are described by Beneria and Roldan (1987).
Beneria and Roldan describe the first type of articulation, "direct articulation",
as that in which a regular firm sends production to subcontracted industrial
outworkers and small-scale enterprises without intermediaries. In the
Colombian sample, this articulation was found among small-scale enterprises
which have direct contact with the home-based producers. The second type is
described as "mediated articulation". This takes place through an
intermediary unit that establishes the connection between large and medium
sized factories and subcontracted industrial outworkers. Generally no
production occurs at the intermediary level, although the intermediary may
distribute and transport the raw materials and gather the final products. The
third type that they describe is "mixed articulation", where production is
centered in a store that sells garments, but the production of garments is
clandestine in the basement.
A fourth type of articulation encountered in this Colombian study was
seen predominantly in the large factories. This articulation demonstrates
another way in which the labor force is expanded without direct contracts.
This "unmediated articulation" involved using garment workers (of the
factory) as intermediaries and also owners of small-scale enterprises in their
homes. These workers performed garment work in the factory during low
periods of demand, while during periods of high demand, they worked in

89
their homes subcontracted by the large factory. The large factory provided
them with training on how to deal with the employees in their small-scale
enterprises and low-interest loans for buying machines. The workers
themselves were the intermediaries in this case. In fact, this method of
subcontracting was the only one encountered in the large factory because of
problems with quality control. The women who are permitted to open their
own small workshops (or what they call boutiques') work in quality control
in the larger export factory. These women are hand-picked by factory
management and given courses in the administration of micro-enterprises.
These women start their own microenterprise during peak production.
When the demand for garments slackens, workers in the small-scale
enterprises are let go, but the women administering the small-scale
enterprises retain their positions in quality control in the larger factory.
Intermediaries as Agents of Articulation
The intermediaries play a key role in establishing the relationship
between the factory and the subcontracted industrial outworkers (or small-
scale enterprise). This research encountered three types of intermediaries:
those who were only involved in distributing cut cloth to producers and
returning the final product to the factory; those who bought the cloth,
distributed it to be cut, and then redistributed it for sewing; and those who
distributed part of the cut cloth which they had received to other subcontracted
industrial outworkers, and performed part of the production process in their
homes. In this case, access to, and control of, raw materials plays a significant
role in determining the autonomy of the intermediaries. Those

90
intermediaries who bought, as well as distributed, the cloth were more
autonomous than those who only distributed the cloth, although the capital to
buy the cloth generally (though not always) came from the owner of the store
where the final product was sold. In all cases, the intermediaries were
employed in only the small- and medium- sized factories. The larger factory
had individuals who managed the small-scale enterprises, who were
employees of the factory. In this way, the factory owners were able to expand
production and maintain considerable control of the labor force.
The relationship between the factory owner and the intermediary also
varies between the types of larger enterprises which subcontract. On the one
hand, a factory owner may organize the work within the factory and also be
responsible for distributing work to intermediaries and subcontracted
industrial outworkers. On the other hand, a factory owner may only provide a
point to sell the finished goods, giving the intermediary the responsibility for
organizing the production process and distributing the work to the
subcontracted industrial outworkers and micro-enterprises.
The relationship between the factory owner and intermediary
determines the control which the intermediary exercises over the process of
production. Those owners who allow the intermediaries to distribute cloth
and pick up the finished product (providing only the store front for selling)
maintain much less control over the process than those who design the
garment, cut the fabric, and finish it in their centralized shop. By maintaining
this control, these owners are able to pay lower prices to home-based workers
(because the workers perform fewer tasks), charge higher prices for the
finished product, and maintain a larger profit by accumulating more of the
surplus generated by subcontracting out the production.

91
The relationship between the intermediary and the subcontracted
industrial outworker is also constrained by the relationship of the
intermediary to the larger factory owner. The control which the intermediary
exercises over the process of production further determines, in large part, the
degree of control available for the subcontracted industrial outworkers to
exercise over this process, and the degree to which the subcontracted industrial
outworker is subordinated or autonomous. For example, the subcontracted
industrial outworker who received whole cloth had more autonomy than
those who received the cloth pre-cut. The knowledge and ability to cut and
design a garment gave the subcontracted industrial outworkers more control
over the process of production. Those subcontracted industrial outworkers
who exercise more control over the production process are more autonomous,
and receive a higher pay rate for their products. The subcontracted industrial
outworkers who received pre-cut material and performed only one operation
(such as sewing on a pocket) maintained much less control over the
production process. This analysis of control over the process of production is
crucial to understanding the mechanisms which create and reproduce the
subordinate position of women in the structure of production.
In the process of interviewing the homeworkers, many problems which
the women experienced with the intermediaries were articulated. Luz Maria,
for example, had converted one of her rooms into a small sweatshop. When I
entered for the interview, six machines whirred as young women worked
furiously on the mountains of cut cloth which lay beside their machines.
Luz's sister inspected the work and ironed the finished articles. As I spoke
with Luz, the intermediary from factory G stopped by to pick up an order. Luz
demanded payment for all the articles produced. She did good work, and the
intermediary paid her for it. (Although I think that my presence there helped

92
her obtain her due pay). Apparently, many intermediaries initially reject good
quality production in order to later sell the same article themselves. In other
words, Mr. X contracts Luz to make 50 blouses. Of those 50, he accepts 25, and
pays her 400 pesos for each one. However, the other 25 are "no good", and
either he sells them and keeps the profit, or she must sell them and reimburse
him for the cost of the material which he can set as high as he pleases (though
Luz said she usually paid 100 pesos for the 400 peso blouses). Often, the
woman is stuck paying for the blouses from the pay which the intermediary
gave her, until she can find a buyer for the other 25 blouses (which may have
been rejected only because the factory owner didn't need all 50 blouses). The
poorest women, especially burdened by this situation, know no one who can
buy their excess production.
After the intermediary left, Luz Maria explained to me that she was
recently robbed by a different intermediary who never paid her, nor did he
ever turn in the garments to the factory. He just disappeared with 8,000 pesos
($200) worth of goods. The experience had understandably made her quite
skeptical of intermediaries.
Some intermediaries pay for half of the goods when they buy them.
They pay for the other half two weeks later. Several subcontracted industrial
outworkers interviewed never received the second payment for their work. In
the interim, they had not been able to pay the bills, and their electricity had
been turned off. This prohibited them from continuing garment production.
One home-based producer who had problems with payments from the factory
had been working in her home since 1983 and always bought the thread.
Although she had made 140 pesos per shirt (in 1983 when she started, she only
earned 50), she found it very difficult to make ends meet.

93
Elsa, one of the poorest home-based producers, placed pockets on shirts
and earned 15 pesos per pocket. Elsa had 3 children, and her husband worked
as a cobbler. Her meager income assisted the household's difficult economic
situation. Elsa could put 10 pockets on in an hour, and she stated that she
worked an average of 6 hours a day. Her average income was 900 pesos daily
(about U.S. $2.00). The minimum wage at this time was 25,500 bi-weekly
(12,250 a week, or about 2,050 pesos daily which comes down to about U.S.
$4.00 per day). The range of pay rates among subcontracted industrial
outworkers varied significantly: shirts and blouses went from 100 to 400 pesos
for the entire garment, and slacks were paid from 600 to 1500 pesos.
In addition to the poor pay, the subcontracted industrial outworkers
complained that the work was very irregular. Sometimes they would go for
weeks or months without work. Often the quality of the cloth, buttons, or
zippers they were given by the intermediaries was bad. The owners of the
factory then complained to the subcontracted industrial outworkers about the
quality of the finished product. Yet these women were not responsible for the
quality of these inputs.
These brief descriptions of the relationship of subcontracted industrial
outworkers to intermediaries demonstrate mechanisms utilized by these
intermediaries to maintain control over the subcontracted industrial
outworkers. Levels of subcontracting are also important to consider in order
to understand the subordinate position of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers.

94
Levels of Subcontracting
There was a greater difference in the levels of subcontracting in the
factory with national capital than in the factory with mixed (both national and
foreign) capital. By levels of subcontracting, I refer to the number of times the
same item is contracted out. For example, a large factory could contract to a
smaller factory work on a specific garment. This factory in turn could contract
work to a micro-enterprise, which could in turn contract work to women in
their homes. In this type of contracting, four levels of subcontracting were
encountered, however, it is anticipated that more exist1. Due to the illegal
nature of the work (non-contractual, piece work pay, performed in
unregistered micro-enterprises or homes) and poor working conditions under
which subcontracted industrial outwork is carried out, it was often difficult to
locate and talk with women who work at the lowest end of the chain.
The factory with multinational capital is able to cut labor costs without
subcontracting. This factory demonstrated less of a tendency to contract out in
a chain-like fashion. The quality control in the factory with mixed capital was
so strict that many homeworkers refused to work for the factory. Instead of
subcontracting homework to individuals in their homes, this factory chose,
more often, to pursue a policy of contracting temporary workers in the factory
for a specific lot of garments. These workers' contracts were from 15 to 90 days.
Through this method of contracting arrangements, the factory avoided paying
social security or any other benefit to the worker. If workers are contracted for
more than 90 days, then the factory is obliged to pay these social costs for the
1Beneria and Roldan found several more levels of subcontracting in their
study of Mexico (1987).

95
workers. The factory with national capital was not as concerned with strict
quality controls, therefore, they were more likely to subcontract outside of the
factory in the chain-like fashion previously described.
Subcontracting and Subordination in the Garment Industry
This discussion of subcontracting as it creates and reproduces
subordinate relationship within the garment industry will consider (in
addition to differential payment for work) the workers' access to and control of
raw materials, and access to and control of the markets. Within the sample of
workers subcontracted outside the factory, there is considerable variation in
the price which they were paid for the article or piece of garment produced (the
variation within this sample represents different levels of autonomy and
subordination within these subcontracted workers). Although the
international market (exports) was controlled by the multinational factory,
factories with national capital had varying degrees of control over the national
market. This control over the national market depended on the quality of the
garment and the factory's ability to successfully market to a specific 'target'
population (young children, work uniforms, men's shirts, women's executive
dress, etc.).
A comparison of the pay rate of the homeworkers with the pay rate of
factory workers demonstrates how the rate varies considerably with the
garment or part of the garment produced within the sample of subcontracted
workers. In November of 1988 in Pereira, making a button hole paid 50
centavos, which is one half of a peso, and in this period there were about 350
pesos to the dollar. A good seamstress can do 70 buttonholes in an hour, which

96
means she can earn 35 pesos an hour. That would not even pay for a soda for
her lunch. Another home-worker was paid three pesos for both doing a button
hole and placing the button. Finishing off a shirt paid 10 pesos, finishing off a
pair of pants paid 12, putting a collar on a shirt paid 8 pesos, inspecting the
article before packing it paid 5 pesos. Some women were able to earn 4,000
pesos weekly, though most made only 2-3,000. When considering that the
minimum wage for factory workers was 25,500 biweekly, the considerable
differences in the pay between factory workers, and subcontracted industrial
outworkers becomes evident2. In most cases, the women who worked at
home also bought the thread and paid for the electricity which the production
required.
It is important to note that thread cost 100 pesos per small spool. To
complete an entire shirt (long sleeved adult) at least 2 spools of thread were
needed. Many of these subcontracted industrial outworkers were only making
170-200 pesos per shirt in the period of low demand, waiting for higher shirt
prices in the season of high demand (up to 400 pesos per shirt). Therefore,
during the times of low demand these households relied even more heavily
on the income generation of family members other than the subcontracted
industrial outworker.
2Although factory workers were entitled to receive the minimum wage, often
their pay was less, and the regulations for paying overtime and holidays was
insufficient. These problems with the factory will be discussed in more detail
in Chapter 5.

97
Access and Control of Markets
Export production (by factories with mixed capital) in this region
provides these enterprises with access to, and control of, a wider market, and
consequently to the raw materials significant in the production of garments.
The factories with national capital were generally denied access to export
markets (unless they export indirectly through the Plan Vallejo,
subcontracting from a factory with mixed capital). They were forced to
compete fiercely for local and regional markets. This competition, in turn,
forced factories to hire cheaper labor (driving labor costs down). In order to
maintain specific markets, these factories produced quality items at the lowest
prices. In this case, the existence of small micro-enterprises which can be
integrated or expelled from the production process with little risk were
convenient for the medium- and large-sized factories. Their limited access to
the export market was generally through subcontracted arrangements with
larger factories. However, in some instances, the small factories are able to
establish their own garment line, and attempt more autonomous production
for local or regional markets. In general, large factories have had to focus their
production on standardized articles, while smaller enterprises have produced
for a specific sex, age-group or socioeconomic strata (Schmukler 1977). The
availability of subcontracting to small and medium-sized enterprises which
may specialize in a specific type of garment allows the larger factory greater
control of the market.
A significant variable affecting the factories' access to and control of the
market for garments is its capital composition. For example, factories which

98
utilize only national capital had access to a smaller market, and less control of
the market than factories with multinational capital. Control of the market is
attributed to a variety of factors, some of which are related to the patterns of
regional industrialization (as discussed in chapter three).
Another significant factor affecting the factories' access to the market is
their size. The vulnerability of the small-scale, home-based producers, and
their subordinate position in the production process, is related to fluctuations
characteristic of the garment industry. These fluctuations strongly impede the
ability of the subcontracted enterprises to consistently maintain their
autonomous position in the market because they are unable to maintain
profits in the off season. According to Schmukler (1977) variations in the
process of production (which affect most strongly the medium and small-sized
garment factories) include: cyclical fluctuations of the market related to state
policy and macro-economic development (such as the changing structure of
demand due to impact of low-income sectors on garment markets), periodic
changes in style, and special needs of holiday seasons .
Access and Control of Raw Materials
Access to, and control of, raw materials is also a significant factor
affecting the subordinate position of homebased producers. The subcontracted
industrial outworkers access to, and control of, raw materials is often
mediated by intermediaries. In the case of the export factory with mixed
capital, the raw material for these garments is imported (already cut) from
Miami. The only factory which has access to this material is the large export
factory, which can then subcontract to smaller factories which receive all the
raw materials (including thread) from the large export factory. The control

99
over the quality of the raw materials and its cutting rests entirely with the
company in Miami which carefully selects its sister plants in foreign countries.
An official from "Pro-Expo" (the governmental agency regulating
exportation) in Pereira stated that the garment industry had been damaged by
the recession in the United States and other industrialized countries, the high
cost of raw materials, and the protection of the industries in the developed,
industrialized nations. He stated that the capacity of the city to meet the
demand for exports would be increased if other factories would begin
production utilizing "Plan Vallejo"3 The system of subcontracted production
limits substantially what the subcontracted industrial outworker can control
with respect to the quality of the product, the quantity of items produced, and
the time within which they are completed. However, it gives them the
possibility to organize their own technical process of production with respect
to the stages and style of the work. It also permits them to have control of the
intensity of their own work and make decisions with respect to the inclusion
or not of family workers. Nevertheless, the lack of control of the raw
materials imposes important limitations to the control of the working process.
Relationships within the Subcontracted Enterprise
In order to understand the complexities of the subcontracting
relationship, it is important to distinguish between home-based producers and
small-scale enterprises (which may be based on familial or non-familial
workers). Subcontracted industrial outworkers in this study refer to workers
3Plan Vallejo is one of the more important instruments regulating the promotion of exports in
Colombia. Also known as decree 444 of 1967, it was designed by the minister of development,
Dr. Jose Joaquin Vallejo. This decree establishes conditions under which the exporter can
import raw materials, intermediate goods, and capital goods free of taxes if they are used
solely for the production of goods for exports and will increase the dividends accrued to the
region for exporting.

