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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:28 PM
Original message
Lest We Forget, Where Our Stuff Comes From. Workers, Children beaten and abused for us
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 05:33 PM by Catherina
Lest We Forget, Where Our Stuff Comes From
by Abby Zimet


A Bangladeshi policeman hits a child with a baton during clashes with a garment workers in Dhaka. Children are caught up in clashes with police as at least 15,000 protesting garment factory workers block key roads in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, the latest in a string of protests over low wages and poor conditions. Police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse the workers, who sew clothes for some of the top names in western retail, after they blocked a major intersection in the north of the city

Protests by workers at Bangladesh's many garment factories are spreading, even as riot police fire tear gas and water cannons at crowds of up to 20,000 people, including children. The workers are protesting conditions and wages, which now average $25 a month for sewing clothes for the western likes of Wal-Mart. One more reason among so many not to shop there. More photos here.


Garment workers shout slogans as they block a street in Dhaka


A Bangladeshi policeman kicks a child during clashes in Dhaka


A Bangladeshi child is comforted after inhaling smoke from burning papers believed to counteract tear gas fired by riot police


A Bangladeshi policeman threatens a child with a baton

http://www.commondreams.org/further/2010/06/30-0



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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
:applause:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. But-but-but-but
if we boycott the store, won't we hurt them by taking their jobs?
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I was thinking along the same lines
I already imagined the shrieks that we can't boycott them because people's pension funds are tied up in Walmart.


But-but-but-but my friend. But-but-but-but.


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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. See #7.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
80. Bookmarked n/t
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. It's not just Walmart
People would have to stop buying clothes, for the most part. I don't have a problem with that, I buy most of my clothes at second hand stores anyway. But let's get real about what we're talking about and quit with the kneejerk sloganeering.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. See post 5. There are alternatives. Know where you shop and what you buy
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 06:20 PM by Catherina
The answer to your unrelated, unsubstantiated demand is no.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I, of all people, am not excusing this
I've been fighting this shit since before you ever thought about it cupcake.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Whatever. Not reacting because I'm not letting you derail this thread. n/t
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. 2005 Saipan sweatshops
Written so long ago the blog is missing. I could get the posts about the Bangladesh sweatshop cave-in, that got about 5 minutes of attention around here. Or the computers clogging the rivers in China. So many posts that I gave up talking about anything serious years ago. You really don't know what you think you know.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #13
57. learn to sew.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #57
85. We're still screwed
US Textile companies have left the country. Kaput. Fabric comes from overseas. Ditto, buttons, thread.

There is no way out, other to bring the jobs back and I'm clueless. I'll leave the heaving lifting to the policy wonks are smarter than I.

I've been aware of the situation for a while now but, seeing the pictures - worth 1 million words.

Sent this article to everyone in my contact list.

My husband works for a large furniture chain - not EA. Not ONE STICK of furniture is made in the USA. Remember NC the Furniture capital of world? I live in NC fuggedaboudit.

Even high end Ethan Allen - same thing.





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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #13
81. So true - can't find anything made in the USA
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 03:37 PM by madmax
save for the occasional T-shirt.

I'm 60 how many more damn outfits do I need?

I will try to convince my grandaughter that she doesn't need 365 thongs from Victoria's Secret. Hell, I'll sew her a few strings and an eye patch together to cover the family jewel.
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R nt
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
4. Free trade at it's best
The reason for corps leaving nations with labor standards. Disgusting. However it's not just walmart
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Yes. +1 The corporations have a choice. They choose to be cruel

Fair trade. Not free trade!




Jo Wood, founder of Jo Wood Organics, who recently made a trip to Bangladesh with the ethical clothing brand, People Tree, to witness the acute difference between the lifestyles of garment workers employed by fair trade producer groups and those subject to exploitative free-market conditions.

...

Accompanied by Safia Minney, the founder of People Tree, Wood's trip to Bangladesh took in two diametrically opposed communities. The first destination was Swallows, a fair trade producer group located in Thanapara, a remote rural village in north-west Bangladesh. A supplier to People Tree, it is a model of how fair trade garment production can work sustainably.

