Do you have blood on your clothes?

Building Collapse in Bangladesh Leaves Scores Dead

By on April 24, 2013 4:38:00 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums External Link

myfist0

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Yet another great example of our corporations outsourcing to take advantage of slave labour and lack of regulation.

This latest fatal accident, coming five months after a fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory killed at least 112 garment workers, is likely to again raise questions about work conditions in Bangladesh: workers told Bangladeshi news outlets that supervisors had ordered them to attend work on Wednesday, even though cracks were discovered in the building on Tuesday.

Bangladesh’s garment industry has grown rapidly during the last decade, particularly as rising wages in China have pushed many global clothing brands to look for lower costs elsewhere. Bangladesh has the lowest labor costs in the world, with minimum wage in the garment industry set at roughly $37 a month. Retailers and brands including Walmart, H&M, Sears, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and many others have outsourced the production of billions of dollars of clothes there.

But critics have blamed the Bangladeshi government, factory owners and global brands for doing too little to protect workers with safe working conditions or to pay them a livable wage. Labor unions are almost nonexistent inside garment factories, and a labor organizer, Aminul Islam, was tortured and murdered last year. His death remains unsolved.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/world/asia/bangladesh-building-collapse.html

Even if the peasants rally for better regulations and wages, how much you wanna bet these corps will just move their operations to the next 3rd world country.

 

 

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April 24, 2013 4:54:19 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

So instead of paying them $1/day, you would prefer they get nothing?

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April 24, 2013 5:24:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I do have blood on a lot of my clothes, yes...I work in mental health and people get stabbed...oh wait, didn't read the story...yea, Bangladesh should do more to protect their people.

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April 24, 2013 5:28:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Here we go again...

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April 24, 2013 5:53:28 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Why is this any particular companies fault, or for that matter any other country other than Bangladesh?. After all it is the Bangladesh government that failed to ensure that the people building these structures are doing so correctly and then maintaining them correctly. Just because a company had quarters there doesn't mean they are responsible for inadequate building practices. Just sayin'

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April 24, 2013 6:12:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This reads like an advert for outsourcing, unfortunately. Nobody knows what (if any) western companies were employing people there. Therefore you can't blame any specific company. Therefore they'll come back when the dust settles.

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April 24, 2013 6:16:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You do know that slavery is involuntary servitude right?

Someone voluntarily working somewhere in exchange for money is called getting a job.

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April 24, 2013 6:43:57 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Hate unions and government regulations... yet these problems existed in 1st world nations before those things cleaned them up.

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April 24, 2013 7:04:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Just goes to show you they allow the building of crap structures in 3rd world countries and don't give a damn about it. Then innocent people have to suffer because of it, and really sad is that their employer could give a damn.

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April 24, 2013 7:29:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Do you know if L.L. Bean is involved in that area? I get all my identical button-down shirts and cargo pants from them...

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April 24, 2013 7:34:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Draginol,

You do know that slavery is involuntary servitude right?

Someone voluntarily working somewhere in exchange for money is called getting a job.

 

Bonded labour - or debt bondage - is probably the least known form of slavery today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving people.  A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan.The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often for seven days a week. The value of their work is invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed.

Poverty, and people prepared to exploit the desperation of others lie at the heart of bonded labour.  Often without land or education, the need for cash just for daily survival forces people to sell their labour in exchange for a lump sum of money or a loan.

Despite the fact that bonded labour is illegal in most countries where it is found, governments are rarely willing to enforce the law, or to ensure that those who profit from it are punished.

Today the International Labour Organisation estimates a minimum 11.7 million are in forced labour in the Asia-Pacific region, the majority of whom are in debt bondage.

http://www.antislavery.org/english/slavery_today/bonded_labour.aspx

"and people prepared to exploit the desperation of others lie at the heart of it". Let that line sink in a while.

Another good one at
http://idsn.org/caste-discrimination/key-issues/bonded-labour/india/ 

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April 24, 2013 7:58:30 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yes, and they have been a few cases in the US where "indentured servants", were released from their captors only when law enforcements are involved...

