Mexico is a major manufacturer of medical products, with $9billion of low-tech medical products exported to the US every year. These products are often then sold onto the NHS through US distributors. This can be seen in UK hospitals with products described as ‘Assembled’ or ‘Packaged’ in Mexico.
Mexico has been seriously affected by the global financial crisis which is creating a downward pressures on prices and decreasing demand, compounded by competition from other manufacturing zones such as China. This can lead to cuts in wages and labour standards as companies try to lower costs and remain competitive, which can have a serious impact on workers.
Factory workers are being moved into units based in their homes, where they are not paid regular wages or entitled to benefits. Neither working conditions or the identity of workers is not checked, which risks the use of child workers.