"At Swallows, it was a warm community of women who all have a great sense of independence but also work so well together in good conditions," says Wood. "The village they live in is totally self-sufficient, yet it is miles away from what we would term civilisation. They have a school, a crche for the younger children, learning programs and an organic garden."

In contrast, a few days later, Wood visited slum-dwellers in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, where she was faced with a more brutal way of life she describes as "survival of the fittest". With no access to ethical employment, "up to six people live in a tin room on bamboo stilts above heaps of rubbish, and they pay 900 taka rent each for a bed," says Wood. "Considering they earn 1662 per taka month, way below the minimum wage of 4000 taka, it isn't hard to work out how wrong this is."

In her video diary, it's obvious how distressing Wood finds the experience of visiting the slums, and hearing how these women are not only faced with limited sanitation and poor health, but also separation from their children. "The conditions that they lived in the slums were appalling: the rubbish, the smell and the poverty," says Wood. "Yet I was humbled by the people and their attitudes. They were still so positive and cheerful."

...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/apr/29/bang...
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Spheric Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
56. K&R Fuck free trade! That's all I got. /nt
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
64. +1
:headbang: :mad:
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. The story. They wanted their back pay and a small increase
:cry:


Police in Bangladesh using bamboo staves, teargas and water cannon fought with textile workers demanding back pay and an immediate rise in monthly wages on the streets of Dhaka today.

Witnesses said at least 30 people, mainly workers producing garments for global brands, were injured. Pictures showed children apparently being beaten. Ten policemen were also hurt.

Although there has been violence for several weeks, today saw workers erecting barricades, pelting police with stones and attacking cars. Police described the fighting as the worst yet seen.

Children under the age of 14 are banned by law from working, but campaigners say many can still be found in the sprawling factories. Hundreds of teenagers took part in running battles with police today.


...

Many of the rioting workers are employed by plants which make ready-to-wear garments for sale in western high street stores.

"We worked for them," shouted one striking worker. "They are doing business and making money, but not paying us."

An estimated three million workers, mostly women, are employed in the Bangladeshi garments industry. The lower paid workers earn a minimum monthly salary of 1,660 taka, equivalent to less than 18. They have demanded an increase to 5,000 taka. Owners said last week they could pay no more than 3,000 taka a month.

"With inflation, many workers simply do not receive a living wage," said Khorshed Alam, a political scientist and executive director of the Alternative Movement for Resources and Freedom Society in Dhaka. "They know that the next chance they will get to force a pay rise may be in four or five years."


...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/30/bangladesh-...
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. OK, I'm not saying any of this is right, but...
if they can't get good working conditions and decent pay, and if we all boycott everything made in, say, India, what do these people do to survive?

How do they support themselves and their families?



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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Most of the workers were better off before free trade.
Don't be fooled by the globalist marketing hype.

Globalization Doesnt Help Poor Workers, Report Says

Global trade has surged in the developing world, but that hasn't helped workers find jobs, as many are still stuck in their country's "informal" (read: unregulated and unstable) economy.

A new study on employment and globalization released this week finds that, on balance, workers in the developing world have not benefited from globalization. Instead, many are still poor and lack job security and social safety nets.

"Globalization and Informal Jobs in Developing Countries," a joint study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), rebuffs traditional economic thinking that suggests international trade increases quality of employment and living standards. It points to the importance of "Decent Work" objectives and trade reforms designed to be employment-friendly and conducive to job growth.

The high incidence of workers in vulnerable conditions has diminished the benefits of globalization, the report finds, and the number of workers in the informal economydefined as unregistered businesses not subject to law or regulations has increased or remained constant.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/5047/globaliz...
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Sort of "damned if you do, damned if you don't"....
And it's so hard to know what is the absolute right thing to do. Very sad... :(
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Boycotts to hit a corporations bottom line and force it to behave better
are only partial, temporary fixes. The real fixes require drastic changes to globalization and organizations like the STO, the World Bank, IMF that work for corporations.

Each one of us needs to decide if we stand with the corporations who violate the basic human rights of their workers, destroy the environment, destroy peoples way of life, exploit children as a cheap source of labor or if we stand in solidarity with the workers.

