“We Feel Abandoned and Disposable:” How Thousands of Mexico’s Seniors are Exploited in Unpaid Jobs

In Mexico, over 30,000 people over the age of 60 are working long unpaid shifts as bag packers in supermarkets. These unpaid laborers are up to 89 years old. They have no work contract and receive no benefits. These workers frequently have to perform other duties such as cleaning and stocking, for no pay or tips. And although they aren't being physically or violently forced to do this work, they don't really have a lot of choice.

In the Kitchens of the Metropolis: An Interview with Silvia Federici

Feminist, professor, and writer Silvia Federici on the theoretical underpinnings and tactical strategy of the Wages for Housework campaign, how it challenged other movements on the Left, and the importance of making demands that give us more terrain from which to struggle. “Reflecting on the unpaid labor of women was like a window onto the nature of capitalism,” Silvia Federici explained. “I saw that devaluing the reproduction of human life was a central pillar of capitalism, one of the main engines of the accumulation process. So not only was it an entry point to change the situation of women, but also to understand capitalism in a different way.”