Job-related stress, social support, and work–family conflict among Mexican workers in a multinational company: A case study of a Korean-owned, US-branded former “sweatshop” in Mexico

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Abstract

Due to globalization and outsourcing of commodity production, an estimated 60 million workers are employed in the garment industry by multinational corporations, yet relatively little is known about the work–family tensions experienced by these workers. Building on role stress and job demands–resources theories, this study employed mixed methods to examine job stressors, support, and work–family conflict (WFC) in a sample of 168 Mexican workers in a multinational factory, a rarely studied and underserved population. As hypothesized, results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that workers experienced high job stress and WFC. Social support from spouses, family, and friends increased the positive association between job stress and WFC, suggesting that culturally relevant obligations increased WFC. This study highlights the need for multinational corporations to implement culturally adaptive, family-friendly policies. Implications for social workers in multinational work organizations and for future research are discussed.

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