I don't think God wants us to make a profit off other people's misery. If we don't help them break the corporate chains, they'll never be able to support themselves and their families.

Another thing is that people survived just fine, much better, before all these corporations came along. We keep them in chains. The first step to helping them is breaking those chains.
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SocialistLez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
35. "The real fixes require drastic changes to globalization...."
Thank you!

I don't think when we buy these products we're saying, "Yes I support x company's behavior" but who the hell else is making it in a more ethical way?

If you know some more ethical companies, please list them.

I have started buying toothbrushes made by Preserve. Their products are made from recycled materials and they don't contain BPA. They're made here in the USA, Massachusetts to be exact. I doubt their workers are unionized but I can overlook that. At least they haven't offshored production to Mexico or China.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. They probably said that to the Irish girls
who burned up in the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.

Or the Irish miners who were killed in the Granite Mountain mine.

That's what they've always said to keep people from fighting for fair wages and safe working conditions.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. The Irish miners were kept illiterate and ignorant for centuries...
For the same reason.

Think of this, then think of the dumbing down of America... regression sucks. The Idiocracy will rule.
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Whisp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
26. it started long ago
th US subsidizes agriculture and so American companies can dump cheap food in a third world country and the farmers there just can't compete with the prices so go broke, and their kids then have to go work in the slave shops that make american products.

The whole idea is to keep people down, keep them poor and unhealthy so they can't fight back. Now that they have pretty well done that to most of the southern hemisphere, they are coming after us.

The one thing big power is afraid of is an angry and healthy and informed society so they are working overtime to dumb everyone down. Look at the shit we hear on the news and the shit we hear repeated here from that same news.


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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. +1 n/t
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #26
54. Even worse we dump free food under the guise of feeding the hungry that devastates
local economies.

When you donate to feed the hungry to often you are helping to destroy a native farming family.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #54
73. I disagree...
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 02:29 PM by liberation
When you are donating food to feed the hungry you are practicing basic human empathy.

Empathy is not what is destroying other societies, savage greed and social systems whose only purpose is to cater and preserve the interests of sociopaths are. And neither of those two things are either new nor exclusive to the US.
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #73
76. Yes but it prevents local farmers from selling thier crops and they then go under or start growing
cotton for the west. We are seeing this effect in Haiti right now. Devastating the local economy with food donations exasperates the problem and swells the number of hungry.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
78. Maybe they could get a living wage if they protest?
Especially if we support their efforts instead of making excuses for the corporations profiting off their virtual enslavement. And don't tell me you'd be thrilled to work for $25/month.
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raouldukelives Donating Member (945 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. Coming soon to an America near you
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
16. Limbaugh would get his rocks off with these pics.



Little brown skinned boys being beaten into submission.


On second thought ... Limbaugh would get his pebbles off with these pics. :eyes:



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fatbuckel Donating Member (518 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
77. Limbaugh has an inny.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
18. K&R thanks for posting this!
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
21. What is this crap... next thing you will be complain about slavery.
Look if you want cheap consumer goods some bad things are going to happen very very far away.

Those kids are lucky they could be working the soy fields or digging in the Congo for metal for a new Ipad...

You want a T-shirt for seven bucks you simply have to accept child labor and slavery.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Fair trade not free trade. Living wages not cheap goods. No to economic slavery.
No to globalization and corporat profit to enrich shareholders.

These kids are not lucky at all. They're exploited for capitalism.

And yes, I will complain about slavery everywhere I see it.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
41. On my way home, I wondered how you will feel when it's your children or grandchildren
Very simply, in order not to explode over what you wrote, we do not "simply have to accept child labor and slavery."
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #41
45. I don't nor do I want a seven dollar shirt. I want a Union made shirt with a living wage attached.
I apologize if my over the top sarcasm was taken seriously.

I can't believe anyone can excuse slavery and child labor and non-living wages.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. Oh thank you! I was so upset over your comment.
Thank you SunnySong.

I'vre read so many unbelievable things here recently that I thought you were serious.