100
who work in their home (this may appear to be redundant, but as will be seen
in the analysis the physical location of the work is important), and have few
resources and little access to additional labor outside female family members
(in other words, the women work alone or with one machine and the
assistance of few family members). "Subcontracted industrial outworkers" in
this sample did not hire additional (non-family) members. "Small-scale
family-based enterprises" utilize the labor of more than one family member,
have more than one machine, and may work in the home or in another
location, although they seldom hire non-familial workers. "Small-scale
enterprises" refer to those who work outside the home, have several
machines (at least three) and may contract (non-family) workers. Although
there is much variety within the category of small-scale enterprise, for
purposes of this research units employing from 1 to 10 non-familial workers
are considered small-scale enterprises because the social relations of
production which characterize them are similar (see figure 4.2).
The social relationships within the subcontracted enterprise also have
significant implications for labor force utilization and profit generation. It is
easier for the home-based producer to "exploit" the labor of other family
members, in the sense that family members work for free. Small-scale
enterprises must remunerate the employees' labor, regardless of the low salary
which they pay them. Subcontracted small-scale enterprises who are registered
with the chamber of commerce must pay their workers minimum wage, and
register them with the social security. For this reason, factories often prefer
subcontracting individual outworkers instead of small-scale enterprises when
the price of the finished product is a major consideration. If the quality of the
garment is more important, then small-scale enterprises may be preferred,
even though it may require additional costs.

101
(1) Subcontracted Industrial Outworkers
-takes place in the workers' home
-do not hire additional non-family members
-often rely on female family members for assistance
-use only 1 machine
(2) Small-scale Enterprises (Family Based)
-takes place in workers' home
-seldom hire additional non-family members
-rely on family members (female usually) for assistance
-use more than 1 machine
(3)Small-scale Enterprises (Non-Familial)
-takes place outside workers' home
-usually hire additional non-family members
-use more than 3 machines
-may contract out to subcontracted industrial outworkers
Figure 4.2
Types of Subcontracted Units
The success with which subcontracted industrial outworkers convert
their earnings into profit and their homes into small-scale enterprises depends
on a variety of factors: (1) the capital which is available for purchase of raw
materials, (2) number and type of machines which are owned, (3) previous
experience or knowledge of the process of production (i.e. those who have
additional skills such as designing, cutting, sewing of various articles, and
ironing can negotiate a better rate for the items that they produce than can
individuals with limited knowledge of the production process), (4) family
members who work in the subcontracted enterprise for little or no

102
remuneration, and (5) access to a market to sell their own product (in addition
to working subcontracted to the larger factories).
By far, the majority (over 70%) of home based workers only own one
machine. However, several workers (those who were able to demand a higher
price for their finished product) demonstrated a surprisingly advanced level of
technification owning over 4 machines of various types. These individuals
had left factory work when they had children, or the factory closed down
because of decreased demand for the product. Because of their experience in
the factory, these workers were more familiar with the entire production
process, and more able to more effectively organize their own
microenterprises than workers who had never worked in a factory.
With the development of subcontracted industrial outwork the
possibility of control of the complete production process by one individual
decreases. In Pereira, for example, changes in the relationship between the
subcontracted industrial outworkers and the intermediary which occurred
with the industrial development of garments in the region have led to
increasing subordination of these home-based producers and small-scale
enterprises. Prior to regional industrialization, the relationship of the
subcontracted industrial outworkers with the factory was more direct (as
described briefly in Chapter Three). The subcontracted industrial outworkers
commonly completed the entire garment. However, now the home-based
producer more commonly controls only a part of the entire process.

103
Conclusion
This chapter analyzed the structure of production within the garment
industry as it conditions women's labor force participation. Subcontracting
was considered as it fragments and decentralizes production creating a
hierarchy of better-paid, more secure jobs in the factory, which contrast with
low-paying, home-based production. The linkages created by the process of
subcontracting created and reproduced subordinate hierarchical social
relationships in the garment industry. A discussion of the variety of linkages
(intermediaries who obtain home-based workers for the factory who are
external to factory, factory workers who serve as intermediaries, or no
intermediaries) utilized to link subcontracted producers to different types of
enterprises (subcontracted industrial outworkers, family small-scale
enterprises, and non-familial, small-scale enterprises) emphasized the
autonomy and/or subordination of the producer in relation to the larger
capitalist factories.
The role of intermediaries, their characteristics, and the control which
they exercise over subcontracted producers' access to, and control of, key
resources was discussed. The description of relationships between the
subcontracted factory and the large capitalist enterprise (demonstrated in the
characteristics of intermediaries, prices paid for products, and access to and
control of raw materials and markets), as well as the myriad of relationships
described within the small subcontracted enterprises demonstrate the
significance of subcontracting as a mechanism for reproduction of subordinate
relationships within the garment industry. This chapter has demonstrated

104
how changes in the structure of production at the regional and local level in
the garment industry affect women's labor force incorporation. Because of the
position which the subcontracted units occupy in the production process,
women's incorporation into subcontracted industrial outwork is generally
subordinated to factory work.
The process of subcontracting, though not new in the garment industry,
is undergoing transformations. These transformations involve the more
efficient appropriation of labor, decreasing home-based worker's control of the
production process. The changing nature of the linkages between the factory
and home-based work within the garment industry, and the differing
strategies of national and international industrialists to appropriate labor in
Pereira, should not be viewed as unique cases, but rather should be understood
as examples of a more generalized practice resulting from ever-increasing
demands for cheaper labor by national and international capitalists.
The next chapter considers the organization of production within a
shirt factory. Working conditions in the factory are discussed, emphasizing
mechanisms of control exercised by management, and strategies for
organization and resistance to managements control by workers. This
chapter emphasizes how changes in the organization of production have
affected working conditions and women's labor force incorporation in this
industry.

CHAPTER FIVE
PROFILE OF LIFE IN THE GARMENT FACTORY
Introduction
The strongest phrase that I have heard in my
life is from a young girl who told me, "Working
in the factory is worse than working as a
prostitute.". . this is another type of
exploitation, that one has to produce so much,
and one has to work rapidly, very rapidly, and
one has to be perfect. . they earn less working
in the factory than working in the bar. . After
making the effort to learn a skill, the women
find this type of exploitation.
Interview with Sister Elena who runs a
workshop teaching women to sew.
This chapter considers the material conditions of production in the
garment industry emphasizing the organization of production, and
technology and machinery utilized in a factory which produces for export.
The chapter begins with a description of the technical organization of
production in the shirt making industry. A description of working
conditions is provided by excerpts from worker interviews. Next, working
conditions in the factory are discussed, emphasizing mechanisms of control
exercised by management over the workers. Strategies for organization and
resistance to management's control follow. The chapter ends with a
discussion of how changes in the organization of the production process in
the factory have affected the working conditions, focusing on the effect of
105

106
changes in the material conditions of production on the social relations
within the factory.
Material Relations of Production within the Factory
Work in the large factory is divided into what are called "talleres" or
workshops which vary from 30 to 70 people. Each workshop is responsible
for a specific type of garment (shirt, slacks, skirts, etc.) Because Pereira is best
known as the shirt city (la ciudad camisera), this description focuses on the
factory system for making shirts. Within the workshop, a "patinador" first
hands the assignment to the head of the workshop, who in turn divides the
work among the quality control supervisors. In a large shirt-making "taller"
there could be two or three supervisors. Each supervisor is responsible for
two or three parts of the production process. Conflict between quality control
supervisors and the heads of the workshop is described in the following
interview with Maria, a quality control supervisor.
The head of the workshop is the one who rules in the
"taller", but the supervisor is the one who works the
most. The heads of the workshop only know about
meeting production quotas. They are technologists. I had
to organize the production in the group. . .and I earned
less. I earned my bonuses according to the number of
items we turned around. But the bonuses were never
much, they were never more than 1,900 pesos weekly.
The leader of the workshop earned all of the production
merits. They are shameless. (Personal interview February
23,1989).
In the shirt making process observed, there were six major parts to the
production process. These parts are further broken down again into three or
four separate activities within each workshop. There is a station at the

107
beginning of each "taller" where the pieces are ironed, and marked to be sure
they were cut properly in Miami. For example, the shirt making process
begins with the collar. The first operator takes the ironed halves and sews
them shut. The next operator clips the points; the collar is checked for
symmetry and turned rightside out. The article is then returned for pressing.
Next, the collar is overstitched, making sure that both sides match. This
process involves three operators and a woman to press the collar.
The next section is the back. First, an operator hems both sides.
Another operator will match the sides and stitch them together. (That is if
the back is in two pieces; often it comes in one piece.) Depending on the
complexity of the item, two to five operators will complete the required
darts, beltloops, or other ornamentation. Another operator will sew the sides
together if required. Usually during this phase, another individual places
the label on the back garment.
Next, an operator hems the front from right to left always. The pockets
are hemmed by another operator, and sewn on the shirt by a third. Other
darts are sewn in place by a fourth operator, the buttonholes are inserted by a
fifth, and a sixth operator sews buttons on the garments. The next process is
the sleeve. First the sleeve is fastened together by one operator. Another
operator then attaches the sleeve to the armhole. If it is a short sleeve, it is
hemmed by another individual. If it is a long-sleeved garment, the cuffs are
first completed. For the cuffs, one individual sews the lining. Then the
corners are clipped and sewn shut by another operator. The cuff is turned
right side out, then pressed by the operator at the "taller" who does the
ironing. Only after pressing is the overstitching applied. Finally the cuff is
placed on the sleeve by yet another operator. The article is inspected, threads
clipped, buttonholes checked for accuracy, etc. by another woman before the

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article is considered completed. The articles are then inspected again by the
quality supervisors, and another tag may be placed on the sleeve. The
articles are pressed one final time (outside of the workshop). There is a
section which does only ironing, and another section which packs the articles
in plastic before they are ready to be exported.
Twenty five to 30 operators, one or two supervisors, and a
"technologist" who controls the production are involved in the workshop
described above which makes shirts. There is an average of one mechanic
for every five "talleres" in the factory. "Talleres" which make pants are the
most difficult according to most of the workers. These may require up to 60
operators for the different tasks.
Working Conditions of Women
Although working conditions in this factory (from here on referred to
as Factory N) were much better than those conditions encountered in other
factories (re: lighting, space for work, and ventilation), many violations of
the Colombian labor code were discovered through worker interviews. Two
of the major demands expressed by women in the interviews were (1)
fulfillment of article 238 of Colombian labor code: allowing women with
infants 30 minutes of lactation during the work day and (2) fulfillment of
article 239 of the Colombian labor code allowing women 12 weeks of
maternity leave. Article 237 of the Colombian labor code gives women the
right to two to four weeks paid leave in the case of miscarriage. The reality of
the factory, however, does not reflect the gains made by women in labor
legislation.

109
My research assistant recounted the following story from one of her
interviews:
One of the woman I interviewed became pregnant while she was
working in the factory. She was the one who handed out the
cloth, but it wasn't easy for her to be on her feet all day because of
her health. So they changed her to the inspection section, but
now, as punishment for becoming pregnant, they said that they
were going to make her iron. She told her supervisor that she
couldn't because she had bad legs, and she had asthma (she
couldn't even iron in her home), but her supervisor told her
that if she couldn't iron, then she couldn't work in the factory,
and she would have to leave.
According to Colombian law, women are allowed 12 weeks leave for
pregnancy. However, usually women who become pregnant in garment
factories are fired directly or indirectly.
When I was in the factory, I knew women who had to sell their
body at times to maintain their position. I know specifically of
one case, a mechanic who got a young woman in the design
section pregnant. He was married, and the factory arranged for
him to be sent to the United States so that he wouldn't have to
be responsible for the baby, because he was a good mechanic. .
The girl was later moved to the ironing section of the factory.
Subsequently she resigned. I don't think that was done properly.
So that his wife didn't find out, they sent him to the United
States. (Personal Interview with Lucia, quality control
supervisor).
In 1988 this factory won the governor's medal for the most earnings accrued
in non-traditional (non coffee) exports in the fiscal year. However, a local
women's group produced a pamphlet to observe November 281. which
xOn November 28, feminists commemorate a violent rape and murder of
three sisters which occurred in the Dominican Republic in 1986, and
denounce violence against women (see appendice 4 for a copy of the
brochure).

110
accused the factory of serious violation of human rights. Instead of being
awarded the medal for exportation, these women insisted, the factory should
be awarded a medal for exploitation.
Mechanisms of Control in the Factory
Having described the material organization of production in the factory,
we now move to a consideration of the ways in which this production is
controlled by management. There are many mechanisms of control
employed by management throughout the production process. A
computerized sheet near the personnel manager's office shows which
"talleres" are producing most, which are keeping up with their production
quotas, and which are falling behind. Secondly, a blackboard at the end of the
workshop charts the production that each workshop should be completing
during the hour. Beside each hour is a light bulb. If the bulb is yellow, then
the hourly production quotas are being met. If the lightbulb is red, then the
hourly production quotas for that hour have not been met. This blackboard is
filled in by a technologist who is constantly inspecting production in the
'workshop'. Technologists are men as well as women. In fact, there were
more women technologists than men when I observed the production.
Another point of control is the quality control card filled in by the supervisor
for each worker. This card documents the article which the worker was
producing, the quota of their production for the day, the number of articles
produced, and how many of these articles where completed satisfactorily.
According to interviews with Lucia, a quality control supervisor:

Ill
Every day they give one a schedule with a list of your production
quotas, and every afternoon they check your work. . The
supervisor reviews the work. . and she is also generally the one
who studies the time it takes to complete tasks. .
I had to check the work of everyone in the workshops. I had to
pass by each machine 2, 3, or 4 times to review the work of each
operator. At the end in inspection they look to see if the work is
going well, what flaws there are, etc. For example, if I have to
check the work of one woman. . many don't like to have their
work returned. . but if I don't return it to her it's a problem for
me. I can't let anything bad pass . when work is done poorly it
has to be fixed.
Perhaps the most significant mechanism of control is the time and
motion studies. This measurement of time taken to perform each task is
done by a technologist. A union leader in Risaralda called this measurement
strategy a type of "slavery". He states:
From seven in the morning, they begin to take a type of count.
The engineers call this time and motion studies, to find out how
much each worker produces in an hour. It is a human
chronometer. So if the person produces, or rather if they are able
to complete the same production during the entire day, and
during the entire week, then they are given a type of bonus as an
incentive. . However, this is something which sucks the life out
of the women, it finishes them off both physically and mentally.
. Its not the same to produce at seven in the morning when
one has the mind clear and rested as it is to produce in the
afternoon hours when fatigue sets in. . this is a type of slavery.
(Personal Interview with male union official, May 25, 1989)
These points of control demonstrate the hierarchy which exists within
the factory. In order to become a supervisor, one had to either enter the
factory with very good recommendations (preferably from the SENA) or earn
supervisory status through consistently exceeding production quotas. If an
operator worked extremely well, she could first become a "supernumeraria"
which did not increase her salary but which permitted her to be eligible for