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April 24, 2013 8:06:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If they're working there voluntarily they're not slaves. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult thing to understand.

It gets really old seeing people complain about how evil companies are for outsourcing to other countries who have people willing to do the same job for a lot less while they themselves happily buy products made in those same third world countries.

People pat themselves on the back for supporting minimum wage laws in the US while being aghast that companies are forced to outsource labor because those same Americans think nothing about shopping at Walmart because it's cheaper.

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April 24, 2013 8:14:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Unfortunately, so true my friend...

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April 24, 2013 8:35:27 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Draginol,
that companies are forced to outsource labor

You do realize that forced means

compelled by force or necessity : involuntary 

: violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing

I didn't realize corporations had it so tough ...

My conscience dictates I do not consume these products. The purpose of the thread was to inform those who do consume such products, not argue the specific wording of my more than obvious bias.


EDIT: Still chuckling a bit that people are free to work there and corporations are forced to move there. Although a somewhat gallows laughter.

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April 24, 2013 9:53:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Don't know why people think that because a person works they are not being exploited. If you are in a country that has no unemployed social system, everything in daily life costs more than you are earning, and your employer is fully aware that your wage will never allow you to achieve any independence away from the company then I would say it's a form of slavery. They have no choice but to get paid near to nothing or starve.

Blaming a company (and everyone else who buys the product) for an accident where they have no control over regulations is a bit rich, it's no one's fault but the government and builder.

Buying those $10 jeans and thinking you have no impact, all you are doing is increasing wealth for the wealthy and keeping others in economic slavery ...

It has always been like this, empires were built this way ...

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April 24, 2013 11:31:33 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting tazgecko,
Blaming a company (and everyone else who buys the product) for an accident where they have no control over regulations is a bit rich, it's no one's fault but the government and builder.

No one mentioned here that Bangladesh is a seismically active area (besides being a typhoon target). Maybe the builder didn't build adhering to code? Maybe the code is inadequate?

OR

Maybe the workers who saw cracks in the building had the responsibility of keeping themselves and their fellow workers out of the building NO MATTER WHAT and calling a government inspector to get there urgently? No wages (or lack of them or their relative worth) are worth anyone's life. They know that. They chose not to call an inspector urgently.

If Ghandi could organize a march to the sea to make salt and be beaten bloody for his trouble, they could stay out of work until a building inspector got there. Period.

Blood on my clothes? Same amount as everyone else on this mud ball...since forever.

 

 

 

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April 24, 2013 11:53:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Very good points doc.

But who is willing to stand up to authority when the ones that do disappear, or are tortured and murdered.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/world/asia/bangladeshi-labor-organizer-is-found-killed.html?_r=0 

All you need is one good example every 10 years or so. I can also image that if a women dared speak up, her own family would haver her on a train to the nearest sex trade depot, or just keep her in the factory till after dark and send her home alone.

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April 25, 2013 3:24:38 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
Maybe the workers who saw cracks in the building had the responsibility of keeping themselves and their fellow workers out of the building NO MATTER WHAT and calling a government inspector to get there urgently? No wages (or lack of them or their relative worth) are worth anyone's life. They know that. They chose not to call an inspector urgently.
 

Perhaps, but unless there are proper processes in place where the workers have rights and are able to complain (and the education), it's more likely they had no idea.

When I said it was not the company's fault, I meant the brand company. The manufacturer (managers) should get their arse kicked. But I bet there is little in the way of worker rights or the lack of enforcement.

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April 25, 2013 3:39:29 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

This sort of worker neglect has been present in every newly industrializing country in history, even in Great Britain where it all started. The now developing world bought (if sometimes to the dismay of local weavers) European and American cheaper mass produced fabric no matter how many of their workers burned to death. As distasteful as it may seem, I do not believe any amount of likely (and indeed rational) protest in the rich world will really change the reality in these countries. Only when the consumers in these countries have enough purchasing power to become politically relevant and care more about a minimal level of safety than jobs will their situation improve, just as it has else where.

