Enlace is a strategic alliance of low-wage worker centers, unions, and community organizations in Mexico and in the U.S. We partner with our member organizations in international campaigns to motivate abusive multi-sector transnational corporations to treat workers and communities with dignity and respect.
Enlace uses an integrated approach to organizing, creating unique campaign strategies while developing systems strengthening organizations internally. Our strategies often cross industrial and sector lines for reasons relating to both workforce development and campaign strategy.
In addition, the Enlace Institute presents trainings in strategic organization development that were developed over the many years of learning through our campaigns. Our collaborative brainstorming processes are useful for virtually all work groups in base-building organizations.
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Who We Are
Organizing the Working Poor
In 1996 and 1997 Peter Cervantes-Gautschi traveled the U.S. and Mexico interviewing leaders of groups that organize low-wage workers. This cross border element was present at the outset because a large proportion of the workers in the U.S. were Mexican immigrants, and the workers in Mexico were employed in the production chains of U.S.-based transnational corporations. Through these discussions he determined that the groups shared certain common challenges, chief among them the need to continually regenerate the organization. This involves the ability of the organization to build and train a strong, democratic leadership, to become strategic (every step planned and intended by the leadership), and to develop a life of its own, constantly incorporating new people and new energy.
With this in mind, seventeen of these groups founded Enlace in 1998 to help them learn from each other’s experiences and to explore other ways of strengthening their organizations. By continuing to listen carefully to the needs of these organizations, we have grown steadily and now have many affiliates that represent a base of approximately 300,000 low-wage workers. Enlace has developed a series of training programs with pedagogical methods familiar to elite institutions but rarely made available to low-wage workers with the objective of assisting them in their struggle for social and economic justice.
The Influence and Impact of Multinational Corporations in the Lives of All Sectors of Society
Since our founding in 1998, global corporations have grown dramatically in power and industrial diversity to the point that they now control labor standards in the industries where most low wage workers are employed in both the United States and Mexico. Additionally, institutional infrastructures that play a role in the extent to which we have control over our own lives, such as banks, transportation systems, and prisons are also rapidly coming under the control of global corporations.