112
nomination for a position as a quality control supervisor by a current
supervisor, technologist, or workshop head.
Ana, a quality control supervisor, was directly hired into that position:
I went to factory X after separating from my husband, to ask for
work. In factory X, I filled out the papers, they asked me what
experience I had, and they interviewed me. I was 25 years old
when I began to work. They asked me what I had studied after
elementary school, what I currently did for a living, and
according to the interview, they decided what work I would
receive. According to my abilities, they told me that I would
enter as a quality control supervisor, (personal interview
November 1988)
However, Ana was soon disillusioned by her work in the factory. She
began to demand that they pay her a fair salary. According to the Colombian
labor code, the night shift is paid 1.35 percent of the pay of the day shifts, work
on a Sunday is paid double, and work on a holiday is paid triple. Ana recounts
the following story of her difficulty receiving proper remuneration for her
work.
I understood these accounts, more or less. So I counted up my
salary, and of course found out that they were robbing me quite a
bit. Most recently I worked 10 months and earned 25 thousand
pesos, including bonuses and extra hours. When I retired they
gave me 33 thousand pesos. This is really very little for all that I
worked, and all that I contributed to the workshop. One of the
reasons I retired is because they began a night shift from 2:30 in
the afternoon till 10:45 at night, and they did not recognize the
extra pay for working the night shift. My ex-husband worked in
administration, and he taught me all these things. He told me
they were robbing me. Once I worked two night shifts, and they
paid us so bad that we didn't even earn 8,000 pesos for the week.
The night shift should pay something like 35% extra. I added up
the accounts, so many days, so many extra hours, and so many
nights, and I told the girls who worked for me that they should
claim their proper pay. I told them that if they were asked who
added up the accounts, it was me, because I wanted them to fire
me. But the girls appreciated the work I did, and no one told

113
them that I had added up the accounts and told them to claim
their pay. So they fired all of those who went to claim their pay.
They paid them what they were due, but they fired them all.
They were fired for claiming 20 thousand pesos in one month.
Ana eventually retired from the factory. She was a good worker valued
highly by the factory. She commanded the respect of co-workers and
maintained production quotas.
However, the main reason for my retiring was because my child
was extremely sick. One day I went to organize the work in the
factory to resolve the production problems. The quality control
supervisor has to organize the workers, the operations, etc.
Then I said to the personnel director that I needed her to do me a
favor and grant me permission to take my child to the doctor. . I
thought that they would give me permission. I was sure of it. I
never skipped work. But she told me no, I am sorry, but I can't
give you permission. We have to finish this lot. But I told her
that we were ahead on production, that there were two other
supervisors, but the lot was a very large one, and pants which
are more difficult. So I had to make sure that everything was
going well. She told me that I couldn't go. . I started to think, I
don't earn much, I don't really have any responsibility, I haven't
done anything to earn this poor treatment. I am not going to
return because they exploit you very badly (personal interview
October 1988)...
In addition to inadequate payment for work, many operators complained
about the type of contracts which they signed. Workers were required, by law,
to give 30 days notice before quitting their job. These 30 days, however, were
seldom paid by the factory. In another interview with Ana, she recounted
several claims made in the factory for the type of contracts which were signed.
In the beginning, they hired the personnel in January and they
stayed until December. However, later they made one sign a
paper giving one leave, and they didn't pay you anything. In
other words, I would sign the paper, as if I had asked for time off
without pay. Of course because of this we made a claim at the
Ministry of Labor. But everything was done legally. And after

114
this, they began to have the workers who had signed contracts
for a year or more, sign new contracts for a specific article of
clothing. When a lot arrived, everyone had to sign the new
contract. Those who didn't want to sign it were fired. This
contract cancelled the previous contract that they had signed.
But this was illegal, because the contracts for more than one year
cannot be annulled. In other words, if the lot took eight days to
complete, one had work for eight days (personal interview
October 1988).
After hearing several similar complaints from workers during interviews,
Ana and I went to the Ministry of Labor to see how the cases brought by the
workers against the factory were being handled. It had been several months
since Ana had quit and the workers had heard nothing about the cases. When
we arrived at the Ministry of Labor we were received by a woman who sent us
to another set of lawyers who were working on the case. We waited over 30
minutes in the hall for these lawyers to return from a case, and when they
didn't we were sent to another room to speak with their assistants. After
waiting another 20 minutes, we were received by an assistant. However, they
had not received any complaints from the specific factory in question. They
related problems with garment factories (with only local capital), but they had
heard nothing of the case to which we referred. We continued waiting for the
other lawyers. Ana remembered the name of the woman (Ministry of Labor
employee) who had been at the factory. However, when the woman returned,
she was unable to give us any information about this case. There was nothing
we could do. Since the factory had no union, there was no one to continue the
investigation of the case and pressure the Labor Ministry to make some
changes in the factory.
And another thing... if one wanted to quit working in the
factory, for any reason, they immediately ended the contract that
one had signed, and the 30 days which they had been advised
weren't paid. . I'm telling you that these contracts for only one

115
article are very weak. Where one would follow up on these
contracts one would find things are not good...
Forms of Resistance within the Garment Industry and Factory N
Given the number of complaints expressed in worker interviews,
surprisingly little organization was found within the garment industry. A
brief review of the stormy relationship between management and unions
provide clues to the contemporary phobia towards unionization by both
workers and management.
In Risaralda, there has been permanent harrassment of
union members by factory owners. Harrassment which has
consisted in sanctions, generally unjust: such as firing. Often
women who occupy directive positions in the union
organizations are tempted (by the company) to occupy positions
within administration, for example, positions such as head of
personnel. This is generally done in order to make them
denounce the union, in order to weaken it and finally end it.
This occurred in two factories in this region. In Factory F, they
weakened the union to such a point that at the end, they called
the few women who still belonged to the union, and paid them
off with promises that they would give them a certain amount
of money if they renounced both the union and the factory. .
This has been a very difficult struggle. The factory owners have
been able to eliminate unions. Factory V still has a union, but
for all intents and purposes, Factory V is controlled by Factory N.
(interview with male union official May 1989)
In order to weaken the unions, the owners of the garment factories attempted
to pay off the workers.
They began to fire workers, and pay them off. . because the law
states that if a worker is fired without a just cause, they must be
paid a specific amount of money, which consists of 45 days pay if
they have been there one year or less, if they have been
employed in the factory five years, they pay them 15 additional
days, if they have been in the factory from five to 10 years, they

116
pay them an additional 20 days (in addition to the 45 days), and if
they have more than 10 years with the factory, they pay them an
additional 30 days. Then, the factory must spend a lot of money
in this, but they get rid of the leaders, of the dynamic individuals
in the unions. Then, when they have weakened the union, they
buy off the directors and the union is wiped out. This is a tactic
which they have used in the last few years. This has made it
almost impossible to organize people. (Interview with male
union official May 1989).
Although there was one union in all of the garment factories in the
region, this union had been very "patronal". In other words, the union had
not been independent of management, but rather complied with
management's orders. For example, in 1983 the workers' vacation time was
denied to allow the factory to meet production deadlines. The workers' were
not reimbursed, nor were they given vacation at a later date. The union did
not fight for the workers' additional pay, nor their vacation time. Rather they
complied with the desires of management, in order to keep the factory
running smoothly. Only in the last three years had the union in this factory
changed the president, and in 1987 they affiliated with the CUT (making them
less patronal). The CUT for example, prohibited any union officials from
taking higher wages, or new positions offered by the management because
this had traditionally been a strategy of management to "buy off" the workers.
Unions had played a crucial role at one point, in defending garment
workers in the region. In an interview with the local president of the CUT,
he told how the workers of factory G resisted managements attempts to
remove the factory and its machinery. According to union officials in the
town, factory N discussed above was constructed on the same site as factory
G, using the same buildings with the same stock holders.
During this time (the 1970s) the owner of the factory was killed
in some family feud. This had repercussions for the workers.
Those who managed the factory intended to remove the

117
enterprise overnight. They had contracted vehicles to transport
the machinery to Medellin, but we (the union) took over the
enterprise overnight. A night watchman told us of their plans.
We took over the enterprise and set up a tent, and maintained
the struggle for approximately five months. We were about 77
workers. After we took over the enterprise, there we also cooked
our food. There is a supermarket there now. We demanded the
machinery from the factory, because the factory didn't even have
five cents and had quite a few debts. We took this to a lawyer
and this claim has lasted over five years.2 (Interview with union
official).
The conflictive relationship between workers and management in the region
has led to a distrust of union organization not only by management, but also
by other workers.
In general, the workers who have been able to obtain work
again don't want to hear about unions because this has brought
them many problems. Those who have been able to locate new
jobs are quiescent in these positions. It is practically a policy of
terror utilized by the management to control workers. . Here in
garments, then, it has been almost impossible to organize a
union because of the problem of persecution. The "patron" with
the same system of the black list, where all are included, begins
to marginalize all those who had participated in the union
movement. . the struggle here has been very difficult
(interview with male union official, May 1988).
Factories unable to pay the workers' salaries, and not being able to pay the
indemnification required by law, dismantle the factory from one day to the
next.
The struggle in factory F was difficult because management had
been able to weaken the organization by firing individuals who
were especially charismatic in the union movement. In
December of 1974, Factory F sent everyone home for Christmas
vacations and they told them to return on a certain date in
January. Then, when the women returned on the determined
date, after having enjoyed their vacations at the end of the year,
they found the factory closed and all alone. There was no
2 At the time of the interview the case had not been settled.

118
machinery or anything. Everything had been moved. Then,
they found some notes that had been left with the guard for each
one of them, telling them that if they wanted to work, they
should go to a certain address in the Belen sector of Medellin,
that the factory had been transferred there. Imagine that! a
mother with a family, how is she going to move to Medellin.
Nevertheless, there was an investigation with regard to this, and
there was no factory at the address they had been given. All of
this was a farce. The factory had fooled them. The workers
wanted to demand their pay, but there was nothing. This has
remained in the air. The women lost everything. .
There have been other factories, enterprise Q, where 30 workers
had problems with the factory in 1980 and it disappeared... and
many small factories. The only thing for certain is that the
tradition here is to trick the worker. Especially in the small
enterprises...although it also happens in the large ones.
This has been the reality of the garment sector here. (Interview
with CUT official May 1989)
Aside from these tactics utilized to weaken unions within the garment
factories, the decentralization of production further prevented the formation
of unions.
. . there were three factories with different names, in different
sites, where not more than 20 or 22 people were employed. This
was done in order to keep the factory from having the
minimum number required by the law for the founding a
union. While in appearance this produced a type of
disintegration of the factory, what really exists is only one
factory, but in different locations. This prevents the workers
from organizing. This is another tactic which the factory owners
have utilized lately, to prevent union formation, (union official
May 1989).
A specific example cited by Ana, the quality control supervisor for Factory N,
demonstrates how the owners continue to discourage worker organization.
I attempted to start a union when I had this little group of
women. In order to unionize you need 30 or at least 25
persons according to the law. But in the factory they rotate

119
the people considerably and it is difficult to form groups.
For example, if you are the leader of this workshop, and I
work in quality, within two months, I don't work here
any more, but rather I am sent to another workshop. So I
am sent to another workshop continually. . it is difficult
to really know the women you work with well when they
are continually changing the workshops. (Interview # 8)
Changes in Organization of Production in Factory N
Increasing competition in the marketing of garments in both the
national and international markets has led to changes in the organization of
production. According to Lucia, a quality control supervisor:
There are many changes occurring in the process of
production, the style produced, even the personnel are being
constantly changed. For example, each day new people come
from the United States and other places, and they teach us that
this shouldn't be done in such a way, that the production has to
be changed, that its not accepted in the old way...
In addition to changing the organization of production within
the factory, the quality of the final product, and the speed with
which it is completed continue to be modified.
Another worker stated her reaction to increased production pressures:
I don't like all this pressure. There is always someone on top of
you saying "hurry up." But I know what I have to do. One
should be allowed to work according to one's conscience. One
knows that a certain job must be finished by a specific time, and
they know that you know this, but they still bother you
continually about this saying "What's happening, What are you
doing? We have to turn over this job at a specific time". Even
when they know that the work will be finished on time.
If one doesn't finish the job. . What happened? Sometimes it is
a very difficult operation, or the machine is damaged, or the
cloth is bad or cut wrong in Florida, or the girl who is working

120
on the other section isn't able to meet her quotas. All of this
affects one's work. Every day they pressure us more. .
In addition to increased pressure to produce, the women mentioned
changes in the organization of the material for production.
Before, when I first started work (10 years ago) all production was
done in a series. One person, for example hemmed and cuffed
sleeves for the blouse production for the entire factory, another
placed the collar, and another assembled the blouse. But now
there is one workshop which does the blouse. Of course, now
there is much better quality.
The aforementioned changes in the organization of production facilitate the
addition of new workshops to meet fluctuating production demands, as well
as increasing management's control of the quality of production.
Conclusion
This chapter has considered the material conditions of production in
the garment industry emphasizing the organization of production in
workshops as opposed to working in series. A description of the technical
organization of production in the shirt making industry followed,
demonstrating how industrial capitalism breaks down the process of
production into numerous parts, each of which requiring a different skill,
though not generally highly specialized. A description of working conditions
was provided through excerpts from worker interviews. Mechanisms of
control exercised by management over the workers described strategic points
of conflict between operators and supervisors, and supervisors and
technologists or workshop leaders. Strategies for organization and resistance
to management's control were considered through the description of union
activities in the region. Finally, changes in the organization of the

121
production process in the factory were discussed as they affect the working
conditions of the employees, focusing on the impact of changes in the
material conditions of production on the social relations within the factory.

CHAPTER SIX
HOUSEHOLD STRUCTURE AND WOMEN'S LABOR FORCE
PARTICIPATION
Introduction
"La vida es una lucha, tiene uno sus momentos
buenos y malos...de todas maneras hay que
luchar por los hijos..."
Rosa, obrera en fbrica de confecciones
"Life is a struggle, one has good moments, and
bad moments... anyway, one has to struggle
because of the children..."
Rosa, factory worker, garment factory
These words of Rosa typify the daily living conditions of the garment
factory workers in Pereira. Working in garment factories since she was 17
years old, 40 year old Rosa is the major income provider for her 3 children
and 67 year old mother. She began working in a small shop in the back room
of her neighbor's house. When this small-scale enterprise was forced to
shut down due to fluctuations in the seasonal demand for labor, she was
lucky enough to find employment in a small factory. This small factory
unfortunately also closed down after less than a year, and she was once again
unemployed. During the season of high demand (October-December)1, Rosa
once again found employment in a medium sized factory. She quit this job
when she got married and had two children. However, after their second
child, their economic situation required an additional income, and Rosa
October-December is the season of highest demand, as factories prepare for
the large demand generated by the holiday gift-giving at Christmas.
122

123
returned to work. After her third child her husband left and she never heard
from him again. At this point she went to live with her mother who cared
for the children while Rosa continued to work in the factory. Recently the
family also took on several renters to help with the monthly bills.
Rosa is not alone in her movement in and out of the garment
industrial labor force. From her case, one can clearly see how the domestic
cycle and household composition interact with the structure of the regional
labor force and the seasonal demand for workers by the factory to shape
women's labor force participation.
The household of the urban worker does not operate in isolation, nor
is it a passive recipient of exterior forces and pressures. Placement of the
household in the socio-economic structure of the region is essential to
understanding the material limitations within which they operate.
While the internal dynamics of household units are
important in determining their standard of living at any given
moment, the household's position within the social structure is
decisive. . In short, the particular characteristics of labor-
market structure are a primary determinant of the potential for
income generation of households with varying demographic
characteristics . (Schmink 1984, p.88).
External political and economic conditions, part of the structural framework
within which the households function, influence the organization and
economy of the households. The pressures external to the household such as
the demands of the labor market were considered in chapters three and four,
to the extent that they determine the possibilities for women's employment.
This chapter focuses on the internal dynamics of the household.
In order to analyze major variables at the level of the household and
how they pattern women's labor force incorporation, this chapter contrasts

124
the characteristics of subcontracted industrial outworkers with those of factory
workers. However, we must recognize that the participation of the female
worker in the production process is only one aspect of the broader struggle of
households to ensure their social reproduction. Other household members
may participate in a variety of occupations. In fact, often, one or more
household members may retain one or more jobs to ensure that the
household can meet their economic needs. However the household's ability
to meet their economic needs is only one part of their social reproduction. As
discussed earlier, social reproduction of the household requires the labor of
women in activities such as child care, cooking and cleaning.
This chapter concentrates on the participation of the garment worker
in the industrial process, considering both the life cycle of the woman, and
the domestic cycle of the household as internal forces of the household. This
discussion begins with an analysis of the household and its theoretical and
methodological importance for this study. It is hypothesized that women's
position in the household (which frequently changes during the domestic
cycle) is a significant factor affecting their labor force incorporation.
The hypothesis that women's position in the household affects her
labor force incorporation is then applied to the data gathered in Pereira,
Risaralda with garment workers. The stages of the domestic cycle were
defined according to the age of the household head, ages of children, and
number of individuals who had left the household. These stages were
examined as a potential indicator of women's participation in the labor force.
During certain phases of the domestic cycle, the household expands by
incorporating more workers or consumers. This expansion may add or
relieve women's pressure to enter the labor force. The incorporation of
workers or consumers is studied in more depth later on in the chapter.