 

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April 25, 2013 3:52:14 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,
Only when the consumers in these countries have enough purchasing power to become politically relevant and care more about a minimal level of safety than jobs will their situation improve, just as it has else where.

+1

You can see this ongoing effect in China, the raise of the middle classes ... but it all takes time, it took western cultures hundreds of years.

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April 25, 2013 4:04:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting tazgecko,
When I said it was not the company's fault, I meant the brand company.

Sorry, I have to disagree. These companies use these manufactures for the sole reason of cheapest labour at any cost, without regard to workers rights or safety and the lack of regulations to protect their environment. Like I already stated, once these workers get organised, these companies will just move to where they are not. I am quite sure a lot of these corporations would all be happy using slave labour in chains if they could get away with it.

 

Quoting DrJBHL,
Blood on my clothes? Same amount as everyone else on this mud ball...since forever.

Being the 'status quo' is a very poor excuse not to examine one conscience which is all I ask by coming to this thread. I was never the type to spray red paint on people wearing fur or chase down and preach to people wearing brand names but sometimes there is a time and a place to raise an issue and I though this was another good one. 

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April 25, 2013 4:46:59 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting myfist0,


Quoting tazgecko, reply 18When I said it was not the company's fault, I meant the brand company.

Sorry, I have to disagree. These companies use these manufactures for the sole reason of cheapest labour at any cost, without regard to workers rights or safety and the lack of regulations to protect their environment. Like I already stated, once these workers get organised, these companies will just move to where they are not. I am quite sure a lot of these corporations would all be happy using slave labour in chains if they could get away with it.

 
Quoting DrJBHL, reply 16Blood on my clothes? Same amount as everyone else on this mud ball...since forever.

Being the 'status quo' is a very poor excuse not to examine one conscience which is all I ask by coming to this thread. I was never the type to spray red paint on people wearing fur or chase down and preach to people wearing brand names but sometimes there is a time and a place to raise an issue and I though this was another good one. 

Well said.

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April 25, 2013 5:21:52 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting myfist0,
Sorry, I have to disagree. These companies use these manufactures for the sole reason of cheapest labour at any cost, without regard to workers rights or safety and the lack of regulations to protect their environment. Like I already stated, once these workers get organised, these companies will just move to where they are not. I am quite sure a lot of these corporations would all be happy using slave labour in chains if they could get away with it.

That's where we have to differ in opinion.

They don't have to have regard to workers rights, safety or regulations, it's another country and that responsibility lays on the bodies in that country. Until our governments put in the regulations for importing goods from unsafe cheap labour, they don't have to put in any regard. The responsible parties are on the other end of production ...

 

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April 25, 2013 5:57:31 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,

This sort of worker neglect has been present in every newly industrializing country in history, even in Great Britain where it all started. The now developing world bought (if sometimes to the dismay of local weavers) European and American cheaper mass produced fabric no matter how many of their workers burned to death. As distasteful as it may seem, I do not believe any amount of likely (and indeed rational) protest in the rich world will really change the reality in these countries. Only when the consumers in these countries have enough purchasing power to become politically relevant and care more about a minimal level of safety than jobs will their situation improve, just as it has else where.

 

 

Here's the problem with Globalization.

 

When this was happening in the industrial revolution the workers were also consumers and this gave them the leverage to demand better employment conditions. Now these products are solely for a for a foreign market, the locals are almost entirely priced-out. This vastly diminishes their leverage for any possible renegotiation of their rights.

 

I don't know about you but I am quite unable to find any cloths that were made in Britain or Europe in my shops. I'd buy them if I could even at double the price but I still don't think it would solve anything. Bangladeshi clothing is also sold in China.

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April 25, 2013 6:47:20 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Fact remains that you're all discussing moral responsibility. The workers simply had to call an inspector and stay home until it was inspected, if they felt it was unsafe.

Their political/economic power wasn't an issue for me. The workplace safety was. As for the latter issue? Gaining power isn't ever clean. There's a price and either one is willing to pay it or not.

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