Mexico’s brick industry avoided taxes and regulations

Global Business

In the developing world from Central America to India and China, low-wage labor is a main source of income for billions of people. Oftentimes, the industries that employ them operate in the shadows where they avoid paying taxes and disregard environmental and health regulations. CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reported from Mexico City.

Mexico's brick industry avoided taxes and regulations

In the developing world from Central America to India and China, low-wage labor is a main source of income for billions of people. Oftentimes, the industries that employ them operate in the shadows where they avoid paying taxes and disregard environmental and health regulations. CCTV America's Franc Contreras reported from Mexico City.

On a back road in the town of San Martin Cuautlalpan in the state of Mexico, workers operate the massive kilns at several clandestine brick-making companies. Employees said the clay is perfect for producing high-quality bricks made the old-fashioned way.

They work more than 12 hours a day and six days a week. For their labor, they earn the equivalent of about $400 a month.

They said they can carry up to 32 bricks each. The heavy lifting affects all of the joints in their bodies.

The workers said they fuel their kilns with sawdust brought in from carpenter shops in Mexico City.

Because of the clandestine nature of this business, government officials have shown up on occasion trying to shut them down, citing air pollution laws.

Stopping this industry means hundreds of families would lose their main source of employment.

Studies show brick industries in the developing world cause air pollution, and workers are prone to respiratory diseases.

But these men are too busy to worry about the environmental and health consequences of their work, which has been a well-kept secret now.