125
The concept "household" refers to the group of people who live under
the same roof, organize their resources collectively, and share responsibilities
for generating an income to meet the consumption needs of the group
(Schmink 1984). Variables in the women's life cycle which may affect
women's labor force incorporation include: age, marital status, and number
and age of children. This research hypothesizes that older women who are
married will be more likely to work at home. In addition it is hypothesized
that subcontracted industrial outworkers will have more children because
having children at a younger age limits their possibilities for employment in
the factory. Significant variables of the domestic cycle of the household
include: woman's household position, family structure, age of household
head, and presence of young children in the family.
It is hypothesized that women who are spouses are more likely to be
home-based workers than women who are household heads. Because of the
lower salary of home-based workers, it is anticipated that these individuals
will require the additional support of a major income generator to support
the household's basic needs. Further, it is hypothesized that factory workers
will more frequently be members of female headed households because of the
reliance of these households on women's wages. And finally, it is anticipated
that the domestic cycle of the household (as defined and operationalized in
the following section) generates internal pressures (both economic and
ideological) which further affect the women's labor force incorporation.

126
Domestic Cycle
Chayanov's (1966) description of the domestic cycle of the household
emphasises the ratio of workers to consumers as providing a material basis
for analyzing the household's social reproduction. He states:
Family composition primarily defines the upper and lower
limits of the volume of its economic activity. The labor force...is
entirely determined by the availability of able-bodied family
members. That is why the highest possible limit for volume of
activity depends on the amount of work this labor force can give
with maximum utilization and intensity. In the same way the
lowest volume is determined by the sum of material benefits
absolutely essential for the family's mere existence.
... it is essential, therefore, to study the labor family as fully as
possible and to establish the elements in its composition, on
which basis it develops its economic activity... (Chayanov, 1966
p.118).
Mercedes Gonzalez de la Rocha (1984) has combined the analysis of
Fortes with that of Chayanov. Her description of the phases of the domestic
cycle is employed in the present analysis:
1) The expansion phase includes the period when the household grows
and increases with the number of births. This phase begins when the couple
forms and ends approximately when the woman reaches 40 years of age,
ending her fertile years. While this phase advances, the conditions for the
following phase are created: the children grow and the household is
consolidated.
2) The phase of consolidation and equilibrium is characterized by a more
balanced ratio of workers to consumers. In this phase, the children, or at least

127
some children are ready to work and contribute to the maintenance of the
household.
3) The dispersion phase begins when members of the household begin to
separate themselves from the group of origin to form and organize new
units. Even though households in this phase generally demonstrate a lower
worker to consumer ratio, economic equilibrium may still be maintained
through fewer dependents in the form of young children.
Recent studies emphasize economic and socio-demographic changes
occurring during the domestic cycle of households (Orlandina de Oliviera, et.
al. 1989, Safa 1990). Following this framework, this study operationalizes the
domestic cycle by socio-demographic and economic variables. For the first
phase, the expansion phase, variables chosen to indicate formation of the
household include: age of children (pre-school, and school age from 6 to 12),
and age of household head (under 40) The second phase, the consolidation
phase, was defined by childrens' leaving school and beginning to work (after
age 12), and the age of the household head (both men and women 40 and
over, for women this is the end of their fertile years). The third phase,
dispersion, considers (1) children's leaving the home and setting up their
own households, measured by asking how many children had left the home
for marriage or migration to look for work, and (2) a household head over 60
years old.

128
Expansion Phase
Household head under 40
Children under 12
Consolidation Phase
Household head 40-59
Children over 12
Dispersion Phase
Household head over 60
One or more children have left household
to establish their own residences
Figure 6.1
Phases of the Domestic Cycle
Economic implications of the domestic cycle are complex. A
household in the phase of expansion is an unbalanced unit in economic
terms because there are more consumers than workers. The household in
expansion is under greater economic pressure than a household in the phase
of consolidation. A household in the phase of consolidation experiences
greater equilibrium between income generators and consumers. The
household in the dispersion phase is subject to economic inequalities because
economically active individuals leave the older parents, now economically
inactive or earning a much lower salary. However, the abscence of young
children, also decreases their expenses. Depending on the economic needs of
the household of origin, these departing individuals may continue to send
remittances. Therefore the ratio of workers to consumers in a household
does not always reflect its economic condition; some workers who support
the household may not live in the same physical unit. This study
demonstrated this condition in only three cases.

129
The fact that households have collective economic needs in no way
implies that there are no internal conflicts. In spite of the fact that there are
common needs, specific gender and age interests seldom result in
harmonious agreements on household priorities and activities. For this
reason it is important to understand how the internal relationships of
households influence the activities of individual household members as they
pass through the domestic cycle. Important internal changes in household
structure resulting from the domestic cycle cause many changes in the
structure, organization, and economy of this unit.
Nevertheless, the domestic cycle is not a linear, inflexible process. A
household which begins its cycle does not necessarily follow it through all of
its phases. There are premature break-ups and other modifiers which
transform the household. In the factory workers' households, many have
their domestic cycle interrupted due to separation or death of household
head(s). A male-headed nuclear family, then, may become a female-headed
nuclear or extended family. This leads to changes in the structure of the
household with the women generally assuming the position of household
head, if there is no male child of working age.
One modification of the domestic cycle of the household involves the
incorporation of new family members through the marriage of adult children
who live in the parents' home. This is most typical of male headed
households. In this way, the household may gain a worker while at the same
time helping the new couple to ease into the first phases of the domestic cycle.
This demonstrates how two different phases of a domestic cycle become fused
in one household. In theory, the son or daughter who gets married begins a
phase of expansion. However, while staying in the house of origin, only the

130
biological phase of expansion is developed. The economic situation of the
new couple may fuse with the economic situation of the older couple.
The labor market demand interacts with the household supply of
workers to affect women's labor force incorporation. As previously
mentioned the supply of workers is affected by household factors such as
women's position in the household, and ages and number of children as well
as women's life cycle factors of age and marital status. Labor force
incorporation may, in turn, affect the domestic cycle of the households. As
more jobs become available for younger, single, women, it is logical to expect
daughters to assume a more prominent role in income generation of the
households. This age-specific (and marital status-specific) concentration of
women in an industry where new workers can easily be trained means that,
under conditions of high unemployment, women are absorbed and then
rejected at different stages of their life cycle, and during different phases of the
domestic cycle of the household. However, it must be noted that this age-
specific concentration of women was found only in the multinational
factories. The factory with solely national capital was less selective in their
recruitment of workers (see Tables 6.1 and 6.2); a higher percentage of workers
in the factory were separated or divorced compared to the multinational
factory.

131
Table 6.1
Age of Workers by Workplace
Age Workplace
Home Factory
Domestic
Multinational
Less than 20
0
0
3%
20-29
11%
34%
30%
30-39
40%
45%
50%
40-49
37%
14%
15%
50-59
11%
6%
2%
Total
100% (35)
100% (35)
100% (40)
Table 6.2
Marital Status by Workplace
Workplace
Marital Status
Home
Factory
Domestic
Multinational
Single
26%
33%
57%
Married
40%
32%
34%
Free Union
23%
5%
6%
Separated or Divorced
8%
18%
0
Widow
3%
12%
3%
Total
100% (35)
100% (40)
100% (35)

132
The term "structure of the household" refers to the gender and age of
the household head, as well as to the relationship of this individual (or
individuals there may be more than one household head) to other members
of the household (i.e., spouse, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, etc.). The
household head is defined according to the response of the worker
interviewed to the question "Who is the head of the household".
"Composition of the household" refers to the number of individuals
(children, parents, grandparents, etc.) who are members of the household.
Economic contribution refers to the degree to which individuals contribute to
household maintenance through wage-labor, or some other type of informal
income generating activity. The structure and composition of the households
and the economic contribution of individuals within the household to the
household budget, are not fixed but rather change during the household's
cycles from its expansion to consolidation. However as will be discussed later,
(especially in the case of female-headed households) many households are
unable to reach the level of economic stability necessary to allow the women
to leave the wage labor force to return to their home to focus on domestic
activities.
In Colombia, fragmentation of the labor process has led to differential
employment of women at different stages of their life cycle. In the phase of
household expansion, there are usually two major income generators: the
head of the household (male or female) and the spouse. The women need to
earn an income (for food, clothing, rent, education, etc.) but also must care for
the children, cook, clean etc. (care for the reproductive needs of the
household). The situation may change when the household enters the
consolidation phase. Gonzalez de la Rocha (1989) hypothesizes that during
this phase, the women workers who are also household heads generally

133
decrease their labor force participation because much of the economic
responsibility during this time falls on the children.
Life Cycle Variables of Women
vt
In order to investigate the hypothesis that women's life cycle plays a
crucial role in their labor force participation, I considered the marital status of
women in three different work contexts (Table 6.2). Three different categories
of women's labor force incorporation, factory workers (both domestic and
multinational) and subcontracted industrial outworkers are considered in
order to analyze the impact of the life cycle variables on labor force
incorporation considering workplace as the dependent variable. It is
hypothesized that married, older women are more likely to be subcontracted
industrial outworkers, especially if they marry at a younger age. Workers in
the factory with multinational capital (57%) are more frequently single while
those in the factory with domestic capital are distributed fairly evenly between
the category of single and married. Children are hypothesized to constrain
women's participation in the labor force for both material and emotional
reasons. While someone is needed to take care of the child, the women also
frequently expressed a desire to be near their children, even if the child care
tasks were performed by their mother or sister.
Although the difference in marital status between the two groups of
workers (factory and subcontracted industrial outworkers) is not statistically
significant, it does demonstrate a trend for factory women to be single while
subcontracted industrial outworkers are more frequently married. Factory
workers also are generally younger (Table 6.1). Age is a statistically significant
variable affecting women's labor force participation. However, we must

134
realize that the small size of the sample renders the results of the tests for
statistical significance less reliable.
Over fifty percent of female factory workers in the multinational
factory were single, compared with twenty six percent of subcontracted
industrial outworkers. This is not only a function of the life cycle of the
women, but also reflects the recruitment strategies of factories. Marital status
and age of potential workers (factors which also change throughout the
domestic cycle of the household) not only affect the supply of workers but are
also key determinants of the demand for workers reflected in factory hiring
preferences. Subcontracted industrial outworkers more frequently are older
(Table 6.1) and married (Table 6.2) while factory workers are younger and
more often single. The mean age of subcontracted industrial outworkers is
39 while that of factory workers is 32 (significant at the .0005 level).
Number of children in the household is also a significant factor
affecting women's labor force participation. As shown in Figure 6.2, 32
percent of the subcontracted industrial outworkers had one child or less,
while 62 percent of the factory workers had one child or less. Only 9 percent
of subcontracted industrial outworkers had no children, while the percentage
of factory workers with no children was much higher (33 percent). This may
be explained in part by the higher percentage of young, single women in the
factory. In this sample, the subcontracted industrial outworkers' households
have a larger number of children (most of whom are old enough to work)
than the households of factory workers. Seventeen percent of the
subcontracted industrial outworkers had three children while only 11 percent
of the factory workers did, and 22 percent of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers had four or more children, while only seven percent of the
factory workers fell into this category. The trend demonstrated by observing

135
the number of children in the family of these workers suggests that women
who work in factories have fewer children available to assume economic
responsibilities.
In addition, a large number of children may hinder working in the
factory, and, if no other form of childcare is available, women are forced to
work at home. One cannot determine, from this sample, whether factory
work influences women's decision on whether to have a child, and the
number of children to have, or whether the selective recruitment strategies of
the factory lead to preferential hiring of women without children. In the
multinational factory, female applicants were given a blood test, and those
who were pregnant were not contracted. Those workers who had children
while employed by the multinational factory were often fired when it was
learned that they were pregnant. This practice obviously discourages factory
workers from having children.
CO
0
o X
s|


0.
0
re
£
o
LL
Number of Children by
Workplace of Female Worker
40 -i
¡3 Home
Factory
0 12 3 4
Number of Children
Figure 6.2
Number of Children by Workplace

136
In addition to number of children, the age of the children is a
significant factor to be considered in an analysis of the impact of the domestic
cycle on women's labor force incorporation. Although the age differences of
the workers are reflected in the ages of their children, not all women have
children at the same age, therefore, a consideration of the ages of their
children is useful in analyzing the impact of the domestic cycle on women's
labor force incorporation. Eighty three percent of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers have no children under 6 years of age compared to 70% of factory
workers. Having young children, therefore, appears to be a significant
constraint to working in either setting. However, this constraint is greater in
factory work that requires leaving the home (Figure 6.2). Forty two percent of
women workers (both factory and subcontracted outworkers) stated that child
care prevents (or prevented at some point in the past) them from assuming
factory work. However, many households utilize the labor of other female
members to care for the children while the mother leaves the household to
work. Table 6.3 demonstrates the range of female relatives available to
assume child care activities for both factory and home-based workers. Factory
workers have a wider range of options while home-based workers more often
care for children themselves.
This section has demonstrated that factory workers are more likely to
be young and single. Subcontracted industrial outworkers are more
frequently married and older. The subcontracted industrial outworkers began
to have children at an earlier age, and they have fewer household members
to help with child care. Subcontracted workers are generally older, and more
frequently married. The older age of the subcontracted workers may be
responsible for their younger age at birth of their first child since age at birth
of first child has been declining. Few women in either category currently

137
have children under 6. Child care may, therefore, be a major factor
constraining their labor force participation.
Table 6.3
Type of Childcare by Workplace
Child Care
Workplace
Practices
Home
Factory
She cares for
33%
0%
them herself
Her mother
16%
23%
Her sister
16%
23%
An older child
16%
9%
Grandmother
0%
14%
Friend
0%
4%
Employee
16%
9%
Nursery
0%
9%
Other Female
0%
9%
relative
Total
100% (6)
100% (
(Chi Square = 10,34; DF=8, Probability = .24 Not Significant at .05 level.)
Household Variables
To investigate the hypothesis that women's position within the
household (in part a function of the domestic cycle) conditions their
incorporation into the labor force, women's position within the household
was compared by workplace. This classification demonstrates women's
economic role in the household better than the classification of age and

138
marital status alone. For example, a single woman could be a daughter who
is contributer to the household budget, but not a major providor, a daughter
who is a major providor, or a single mother. This distinction cannot be made
from the classification of marital status or age alone. Table 6.4 demonstrates a
statistically significant difference (at the .035 level) between the women
workers' economic position in the household according to the workplace.
Women who are the major income providers of the household are
concentrated in factory positions. The economic pressures these factory
workers experience to enter the labor force are considerable. Although
subcontracted industrial outworkers, as well as factory workers, experience
economic pressures to enter the work force, factory workers are more often
major economic providers as the following table demonstrates.2
However, women do not always perceive factory work as more
economically feasible. In addition to child care responsibilities and
autonomy, several women who operate their own micro-enterprises, stated
that they made more money working at home. As discussed in Chapter Four,
a subcontracted industrial outworker's salary is generally considerably less
than that of factory workers. Sometimes, however, home-based workers can
use their knowledge and experience to their economic benefit.
2For a description of the employment of spouses and fathers, see appendix 3.

139
Table 6.4
Worker's Household Economic Position by Workplace
Homeworkers Factory
CONTRIBUTORS 82% 32%
(Daughters, Spouses,
others)
MAJOR ECONOMIC PROVIDERS
(daughters with main 9% 23%
household income, wives with
unemployed spouses with
and without children, women
who live alone)
FEMALE HEADED HOUSEHOLDS 9% 45%
(single mothers, widowed, divorced)
Total 100% (35) 100% (75)
(Chi-Square = 13.588, DF= 6, Prob = .035)
A women's position in the household, (regardless of her economic
responsibilities) is significantly related to her labor force participation (Table
6.5). Although both daughters and single mothers predominate in the
category of factory work, this may be for entirely different reasons. Because of
the preference of the multinational factory (there is only one in the region)
for young, single women, it is not surprising to find a high percentage of
daughters in factory work. The high percentage of single mothers in factory
work may be due to women's need for a greater stable consistent income. It

140
is not surprising to find the highest percentage of spouses and mothers (74%)
in home-based work (Table 6.5).
Table 6.5
Position in the Household by Workplace of Female Worker
Workplace
Women's Position
in the Household
Home
Factory
Spouse and Mother
74%
17%
Daughter
11%
36%
Single mother
11%
36%
Other (Aunt, Cousin)
3%
11%
Total 35
(100%)
75 (100%)
Because of the (generally) lower salary of home-based workers, their
income must be supplemented by a second individual, generally the spouse.
Single mothers contribute the highest amount to the household budget,
averaging 61% (Table 6.6). Table 6.7 demonstrates that when contribution to
household budget is compared by workplace, home-based workers contribute
less to the budget than factory workers.

141
Table 6.6
Average Contribution to Household Budget
by Position
in the Household
Women's Position
Average Contribution to
in the Household
Household Budget
Spouse and Mother
45%
Daughter
41%
Single mother
61%
Other (Aunt, Cousin)
38%
Table 6.7
Percent Contribution to Household Budget by Workplace
Workplace
Home Factory
Percentage
Contribution
to Budget
0-35%
50%
37%
36-49%
21%
8%
50-70%
25%
31%
71-100%
4%
23%
Total
100% (32)
100%
The structure of the household (extended or nuclear) also affects the
economic equilibrium of the household to the extent that the ratio of

142
consumers to workers changes with family extension. If the additional
members in the extended family are working and contribute to the household
budget, it would be anticipated that pressure for women to join the workforce.
However, female headed extended families were only slightly more likely
than nuclear male headed families to be found in factory settings.
Subcontracted industrial outworkers are slightly more likely to be part of
male headed nuclear than either male or female extended families (Table 6.8).
A larger percentage of factory worker households are female-headed (40 % as
compared to 28%, see Table 6.8). Thus it appears that female headed
households experience more pressure for women to join the labor force than
male headed households.
In this research, 17 different household structures were found, these
included the following types of nuclear households: complete nuclear
families (one conjugal pair with children). The following types of extended
households were present in the sample: nuclear families with one or more
sets of parents of the conjugal pair, two complete nuclear families; two
nuclear families, one complete, and one with no father; two nuclear
families, neither had father; two nuclear families, one with no father, one
complete with parents; two nuclear families, neither including the father, but
both had parents, two nuclear families, one without mother, one without
father but other family members; two nuclear families, one without father;
and two nuclear families, one complete and one with no father, but other
non-related individuals. Few women were workers who rented apartments
and lived alone.

143
Table 6.8
Structure of Household by Workplace
Structure of
Household
Home
Workplace of woman worker
Factory
Female Headed
28%
40%
Male Headed
Nuclear
40%
36%
Extended
32%
26%
Total
100% (35)
100% (75)
When considering the economic significance of extended versus
nuclear families, we must also consider at what phases of the domestic cycle
these households become extended, and why. Female-headed households
most frequently are extended during the expansion phase of the domestic
cycle. Male-headed households are more often extended during the
consolidation phase, partially to receive married children (Table 6.8). In this
way, households with different structures demonstrate different cyclical
patterns.
If we separate female-headed households into nuclear and extended
households, the pattern of household extension becomes clearer (Table 6.9).
Female-headed households begin as extended households nucleating during
the consolidation phase. This suggests that female-headed households begin
more frequently as expanded households, in part because childcare and
additional wage earners are available from other household members while
the women go to work. As the children grow old enough to care for
themselves, and enter the work force, female-headed households tend to

144
consolidate. Male-headed households on the other hand, begin nucleated
and extend under the consolidation phase. This differential pattern of
household expansion between male and female-headed households may be
due to the nature of employment of other women in the household (other
than the female worker). In male-headed households, women are more
frequently subcontracted industrial outworkers (Table 6.9). The higher wages
of men as compared to women explain, in part, why female-headed
households are expanded earlier in the domestic cycle of the household. In
addition, female-headed households tend to extend by incorporating workers
while male-headed households tend to extend by incorporating consumers.
This is seen by comparing the worker to consumer ratio by the household
structure. In male-headed households, children may have a better chance of
increasing their education and entering the labor force in a more
advantageous position, since the economic pressures of these households
during the consolidation phase are less.
Table 6.9
Household Extension by Domestic Cycle
Phase of Domestic Cycle
Type of Household Expansion Consolidation Dispersion Total
Nuclear Female
31 %
60 %
9%
100% (22)
Nuclear Male
37%
55 %
8 %
100% (40)
Extended Female
46 %
27%
7%
100% (15)
Extended Male
27%
63%
10 %
100%(30)

145
The structure of the household is strongly related to women's
contribution to the household budget (Table 6.10). Working women in
female-headed households contribute a higher percentage towards the
household budget, while female workers in nuclear male-headed households
contribute a smaller proportion.
Table 6.10
Structure of Household by Percentage Women Workers
Contribute to Budget
Contribution to Budget
Household Structure
0 35%
36 49%
50 70%
71 -100%
Female Headed
Male Headed
24%
29%
28%
68%
Nuclear
55%
43%
48%
16%
Extended
21%
29%
24%
16%
Total
100% (42)
100% (7)
100% (29)
100% (25)
The worker consumer ratio by workplace provides an indication of the
economic pressures on the household. This was determined by taking the
total number of individuals in the household (workers and consumers) and
dividing it by the number of income earners. The more workers in the
household, the higher the ratio. Table 6.11 demonstrates that the ratio of
workers to consumers is greatest in the extended female-headed households
and lower in the nuclear female-headed household category. Male-headed
households demonstrate the reverse. In these households, the worker-to-

146
consumer ratio is higher among nuclear male-headed households than it is
among extended male-headed households. Although this data is not
statistically significant it suggests that female-headed households become
extended by incorporating workers, whereas male-headed households more
frequently incorporate consumers (which are most likely children) when they
become extended.
Table 6.11
Worker-to-consumer Ratio by Household Structure
Worker-to-consumer Ratio
Average
Female headed
Nuclear
.45
Extended
.52
Male Headed
Nuclear
.434
Extended
.333
To further explore the hypothesis that economic pressures of the
household encourage women to assume better-paying factory jobs, let us
consider the relationship of the major economic provider of the household to
the female worker by the place in which the woman works. If economic
pressures of the household do encourage women to assume better-paying jobs,
then it would follow that women, in the household of factory workers are
more often the principle economic providers. Female factory workers are
likely to be the principal breadwinners, or daughters while subcontracted
industrial outworkers are more often dependent on the spouse (Table 6.12).

147
Table 6.12
Major Economic Provider by Workplace
Home Factory
Spouse
37%
12%
Self
37%
43%
Other
26%
45%
Total
100%
(35)
100% (75)
(Chisquare=17.718/ DF =11, Prob .088)
The percentage which women contribute to the household budget
reflects in part the economic pressures for women's labor force incorporation.
The greater the economic pressures for women's labor force participation, the
larger the percentage of the household budget women would be expected to
contribute. If the economic pressure were less, then women would be
expected to contribute less to the household budget. In the current study, a
significant relationship between women's workplace and their contribution
to the household budget was found. Subcontracted industrial outworkers
contributed an average of 45 % while the average for factory workers was 65%.
In this sample per capita income did not differ significantly by
workplace (Table 6.13). In fact, there is only a slight tendency for factory
workers households to have a higher per capita income.3 Factory workers'
households are more often female-headed (when compared to subcontracted
industrial outworkers households Table 6.8). The lower than expected per
3However, because of the way in which data were gathered on income (i.e. in
categories not as individual estimates), this measurement may not be exact.

148
capita income may reflect household extension in the case of the factory
workers.
Table 6.13
Number of Households According to Bi-Weekly Per Capita Income
(in Colombian pesos) and Workplace
Workplace
Home
Factory
Bi Weekly Income
1,000 4,999
6%
15%
5,000 9.999
46%
44%
10,000 -14,999
31%
16%
15,000 -19,999
9%
17%
20,000 24,999
9%
8%
Total
100% (35)
100% (75)
This section demonstrates that factory women are more likely to be
either daughters, or single mothers, household heads and major economic
providers. Subcontracted industrial outworkers are more likely to be spouses
and mothers. Although economic pressures push more women to work in
the factory, the households of both subcontracted industrial outworkers and
factory workers experience economic pressures (as evidenced in the worker to
consumer ratio). Further, female headed households tend to incorporate
more workers into the household (as opposed to consumers), and make
higher contributions to the household than women in male-headed
households.

149
Conclusions
In this chapter, I considered the major variables of the women's life
cycle and the domestic life cycle of the household as they affect women's labor
force participation. Women's position in the household, as well as their age,
marital status and ages of children were considered as significant variables of
women's life cycle. Forty two percent of the women interviewed stated that
they preferred to work at home because of their children, indicating that child
care is a significant factor limiting women's labor force incorporation.
However, child care was not a significant factor limiting women's labor force
incorporation among factory workers at the time of the interviews (i.e. few
women had children under six). Many mothers expressed the desire to be
with their children, and to have some influence in their training, even if they
were busy sewing.
While marital status was not statistically significant between the two
groups, there was a tendency for single women to work in the factory while
married women worked at home. Age was statistically significant. Factory
workers were significantly younger than subcontracted industrial outworkers
(average ages were 32 and 39 respectively). In the future, the age difference
between factory workers (especially multinational factories) and subcontracted
industrial outworkers will undoubtedly increase because of the policy of the
multinational factories to hire women between 19 and 25 years of age.
The domestic cycle was found to be a significant factor affecting
women's labor force participation. As women's position in the household
changes with the domestic cycle, the economic and ideological pressures she

150
experiences to participate in the labor force also change. For example,
although daughters may experience less economic pressure than women who
are heads of households to participate in the labor force, they also experience
less ideological constraints keeping them in the household. Women's
contribution to the household budget was generally higher when she was
household head indicating that female heads of households experience more
pressure to participate in the labor force.
The structure of the household, male or female headed, and nuclear or
extended affects women's labor force incorporation. Female-headed
households and male-headed households pursue different strategies
(regarding the incorporation of workers or consumers) when they become
extended. Female-headed households in this sample tended to extend
themselves more frequently by incorporating other workers (in part because
the lower salary of women compared to men necessitates more income
earners in the household when the major economic providers are women)
whereas extending male-headed households more frequently incorporate
consumers. Income per capita was found to be greatest during the
consolidation (as opposed to expansion) phase although this was not
statistically significant.
This chapter differentiates between the life cycle of the woman, and the
life cycle of the household. Both play an important role in shaping women's
entrance and exit from the labor force. Although these factors are related to
changing economic pressures of the household unit, these economic
pressures alone do not necessarily lead to the incorporation of women into
the labor force, but may lead to the extension of the family to include other
workers, though this is most often the case with female-headed households.
The headship of the household is not directly correlated with the domestic

151
cycle, although there is a tendency for female-headed households to be
concentrated in the consolidation phase. Households with different
structures of headship demonstrate different strategies for responding to the
economic pressures generated during the domestic cycle of the household.
These pressures include the addition of consumers (young children during
the phase of expansion), the introduction of other non-working family
members, and the rising costs of living (food prices, education, money spent
building home).
This analysis demonstrated that both subcontracted industrial
outworkers and factory workers experience considerable economic pressure to
generate an additional income. However, the subcontracted industrial
outworkers experience less pressure due largely to : (1) the lower percentage
of female heads of households among this group, and (2) the greater number
of workers demonstrated by the larger worker-to-consumer ratio.
The next chapter considers changing authority patterns and
women's role in household decision making as it is affected by the domestic
cycle of the household, the women's life cycle, and women's incorporation
into the labor force.

CHAPTER SEVEN
DECISION MAKING AND AUTHORITY PATTERNS IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Introduction
La autoridad en la casa. . los
dos compartidos, los dos tienen
puntos de autoridad.
Manuela (interview #139)
Authority in the household. .
we both share it, we both have
specific areas of authority.
Manuela (interview #139)
The study of the domestic cycle in the previous chapter demonstrates
that many socio-demographic and economic changes occur within the
household during this process. Often these changes lead to contradictions
and conflicts within the household. On the one hand, households generate
solidarity relationships which facilitate economic organization based on
multiple income-generating strategies. However changes occuring in the
domestic cycle also foment conflict in relationships of domination and
subordination in the workers' households. These power relationships express
themselves in decisions made daily.
This chapter discusses Colombian data to explore the hypothesis that
increasing women's income increases their authority (and their participation
in decision making in the household). In this research, women's
contribution to the budget is considered as an indicator of her economic
152

153
position within the household. Major variables utilized to analyze women's
increasing authority in the household include: the woman worker's age,
marital status, and her position in the household. It is hypothesized that
older women have more authority in the household; married women have
more authority in household decision making than single women; and that
female workers who are members of female headed households exhibit more
authority than women members of male headed households.
As Chapter Six demonstrated, subcontracted industrial outworkers
households have different structures from the households of factory workers.
This research further hypotheses that these different household structures
will lead to differing authority patterns. The households of subcontracted
industrial outworkers are more frequently members of nuclear male headed
families while factory workers households are more frequently female
headed (Table 6.8). Ethnographic information from the interviews is
provided to demonstrate that increasing women's income alone does not
directly increase her authority within the household. Rather a combination
of factors (including the women's age, her position within the household, her
work experience, and educational level) contribute to the degree of authority
which she exercises within the household.
Much research has shown that access to monetary income is an
important basis for the development of relationships of power in the
household (Bruce and Dwyer 1989; Roldan 1985; Safa 1990; Beneria and
Roldan 1987; Safilios-Rothschild 1976). For this reason, an analysis of the
access and control of income entering the household is a useful way of
uncovering mechanisms which reproduce and/or modify relationships of
domination and subordination.

154
However, household authority patterns cannot be reduced merely to
access and control of monetary income. Many factors aside from gender and
income (factors such as age and educational level) also affect power
relationships within the household. The structure of the household (nuclear
or extended), and male or female headship which influences women's labor
force incorporation must also be considered in an analysis of authority
patterns.
Household Authority Patterns
Workplace
When questioned about authority in the household, the majority of
the home-based workers and factory workers said that they did not feel that
having an income gave them any more power or authority within the
household. Factory workers in general did not state that they had any more
authority than subcontracted industrial outworkers. In fact, a larger
percentage of home-based workers felt that they had more authority in the
household than did factory workers (40 percent for home-based workers
versus 25 percent for factory workers Figure 7.1). However, this may be due to
the higher percentage of married women among home-based workers
compared to factory workers.

155
Response to Question: "Do you feel that you have more authority in
the household because you work?"
Household Authority by Workplace
Factory Home
Workplace
Figure 7.1
Women's Perception of Their Authority
in the Household by Their Workplace
Home ownership
Home ownership is hypothesized to be a significant variable which
provides women and men with a basis for asserting their authority. As one
informant stated "The house belongs to my parents, for this reason I am still
under their authority. "(Interview # 53). In this analysis, a consideration of
home ownership by workplace and authority patterns reflects the difference
in the household composition between workplaces. As discussed in Chapter
6, factory workers are more often younger, daughters, while home-based

156
workers are older, generally married. It is not surprising, therefore, that in
the case of the home-based workers, the household was owned by a male
household member, whereas in the case of the factory workers, the
household was owned just as frequently by a male or by a female family
member.
Table 7.1 demonstrates that there is a significant relationship between
workplace and home ownership (at the .05 level). A much larger percentage
of factory workers lived in households where another female family member
was the owner of the household (3% for home-based workers versus 19% for
factory workers), while a much higher percentage of home-based workers
lived in homes owned by a male family member (43% for home-based
workers versus 19 percent for factory workers). The largest percentage of
factory workers rented their home (43 percent compared with 34 percent for
home-based workers).
However, Table 7.2 demonstrates that home ownership does not
necessarily give women more perceived authority in the household. Of those
women who owned their home, less than 50% (6 out of 13) stated that they
had more authority in the household, regardless of their workplace.
To further analyze how authority relationships are manifested and
resolved in the households of the garment workers, let us consider the
following results of factory worker interviews which discuss management of
household economics through the budget.

157
Table 7.1
Home Ownership by Workplace
Home
Factory
Rented
34 %
43%
Owned House
Male family member
43%
19%
Female family member
3%
19%
Herself
14%
12%
Spouse
3%.
4%
Both together
3%
4%
Total
100% (35)
100% c

158
Table 7.2
Home Ownership by Authority in the Household
Response to Question:"Do you feel you have more
authority in the household because you work?"
No
Yes
Total
Rented
77%
23%
100% (44)
Owned
Male Family Member
62%
38%
100% (29)
Female Family Member
80%
20%
100% (15)
Herself
54%
46%
100% (13)
Spouse
100%
100% (5)
Both Together
100%
100% (5)
Access and Control of Budget
In this section, control of the budget is considered to be a major
mechanism leading to relationships of domination and subordination within
the household. Major variables considered in this discussion of control of the
household budget include: (1) who the workers stated was the main economic
provider for the household; (2) what percentage of the budget these workers
considered that they contributed to the household's income; (3) who controls
the budget as stated by the workers; (4) patterns of decision making on major
issues such as marketing, children's schooling and household labor

159
allocation, and (5) household authority patterns as expressed in the worker
interviews.
As shown in Chapter Six, the main economic provider of the
household varies depending on the workplace of the women. This
relationship is statistically significantly at the .05 level. Table 7.3
demonstrates that while 37 percent of the subcontracted industrial
outworkers workers cite their spouse or another male in the family as the
main economic provider, only 12 percent of factory workers do.
Table 7.3
Major Economic Provider by Workplace
Economic
Provider
Home
Factory
Spouse
37%
12%
or other male
Self
37%
55%
Both
14%
11%
Family
3 %
5%
Other
6%
17%
Total
100% (35)
100% (75)
Thirty seven percent of the home-based workers said they were
primarily responsible for the household income, compared to 55 percent of
the factory workers. This data further supports the hypothesis that women are
incorporated into the wage-labor force during phases of the domestic cycle
when they experience economic pressure to generate an additional income;
economic pressures leading to breaking of the cultural tradition which
relegates women solely to household (domestic) chores.

160
A comparison of percentage of budget contributed by worker with
control of the budget, reveals a positive relationship between what percentage
of the budget the worker provides and her ability to administer it (Table 7.4).
Table 7.4 and Table 7.5 demonstrate that percent contributed to the household
budget is statistically significant in determining household authority at the .05
level. Women who contribute more to the household budget state that their
increased income positively affects their position of authority within the
household.
When testing the response to the question, "Do you feel that you have
more authority in the household because of your work?" against the age,
educational level of the worker, position of the worker in the household and
contribution to the household budget, the only statistically significant factor
(at the .05 level) was contribution to the household budget.
When testing authority patterns against workplace and controlling for
women's position within the household, female factory workers who were
single mothers and household heads consistently felt that they had more
authority in the household because of their work. These households also
had fewer male members, indicating that it is more common for women
workers to have authority over other women than other men. This indicates
that there are several factors interacting in the determination of authority
patterns in the household, not only women's income generation, but also her
position within the household.

161
Table 7.4
Budget Control by Percent of Budget Contributed
Percent of Budget Contributed by Women
Less than 35
Who controls
Budget
36 to 50
51 to 75
76 to 100
Spouse
16%
0
0
8%
Self
23%
36%
52%
72%
Mother
19%
27%
17%
12%
Sister
12%
0
3.5%
0
Cousin
7%
0
3.5%
4%
Father
14%
36%
0
0
Both Self
and Spouse
9%
0
17%
4%
Another Family
Member
0
0
3.5%
0
Self and Other
0
0
3.5%
0
Total
100%
(43) 100%
(11) 100%
(29) 100% (25)

162
Table 7.5
Percent of Budget Contributed by Authority in Household
Response to Question:"Do you feel you have more authority in the
household because you work?"
No Yes
Percent Contributed to
Household Budget
0-35
48%
23%
36-50
8%
3%
51-75
30%
27%
76-100
14%
47%
Total
100% 75
100% 30
Table 7.6 demonstrates that although women do not always equate
making important decisions in the household with household authority,
there is a tendency for women who make important decisions in the
household to see themselves as having more authority.

163
Table 7.6
Who makes Important Decisions in the
Household by Women's Authority
Response to Question:"Do you feel you have more
authority in the household because you work?"
No
Important
Decision-Maker
Spouse
10%
3%
Self
23%
70%
Both
14%
13%
Brother
1%
0
Mother
13%
0
Father
13%
0
Parents
10%
3%
Sister
3%
0
Each individual
7%
7%
Other Female
3%
3%
relative
Other Male
3%
0
relative
Total
100% (78)
100%
Culture and the Household
In order to understand how women's labor force incorporation affects
patterns of household authority and decision-making, we must understand
the culture in which the women live and work. The mediating function of
the family or household is fundamental to understand the reproduction of

164
social values, which are reflected in household authority patterns. The
socialization process of the family provides children with a map to guide
them through their lives. Knowledge about the world is imparted through
the family. The degree to which parental structure influences the
socialization of children depends, to a large extent, on the structure of the
household.
Virginia Guttierrez de Pineda states that the dominant factor of
authority in Colombia is patriarchy, stimulated largely by the Church and the
State, who strive to maintain men in positions of power. According to
Guitterrez de Pineda (1986), children pass through a brief period when their
activities are indistinguishable by gender. Later on, the boy follows the father,
and helps him with his tasks, and the girl does the same, guided by the
mother and her values within the home. A period of socialization takes
place, in which the young boy is converted into a shadow of his father and
gradually assumes his tasks. The daughter is socialized in the image of her
mother, just as the male child assumes the roles of his father.
According to Rojas de Gonzales (1986) even though the number of
women who enter productive work is increasing, one still observes "cultural
and economic characteristics which are slow to change". She states:
. . cultural and economic characteristics which are only slowly
eradicated, transmitted through education and tradition from one
generation to another give way to family structures in which men
dominate over women. (P. 86 my translation).
Rojas de Gonzalez goes on to elaborate five principal issues affecting the
Colombian family in the recent decade. The following aspects centralized in
the urbanized districts of the intermediate and large cities include: (1) The
decreasing influence of the family in urban areas under highly competetive

165
circumstances (both economic and otherwise) emphasizing individual
achievement; (2) The tendency to permit women greater independence as they
increase their economic security; (3) According to a study by Ligia Echeverry de
Ferrufino (1987), the frequent and diverse types of de-facto union which make
up to 30% of the couples in the urban areas of Colombia lead to increasing
instability of the household; (4) The increasing amount of domestic violence
(Casa de la Mujer 1986) and (5) The influence of the mass media on the values
and ethics of the Colombian family. The increasingly widespread availability
of television and other forms of mass media portray a set of values and needs
which do not necessarily reflect the capacity of the average Colombian
household.
All of these factors contribute to the changing values of the Colombian
family, both within the household and workplace. Although it is anticipated
that women's income generation will increase their participation in
household decision making, this is not a direct correlation as the following
excerpts from interviews indicates (also see Ethnographic Vignettes in
Appendix D).
An analysis of ethnographic information from the interviews
demonstrates that the women's perception of 'authority' in the household is
an important factor to be considered in interpreting the data. The authority
and headship of the household is a result of the interaction of economic,
socio-demographic and socio-cultural factors. For example, when the women
were asked "Do you think that you have more authority in the household
because of your work?" a variety of responses were encountered. Their
clarification of the responses provides additional information about the
women's interpretation of authority within the household.

166
"No, work doesn't give one the right to command in the
house." (Interview #90)
"No, just because I work and provide some income, doesnt
mean that I'm going to demand more power" (Interview # 79)
"No, I wouldn't consider it fair"(Interviews #75, 76, 78)
"No, the decisions are made between the two" (Interview #125)
"The fact that one works doesn't give one any more authority,
nor does it take any away" (Interview #127)
"No, Everything is done together, there is no individuality"
(Interview #132)
"No, The fact that one works is a personal achievement,
everyone benefits" (Interview #139)
"All are equal and have the same rights." (Interview #112)
Those who did state that the work provided them with an economic basis for
more authority in the household stated the following:
"Yes, I'm contributing something and living experiences which
permit me to have more authority in the household and
demonstrate that I, too, am a person" (Interview # 89)
"Yes, but I only give orders to my children." (Interview # 68)
"I think so, because if I didn't work, my husband would be on
my back more. Working gives one more freedom." (Interview #
119)
"Yes, by having an income one has more security, more
autonomy." (Interview #131)
A few women reiterated the traditional belief that the male should be
considered the household head:

167
"No, I don't have more authority because the man is the one
who controls the household and makes the orders." (Interview
#48)
"No, the man should always be the one to rule in the
household." (Interview # 114)
Others expressed another culturally traditional belief that parents should rule,
demonstrating the significance of age in determining household authority
patterns.
"The authority always belongs to the eldest person" (Interview #
118)
"No, in any case one always has to ask permission from mama
for everything." (Interview #121)
"No, mama has always been the boss." (Interview #126)
"No, the parents should have the authority, both should rule"
(Interviews, #102, 113).
However, by far, the majority of those who did not feel they had more
authority interpreted the concept of authority to mean dominance in
household decision making. They did not perceive their work as giving
them more "dominance" in the process of household decision-making, but in
some cases it contributed to more egalitarian relationships in the household.
In this sence, their concept of the ideal model of power relationships in the
household was more democratic than those who reflected the traditional
"machismo" ideology of authority in which men dominate.

168
Conclusions
This chapter analyzes significant socio-economic and demographic
factors affecting household decision-making patterns. Workplace, position
in household, and access and control of budget were considered as significant
variables influencing women's decision making power in the household.
Although workplace affected women's income generating possibilities, it was
not a significant predictor of household decision making. Home ownership,
although significantly different by workplace, was not a significant predictor
of authority patterns either. The percent of income contributed to the
household budget was a significant predictor of the women's perception of
who controls the budget. In fact, women who contribute more to the
household budget state that their increased income positively affects their
position of authority within the household. In turn, women's position in the
household was found to be a significant predictor of her contribution to the
household budget with female heads of households contributing more.
When testing authority patterns against workplace and controlling for
women's position in the household, female factory workers who were single
mothers and household heads consistently felt that they had more authority
in the household. These were also the workers whose budgetary
contributions were higher. These households also had fewer male members,
indicating that it is more common for women workers to have authority
over other women than other men.
When testing the response to the question, "Do you feel that you have
more authority in the household because of your work?" against the age,

169
educational level of the worker, position of the worker in the household and
contribution to the household budget, the only statistically significant factor
(at the .05 level) was contribution to the household budget. Ethnographic
information from interviews demonstrate that the majority of the workers
interviewed do not consider that their paid employment alone gives them
more authority in the household. Rather, it is increased contribution to the
household budget which was the most powerful predictor of women's
perception of her household authority.

CHAPTER EIGHT
CONCLUSIONS
The uneven and unrestricted expansion of
capitalism {in Colombia} brought poverty at
the same time as it created wealth. Two
economies emerged to mirror the two faces of
the political order: the formal, measured
economy with its impressive statistics of
economic growth, and the other, where the
majority of people live and work, the so-
called informal economy.
Pearce 1991
This research analyzed the relationship between the organization of
gender relations in the household and women's labor force incorporation.
In order to analyze the impact of industrial restructuring on social
reproduction of households, this research considered: 1) the impact of
changes within the domestic cycle of the household on (a) the availability
of female labor, and (b) new patterns of household authority resulting
from women's sources of income, 2) the impact of factory recruitment
strategies on women's labor force incorporation, and 3) the impact of
changes in the structure of production, due to both political and economic
pressures in the region, on women's labor force incorporation and the
composition and structure of the workers' households.
Women's labor force incorporation is conditioned by the demand
for laborers as expressed in recruitment strategies of factories, and the
changing structure of production within the industry. As in other
170

171
multinational industries, the managers of the multinational garment
factory studied in this research expressed the policy practice of hiring only
women under 25 years of age with an education equivalent to 10th grade,
preferably single with no children. Obviously these requirements limit
the women who will be hired for this type of work. This recruitment
strategy was not expressed by the factories with solely domestic capital,
only those with mixed capital. Further, in Colombia both the political
condition and the economic situation have encouraged the development
of small micro-enterprises subcontracted to the larger factories. The great
majority of workers in these small micro-enterprises which produce
garments in Risaralda are women (SENA 1987). Encouraging the
development of small-scale enterprises without regulating the types of
contracts possible with the larger factories, increases the exploitation of
women workers in these small factories. In fact, women working in the
small-scale enterprises are paid the lowest salaries and given the worst
benefits of any other workers (interview of History Professor in Pereira
1988).
Research Findings
At the household level, this research describes how women's domestic
responsibilities and social relationships in the household limit her options in
the labor market. It was found that women with additional household
responsibilities (especially wives and mothers) are more likely to participate
in home-based production. However, female heads of household are more
frequently found in the factory where they can command higher salaries.
Further, differences in household composition lead to different social

172
relationships which are correlated with different authority patterns within
the household.
Marriage and childcare also affect women's labor force incorporation.
Single women and female household heads worked more frequently in the
factory, while married women are more likely to work in subcontracted
industrial outwork. Industrial outworkers also have more children. In
addition, women's contribution to the household budget was higher if she
was the household head. This research provides tentative findings related to
patterns of household extension. Female headed households tend to become
extended by incorporating workers, while male headed households more
frequently incorporate consumers.
At the workplace level this research has demonstrated how informal
methods of contracting labor are increasing due largely to increasing
international competition which requires cheaper labor. This increasing
informality of contracts, includes not only subcontracted industrial outwork
but also labor relationships within the factory (especially the factory with
solely domestic capital) making them less stable. This increasing
informalization of the labor market and utilization of subcontracting leads to
increasing subordination of women's position in the labor market.
The relationship between the household and workplace is quite
complex. Both the structure of the labor market and the structure of the
household determine women's labor force incorporation, but not in
isolation. The structure of the household affects the supply of workers
available to meet the labor market demand for workers. This includes such
factors as the age and marital status of women, their position in the
household, and their household composition.

173
Theoretical Contributions of this Study
In light of the research presented in this dissertation, we now return
to some of the initial questions presented in Chapter One. This research
describes the impact of industrial restructuring and fragmentation of the
production process (which facilitates capital accumulation in the large
enterprises) on social reproduction of the household. It considers both
material (i.e. economic contributions to the household budget) and
ideological (i.e. patterns of household decision making) factors affecting
household patterns of interaction. This study confirms the hypothesis
stated by Beneria and Roldan (1987) and Safa (1990) that women's control
over their incomes (as measured in contribution to the household budget)
contributes to their perception of their authority in the household.
In theoretical discussions of women's work, it is important to
emphasize the role played by ideology in analyzing economic reality,
while also considering the material bases of ideological processes. For
example, the concentration of wives and mothers in subcontracted
industrial outwork is, in part, the consequence of conditioning factors that
include ideological elements such as the "proper" role of wife and mother,
and material elements such as the household's division of labor, and the
husband's contribution to the household income (Beneria and Roldan
1987). Also, these women can afford to earn less because they generally
have a male wage earner. In the workplace, the interaction between
material and ideological factors are also in evidence. For example, lower
wages for women are related to occupational segregation and also to an

174
ideological justification of women as secondary or supplemental income
earners (see also Beneria and Roldan 1987, Safa 1990).
This research contributes to the literature on women and
development. The analytical perspective provided here critiques the
modernization framework which states that development increases
women's status. Though with the new international division of labor,
women (as opposed to men) are more frequently incorporated into the
labor force of the multinational industries, these jobs pay poorly and offer
little advancement. This new international division of labor is part of
industrial restructuring on the international level which places firms with
domestic capital at increasingly disadvantageous positions. These firms
with domestic capital more frequently resort to subcontracting in a chain
like fashion (as described in Chapter Four) to cut costs in both labor and
infrastructure. At the national level women working in factories or as
subcontracted industrial outworkers are also subordinated to the needs of
both national and international capitalists.
In considering the impact of industrial restructuring on social
reproduction, this research emphasized how fragmentation of the labor
process contributes to women's subordination in the workplace and in
subcontracted industrial outwork. Integral to the fragmentation of the
production process are studies which document the impact that the new
international division of labor has on women's work. This study
contributes further to research documenting the employment of women
as a cheap source of labor utilized by multinational and national factories
throughout the world (Frobel, Heinriches and Kreye 1980, Elson and
Pearson 1981, Safa 1981, 1990, Nash and Fernandez-Kelly 1983, Beneria and
Roldan 1987).

175
This increasing incorporation of female workers contributes to
women assuming more important economic roles in the household.
Household relationships were shown to change with women's labor force
incorporation. However, by illustrating that women's labor force
participation does not lessen her household responsibilities, this research
demonstrates that labor force incorporation is not always liberating for
women. On the contrary, this activity often results in women's increasing
subordination and the "double day".
However, the fact that women's labor force incorporation is not
necessarily "liberating" for women does not mean that women should
remain at home and not work. Rather this study emphasizes that for paid
employment for women to be liberating, working conditions and pay
must be improved (for men as well as women) and measures must be
taken to alleviate women's houseyold burdens, not only through
informal kin networks, but through greater sharing of domestic tasks with
men and state support of child care.
One additional benefit of women's labor force incorporation is its
impact on authority patterns. However, this is not a direct and
mechanical relationship. Rather, women's increased authority in the
household appears to be correlated with the extent of their contribution to
the household budget. Ideological factors again play a role. It appears that
in Colombia, patriarchal ideology is stronger, perhaps because of the
influence of the Catholic church than in the Caribbean or Mexico (Safa
1990, Beneria and Roldan 1987).
This study contributes to research on women's labor force
incorporation in Colombia such as those by Leon (1982), Deere and Leon
(1982), Bonilla (1985), and Truelove (1988, 1990). Specifically this research

176
utilizes the methodology of Beneria and Roldan (1987) to analyze the
impact of the restructuring of production on women's labor force
incorporation both in the factory and the home. Unlike Beneria and
Roldan, who focus solely on subcontracted industrial production, this
research compares factors at both the household and factory level as they
affect women's labor force incorporation. The research concludes that
subcontracted industrial outwork incorporates women into the labor force
in a subordinate position, reducing production costs for the larger
capitalist enterprise. Further, the increasing fragmentation of the
production process and the increasing use of maquila in the garment
industry decreases the cost of contracting factory workers for the large
multinational factories. Generally workers are only contracted for a short
period of time, or for a specific order (such as an order of shirts, skirts, etc.).
This increasingly subordinate incorporation of women occurs at a time
when there is a growing reliance on women's contribution to the
household budget for sustenance of the household which becomes
particularly important in the case of the female headed households.
Prospects for the Colombian Case
In May of 1990, Colombians elected a new president Cesar Gaviria
Trujillo. The choice of candidates in this election had been severely
narrowed by assasinations of three candidates, two of them representing
the left. This violence, contrary to popular belief, is not solely a result of
vengeful drug lords, or opportunistic politicians vying for a piece of the
political pie. Rather this violence is symptomatic of a much deeper socio-

177
economic conflict. Behind the bloody cocaine wars lies a class struggle
which has been the source of violent uprisings in the country for
centuries.
Although this complex socio-economic conflict at the source of
Colombia's political violence was not the focus of the research, this
analysis of the female labor force in the garment industry highlights many
of the difficulties facing the heterogeneous Colombian working class. This
study provides a description of one sector of the working class, the
garment industrial labor force, emphasizing (1) the impact of industrial
restructuring on the dynamic nature of this sector of the working class, (2)
the role of women in the reproduction of this class, and (3) the ideological
implications for the changing material conditions of these women
workers for authority patterns in the household. This study describes the
lives of women forced to contribute to their families means of survival in
the intermediate industrializing city of Pereira. Through an
understanding of their struggles, then, can come insight into the socio
economic problems which this country must seriously examine if it is to
break the century old cycle of violence.
As international capitalists continue to seek cheaper sources of labor,
and Latin American countries seek new sources of capital for industrial
development, the plight of workers (especially women) is difficult. However,
these workers' households demonstrate considerable flexibility in their
adaptation to harsh economic circumstances. Since women have
traditionally been relegated to precarious economic positions, it is no surprise
that they continue to represent a highly vulnerable sector of the labor force.
With the economic opening in Colombia, the competition for international
markets deepens. The effect on the working class households, as women

178
assume positions of economic importance in the household, yet continue to
be incorporated in subordinate positions in the economy is hardly a desirable
advance for industrial "development".

APPENDIX A
Interview with Workers
PROYECTO MAQUILADORAS
Datos sobre la unidad Domestica-PREGUNTAR A TODAS
ANNEXO A CAPITULO II
Pl. Quienes de la familia han salido fuera del hogar?
Nombre / A donde / Hace cuanto / De que Trabaja / Envia Dinero
P2. Cual considera usted es la entrada econmica principal en su
casa?
P3. Cuanto da cada uno de los miembros de la familia para los
gastos familiares?
P3a. A Quien le da el dinero del gasto?
P4. Ayuda con el quehacer de la casa?
P4a. Que hace?
1. Llavar
2. Planchar
3. Hacer las compras
4. Cuidar los ios
5. Limpiar la casa
6. Cocinar
8. No Sabe 9. NA
P4b. Cada cuando?
SI VIVE CON SU FAMILIA DE PROCREACION (No Solteras)
ANEXO A CAPITULO HA
Pl Se ha casado usted mas de una vez?
Plb. Cuantas veces se ha casado Ud. anteriormente?
Pie. Esta en union civil?
P2. En que ano se caso (se fue a vivir) con su primer marido?
P2a. Cuantos anos tenia Ud cuando se caso (se fue a vivir
con su primer marido) por primera vez?
P2b. Cuantos anos tenia su primer marido cuando se casaron
(empezaban a vivir juntos)?
P2c. En su caso, en que ano (se caso) se fue a vivir con
179

180
su segundo marido?
P3 Tenia hijos cuando Ud. se caso?
P3a. Cuantos anos tenia sus hijos cuando Ud. se caso? (Nombre, edad)
P4. Cuantos anos llevan (llevaban) de casados?
P5. Le gustaria tener mas hijos, porque?
P6. Hace algo para evitarlos? Que?
P7. Cuantos hijos tiene actualmente?
P8. Cuantos anos tenia Ud. cuando tuvo el primer hijo?
P9. Si tiene hijos de menos de 6 anos, quien le
ayuda a cuidar a los hijos?
PIO Cuantos de sus hijos ya se casaron?
Pll. Se han casado algunas de sus hijas?
P12. Cree que tiene(n) un buen marido? Por que?
SI ES SEPARADA
P13. Usted Dice que es separada, Cuantos hijos tenia
cuando se separo de su primer marido ?
P14. Cuantos anos tenia sus hijos cuando Ud. se
separo? (Nombre, edad)
P15. Hace cuanto tiempo que se separo de su esposo?
P15a. Tambin se divorciaron?
P15b. Quien decidi separarse o divorciarse?
P16. Le gustaria volverse a casar, porque?
P17. Trabajaban sus hijos cuando se divorcio?
Nombre / Trabajo
P18. Recibia o recibe alguna ayuda de su esposo, aunque esten
separados?
SI ES VIUDA
P19. Hace cuanto tiempo muri su esposo?
(anos, meses, semanas) 8. No Sabe 9. NA
P20. Cuantos anos hace que usted esta casada con su esposo
actual?
SI LA OBRERA VIVE CON SU FAMILIA DE ORIGEN (Soltera)
ANNEXO A CAPITULO IIB
Pl. Se casaron sus papas?
P2. Hace cuanto que viven juntos?
P2b. Usted les da dinero para el gasto?
P3. Cuantos anos tenia su mama cuando se casaron?
P4. Cuantos anos tenia su papa?
P5. Cuantos hijos en total han tenido sus papas?
SI ESTAN SEPARADOS

181
P6. Hace cuanto se separaron?
P7. Porque se separaron (especificar quien tomo la decision)
SI ES VIUDA
P9. Hace cuanto enviudo? Recibe pension (Cuanto)?
DATOS GENERALES DE LA OBRERA (Repitelas para el jefe de la
familia si la obrera no es jefa.)
CAPITULO m (A y B)
Pl. Donde naci?
Pa. Vino directamente de alii a Pereira?
Plb. Por que vino a Pereira
1.Trabajo 2. Familia 3 No Se 4. NA 5. Otra Razn
Pie. Cuando llego a esta ciudad estaba Ud:
1. Casada (Pase aid)
2. Union Civil
3. Union Temporal
4. Separada
5. Divorciada
6. Nunca Casada Soltera
7. Otra Especificar
8. No Sabe 9.NA
Pld. Me dijo que era casada, ?su familia le acompao
cuando se mudo a este lugar?
1. Si, esposo y hijos 2. Si, solo esposo
3. Si, solo hijos 5. No 8. No Sabe 9. NA
P2. Trabajaba cuando llego a la ciudad?
1. Si (Pase a 2a ) 5.No (Pase a Capitulo III) 8. NS 9. NA
P2a. Que tipo de trabajo consigui primero?
P2b. Cuantos anos tenia?
P3. Enviaba parte de su ingreso a personas que viven en
otra ciudad?
P3a. Mas o menos que porcentage del sueldo envia?
1. Todo
2. Mas que la mitad
3. Mitad
4. Menos que la mitad
8. No Sabe 9. NA

182
ANEXO A CAPITULO IIIC
HISTORIA DE TRABAJO
Pl. Trabaja su papa? (si no, en que trabajaba?)
Pa. Hasta que ano estudio su papa?
P2. Trabaja su mama? (si no, en que trabajaba?)
P2a. Hasta que ano estudio su madre?
P3. Cuanto hace que trabaja en la costura?
P3a. Trabajo antes como modista?
P3b. Como aprendi a coser?
P3c. Cuantos anos tenia?
P4. En cuantos lugares ha cosido por sueldo, cuando y porque ha
dejado de trabajar?
P5. Que hacia antes de entrar a trabajar como costurera?
P5a. Cuantos anos tuvo cuando tenia el primer trabajo
pagado? y cual fue?
P6 Con que frecuencia recibe el salario del primer empleo?
P7 Cuanto es su ingreso mensual?
1. Entre 1.000 24.999 mil
2. Entre 25.000 37.499 mil
3. Entre 37.500 49.999 mil
4. Entre 50.000 62.499 mil
5. Entre 62.500 74.999 mil
6. Mas que 75.000 8. No sabe
P8 Cual es el ingreso familiar total mensual?
1. Entre 1.000 24.999 mil
2. Entre 25.000 37.499 mil
3. Entre 37.500 49.999 mil
4. Entre 50.000 62.499 mil
5. Entre 72.500 74.999 mil
6. 75.000 y mas 8. No Sabe
P9 Firmo Ud. un contrato?
PIO Sabe Ud. las condiciones de su contrato?
PlOa. Cuales son?
DATOS DE LAS OBRERAS FABRILES
ANNEXO A CAPITULO IIIC1
Pl. En que fabrica trabaja actualmente?
P2. Porque busco este trabajo?
P2a. Como supo de el?
P2b. Cuanto tiempo lleva trabajando aqui?

183
P3. Cual es su horario?
P4. Que pasa si llega tarde?
P5. Que pasa si falta?
P6. Realiza Ud. horas extras en su trabajo? (Sondea si de forma
voluntaria o de forma obligitario?)
P6a. Con que frecuencia trabaja horas extras?
P6b. A Como le paga las horas extras?
P6c. El mes pasado, Cuantas horas extras trabajo?
P7. Como se organizan los descansos?
P8. Cual es su horario diario (sondea a que hora se levanta, que
hace, a que hora se acuesta, etc.)
P9. Que produce la fabrica donde trabaja?
P9a. Hace trabajo para otras fabricas de ropa?
P9b. Mando trabajo para otras fabricas de ropa?
PIO. Que tipo de maquinas tiene la fabrica (industrial, pedal,
etc)?
Pll. Cuantas obreras tiene la fabrica?
P12. Como se organiza el trabajo en la fabrica (por ejemplo hay
cuotas minimas, etc.)?
P13. En que consiste su trabajo (como es que la pusieron alli)?
P14. Hace lo mismo que cuando empez aqui?
P14a. Que hacia antes?
P15. Hay premio y castigos?
P16. Cuales son?
P17. Le hicieron pruebas para contratarla?
P17a. En que consistieron?
P17b. Le pagaron por ellas?
P18. Firmo papeles para empezar a trabajar?
Por observacin
19. El campo de trabajo es de pie, sentado o cambia?
P20. Tiene buena luz, ventilacin, es comoda su silla?
Preguntar
P21. Que maquina maneja Ud. ?
P22. Le pagan por pieza o le dan salario?
1. Por pieza 5. Salario 9. NA
P22a. Cuanto gana por pieza o mensual?
P23. Sabe Ud. cual es el salario minimo oficial?
P23a. Cuanto ganaba Ud.(semanal o mensual) cuando comenz a
trabajar en esta fabrica?
P23b. Cuanto gana ahora?
P23c. Se mantiene la familia con su salario?
P24. Ademas de los ingresos por su(s) trabajo(s) ?Que otra
entrada econmica se genera en el hogar y quien la aporta?
(Sondear si es necessario: Por ejemplo: rentas, pensiones por

184
accidentes, ayuda de familiares, vende hielo o ropa, pension del
padre para el (los) hijo(s)?)
P25.Como distribuye usted su salario (En que gasta Usted su
salario)? Le pide permiso a alguien para gastarlo? A quien?
P26. Ademas de su sueldo que otras prestaciones tiene?
P27. La empresa le admite trabajar durante su embarazo? Hasta
que tiempo?
P27a. Tiene licencia de Maternidad (40 dias hbiles)?
P27b. Le da permiso de lactancia (una hora?)
P28. Se ha embarazado alguna vez?
P29. Porque trabaja ahora?
P29a. Porque empez a trabajar?
P29b. Dejara de trabajar si pudiera?
P30. Ha visto Ud. muchos cambios en las condiciones de la
fabrica desde que comenz a trabajar aqui?
P31. Ademas del dinero, en que la ha beneficiado trabajar?
P32. En su caso, cuanto tiempo piensa trabajar?
SI LE PAGAN AL DESTAJO
P36. Cuanto gano la semana pasada?
P37. Cuantas piezas cosio?
P38. Como se lleva el control de lo que cose?
P39. Siempre hace lo mismo?
P39a. Como se decide que va a hacer Ud. (le hacen pruebas o
otra cosa)?
P40. Le piden un minimo de piezas?
P40a. Que pasa si no las hace?

185
OBRERAS DOMICILIARIAS
ANEXO A CAPITULO IIIC2
Pl. Porque trabaja en la casa en vez de trabajar en la
fabrica?
Pa. Para quien trabaja?
Plb. Cuanto tiempo lleva trabajando en casa?
Pie. Cual es su horario? (Cuantas horas trabajas diario?)
P2. Como consigui este trabajo?
P3. Ha tenido problemas en cuanto al pago del trabajo? (Cuales
son)
P4. Se lo traen o Ud. va a buscarlo?
P4a. Donde recoge el trabajo (para que fabrica trabaja)?
P4b. Cada cuando recoge y entrega?
P4c. Como se organiza Ud. para recoger y entragar?
P4d. Le exigen cuota fija?
P4e. Como sabe como le van a pagar?
P4f. Se lo revisan antes de pagarle?
P4g. Que pasa si no les gusta su trabajo?
P5. Cada cuando se lo traen?
P5a. Le traen siempre lo mismo?
P5b. Le piden cuota fija?
P5c. Que pasa si no cumple con ella?
P5d. Cuando sabe como le van a pagar?
P6. Que cosio1 la semana pasada?
P7. A como le pagaron cada pieza?
P8. Cuantas horas trabajo ayer?
P9. Cuantas piezas hizo?
PIO. Le dieron todo el material?
Pll. Puso Ud. el hilo?
P12. Cuantos dias a la semana trabaja regularmente?
P12a. Siempre hace lo mismo?
P13. Es suya la maquina de costura?
P14. Como lo compro?
P15. Que tipo de maquina es
P16. Quien paga su mantenimiento?
P17. Le ayudan alguien de la familia con la costura (quien?)?
P17a. A veces o de manera regular?
P17b. Cuanto dinero ganaba Ud. cuando comenz a trabajar en
casa?
P17c. Cuanto dinero gana ahora?
P18. Ademas de su sueldo, que otras prestaciones tiene?
P19. Porque trabaja?
P19a. Porque empez a trabajar?
P20. Que hace Ud. con el dinero que gana?
P20a. Se mantiene la familia con su salario?

186
P20b. Ademas de los ingresos por sus trabajos que otra
entrada econmica se genera en el hogar y quien le aporta? (por
ejemplo: rentas, pensiones por accidentes, ayuda de familiares,
vende ropa, comida, pension del padre para los hijos, etc.)
P20bl Le pide permiso a alguien para gastarlo?
P20c. Que gastos de la casa cubre el marido?
P20d. Que gastos de la casa cubre Ud?
P20e. Le queda algo de ahorrar o para gastos personales?
P22. Dejara de trabajar si pudiera?
P23. Conoce otras seoras que costen?
ORGANIZACION FAMILIAR
CAPITULO IV
P1. De quien es esta casa?
P2. Como la consiguieron?
P3 Como se organizan los gastos de la casa?
P4 Quien los administra?
P5 Quien toma las decisiones importantes en la casa?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona (especificar)
8. No Sabe 9. NA
P6 Quien decide si los hijos van a la escuela?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona
8. No Sabe 9. NA
P7 Quien decide que van a comprar con la canasta familiar?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona
8. No Sabe 9. NA

187
P8 Quien decide si los hijos trabajan?
1. Ella 5. Su esposo
6. Otra persona
P9 Cree que porque usted trabaja tiene mas autoridad en la casa?
Porque:
PIO Que tipo de trabajo hace su esposo actualmente?
PlOa. En que trabajaba antes?
PlOb. Se ha encontrado su esposo desempleado alguna vez?
1 .Si, cuantas veces 2. No 8. No Sabe 9. NA
Pll. Podria su familia mantener el mismo nivel de vida que tiene
ahora si usted no trabajara?
P12. Que tal satisfecha esta Ud. con su vida? Por que? (Vease
la hoja separada)
P13. Si pudiera cambiar algn aspecto de su trabajo, cual
seria?
P14. Que tal satisfecha esta Ud. ahora con su trabajo?
P15. Que es lo que mas le gusta a Usted de su trabajo
actual?
P15a. Que es lo que menos le gusta?
P16. Le gustaria que su hija (si la tuviera) hiciera este
trabajo?
P17. Su sueldo rinde actual que antes? (porque lo dice?)
P18. Que otras cambios se ha notado en la situacin actual
recientemente?
P19. Si perdiera este trabajo, que hara Usted?
P20. Hay otra cosa que le gustaria contarme?

APPENDIX B
Questionnairre for personnel managers (In Spanish)
Cuestionario para los gerentes encargados de personal
Estoy realizando un estudio para el titulo del doctorado describiendo las
condiciones de produccin industrial actual en la industria de confecciones y
a futura expansion de la industria de confeccin en Colombia.
Pl. Nombre de la Empresa
P2. Ao de fundacin:
P3. Casa Matriz y origen (Ownership another company).
P4. Que tipo de ropa produce la fabrica?
P5. Numero de empleados/obreros
Total
Hombres:
Mujeres:
P5a. Distribucin ocupacional:
Administrativa: No. Hombres:
No. Mujeres:
Operarios: No. Hombres
No. Mujeres
Supervisoras: No. Hombres
No. Mujeres
Secretarias: No. Hombres
No. Mujeres
P6. Tiene contratas con otras fabricas para hacerles
trabajo? Cuales? y que hace?
P6A. Hace cuanto hacia trabajo para otras fabricas?
Por Que?
P7. Manda trabajo para otras fabricas? Que porcentage? A quien se lo manda?
Que parte del processo de produccin manda?
P7A. Porque manda trabajo para otras fabricas?
P7B. Hace cuanto manda trabajo para otras fabricas?
P7C. Manda trabajo a trabajadoros en sus casas? Que
porcentage? Porque?
Ventas: Especifique porcentajes o nmeros absolutos.
P8. Exportan productos de confeccin a otros paises?
188

189
OPCIONAL
P8a. A donde exportan (y cuanto se exportan)?
(1987-1988 or 1986-1987)
Anos anteriores 1982

190
P8b. Cuanto vende en el mercado domestico?
Colombia:
PREGUNTAR A TODAS
P9. Piensa usted que tiene buenos oportunidades en el
mercado domestico para sus productos? Porque?
P9a. Piensa que tiene buenos oportunidades en el
mercado internacional? Porque?
PIO. Cual es el tipo de relacin laboral con los empleados
administrativos?
PIO A. Cual es el tipo de relacin laboral con los
operarios?
Pll. Prefieran costureras recomendado de canales formales
(como SENA) o informales? (vecina, hermana, etc.)? Porque?
Pila. Cuantas mujeres toman cursos formales?
P12. Tiene servicio de guarderia o un subcidio respectivo?
1. Si 5. NO 8. NA
P13. Ademas del sueldo que otras prestaciones legales
reciben los trabajadores (como seguro social, etc.)?
P13a. Ademas del sueldo que otras prestaciones estra-
legales reciben los trabajadores (como bienestar familiar,
cajas de compensacin)?
P14.Ha cambiado mucho la estructura de produccin de la
fabrica desde 1982 ?
P14a. Como les ha afectado las devaluaciones de las
monedas en los paises vecinos?
P15. Hay sindicato en la fabrica?
OPCIONAL
P15a. Cuales son los sindicatos (o el sindicato) de la
fabrica?
P15b. Si no hay sindicato, firman un pacto o un
convenio collectivo con trabajadores?
PREGUNTAR A TODAS
P16. Como se organizan los descansos en la fabrica?
P17. Como se organiza el trabajo en la fabrica? Por
ejemplo hay cuotas minimas, etc.
P18. Existe algn tipo de incentivo o prima?
P19a. Que pasa si no cumplen programas establicidas?
P20. Hacen pruebas para contrarar los empleados? En que
consisten las pruebas?
P21. Con que frequencia (y en que casos) trabajan horas

191
extras?
P22. Me podra dar una lista de todas las empleadas para
entrevistas informales en sus casas?
P23. Hay otra cosa que le gustara contarme?
P24. Me permite mirar los archivos de personal para sacar
una muestra representativa de los trabajadoras?
P25. Me permite hablar con trabajadoras sociales de las
fabricas?

APPENDIX C
Spouse Employment
Table C.l, Spouse Employment by Workplace, shows that the
occupation of spouses varies significantly within each category. However,
there is no major difference which can be noted between the two categories.
This data do not support the hypothesis that spouses in home-based workers
households have more stable employment. However, only data gathered in
homes where spouses were present demonstrate the occupation of a male
wage earner. In other households where the head was the father, or brother,
the occupation of the major income earners was not noted unless the worker
was the daughter. This data, therefore, cannot be used to support or refute the
hypothesis that the employment of household heads in home-based
households is more stable than that of factory worker households.
192

193
Table C.l
Spouse Employment by Workplace
Workplace
Home
Factory
Watchman
5
4
Construction Worker
0
3
Cafeteria Worker
0
2
Chauffeur, Bus Driver
4
3
Metal Factory Worker
0
3
Accountant
0
1
Solderer
3
1
Musician
0
1
Artisan
1
3
Furniture Worker
0
3
Mechanic
3
2
Merchant
2
2
(Agricultural)
Fisherman
0
1
Agriculturalist
1
0
Garment Store
2
0
Journalist
1
1
Shoe Repair
1
0
Design/Garments
2
1
Textiles
0
1
Spouse Absent/no info
10
43
Total
35
75
Further, Table C.2 demonstrates that type of spouse employment had little
influence on authority.

194
Table C.2
Type of Spouse Employment by Authority in the Household
Response to Question: "Do you feel you have more
authority in the household because you work?"
Spouse Employment
No
Yes
Artisan
1
3
Furniture Worker
2
1
Mechanic
3
2
Merchant
3
1
(Agricultural)
Fisherman
1
0
Agriculturalist
1
0
Garment Store
1
1
Journalist
1
1
Shoe Repair
1
0
Spouse Absent/no info
12
38
Total
35
75

Appendix D
Household Ethnographies
Factory Worker's Household
Angela 29 has three children Sergio 10, Ruben 9, and Marcia 5. She
came to Pereira from a nearby rural community with her family and husband
when she was 18. They came to Pereira to look for work. Her father died four
years ago, at which time Angela began to work in a garment factory.
Although she had never worked as a seamstress, she quickly learned to sew
in the large multinational factory. She worked in the factory for 7 months,
but the schedule was difficult (from 7 in the evening to 6 in the morning
Monday through Thursday, Fridays from 7 till 5 and Saturday from 12 until
production was finished, sometimes going on until 10:00 at night). She was
fired when she had her third child.
However, one year after the birth of her child, they called her again.
She worked from 7 at night till 6 in the morning again. When she returned
home from, the factory she prepared breakfast for her husband and got her
children off to school. The youngest daughter stayed with a neighbor while
Angela slept. During the evening while she was at work, her husband
(unemployed) watched the children. (Angela's husband had worked in a
small micro-enterprise which made shoes, but the shop went bankrupt and
he lost his job in the fall of 1988.) Usually Angela went to bed at 8 or 9 in the
morning and slept till 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
When her children arrived home from school she'd prepare them
some dinner and prepare her "lunch" for work then leave to catch the bus for
the 20 minute ride to the factory. However, because Angela did not meet her
production quotas, she was transferred to one of the factories which
subcontracted to the large multinational factory and made women's blouses.
This factory was smaller. Whereas the other large multinational factory
employed over 900 operators, this factory employed only 300 workers, and
had approximately 4 workshops. However Angela stated that it was very hot
in the factory, especially during the day. Although she does not enjoy her
work, Angela's contribution to the household budget is essential for the
economic survival of her family.
(Interview #11)
195

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Kathleen Gladden was born in Grove City, Pennsylvania, in 1960. She
received a B.A. in psychology with a Spanish minor from Allegheny College
in Meadville, Pennsylvania, 1982 and a masters degree in Latin American
studies from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1984. Upon graduation
from the University of Florida she will continue her research interests in the
impact of development on women and children in Latin America.
214

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Dr. Helen Safa, Chairman
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosoph)
'ThWMuuu
Dr. Marianne Schmink
Associate Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor ofPhilosqphy. a.
Dr. Anthony^iDliver-Smith
Associate^irofessor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree
)r. David Bushnell
Professor of History
This thesis was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of
Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy .
May, 1991
Dean, Graduate School