Didn't there use to be a label in this country that showed if items were union made? If so, we need to bring it back. If not, we need one badly. Thank you for explaining.
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #46
49. I truly apologize for making you upset...
you are right there are so many over the top I've got mine types that it is hard to tell the sarcasm from the reality sometimes.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #49
93. I could tell you were being sarcastic.
But you said something that is more-or-less true: if you want dirt-cheap consumer goods, you have to accept bad things happening far away.

Clothing has become so inexpensive in the USA, that it's practically disposable. There is no way that those clothing items could be made for fair wages in the USA, and still be so inexpensive at Wal-Mart, or whatever retailer sells them. But, consumers really need to consider whether it is worth those deceptively "low prices".

How cheap do people really need their clothes to be? I get almost all my clothing second hand, and I'm a fabulous dresser. It's so easy to get nearly new, great clothes at thrift shops. I have way too many clothes, and it's all nice stuff. What some little brown hands toiled over, the original consumer bought for very little, wore it once, and had no second thoughts of giving it away because nice clothing is easy come, easy go these days. But there is a hefty price we all pay for cheap consumer goods.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #21
67. nevermind
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 11:57 AM by fascisthunter
missed the sarcasm
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. k/r
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. I'm almost ready to go back to making my own clothes
But who would weave the cloth?
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
29. A word of dissent. Working in a sweatshop is better than subsistence farming
I remember a story years ago with Mini Driver stopping a sweatshop in Cambodia from making garments. She "worked" there for a day then got back on her private jet. Sweatshop was shut down.

A reporter went back a few months later and saw where the girls were working then. In a brothel. Wonder if Mini Driver was going to work there for a day after that?
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Not so sure.. at least the farmer works for himself.. usually.
"Owe my soul to the company store"
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #29
95. Hah! An 'Amish' dissing subsistence farming

That's rich.

So their lives are worse than working in a sweatshop?
(Yes, they do sell some but their society is basicly self contained, ie, subsistence.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #95
96. Why do you think people are moving into cities worldwide?
Wages and working conditions are much better in sweatshops.

I don't think you realize what subsistence farming means. It means pooping outside and keeping it for fertilizer. No indoor plumbing. A crop failure meaning starvation, for you or your kids. Working from dawn to dusk year round. No school for your kids since you need their help. Constant ringworm or worse from standing in mud all day. Intestinal parasite from the same.

People die very young when they are subsistence farmers.

It sucks and nobody should have to do it.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #96
97. Because they are being forced off the land.

This started with the 'Enclosure Acts' in Britain at the beginnings of modern Capitalism. It continues today worldwide.

Your description of subsistence farming doesn't sound like any Anabaptist community I know of. Sometimes you do work dawn to dusk, sometimes there ain't much to do. Of course the children can go to school, that is the origin of 'summer vacation'. If subsistence farming was so bad the species would have died out long ago. Your description is more applicable to agricultural slavery or share cropping. Farming ain't no picnic but it allows an independent existence relative to Capitalism, the farmer is in full possession of the fruits of his labor.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #97
98. Think farms in Burma, Ethiopia or Nicaragua.
Not a fancy Amish farm in Wisconsin.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #98
99. Even in those places farm life is generally better than sweatshops
The hours are better, the return on your labor is better, the slums are avoided, diseases of crowding and poor sanitation are not nearly so prevalent, human urban predators can be avoided.

If the sweatshops are so good why are those people so miserable?

Many of the problems of subsistence farmers today can be attributed to a collapsed social infrastructure, a legacy of colonialism.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/susagri/susagri090.htm
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #99
100. Typical noble savage BS
Why do so many people vote with their feet to avoid farm life? Cause it sucks.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #100
101. Because they are forced off the land.

Because their lives are made un-viable by Capitalism.
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
30. Stuff is cheap for a reason.. but most dont care.
sad,very sad.
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ArcticFox Donating Member (654 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
32. Bangladesh is a good place to do business
This is an example of what the United States has accomplished throughout the world throughout most of its history. Over and over, the US has installed and backed fascist regimes in their repression of peasant populations. The result is a permanent peasant class kept that way through a combination of their being driven from the land that once allowed their self-sufficiency, low wages, and continuing physical repression, often including large massacres.

People who stand up for their rights are not good for business and are therefore targets to be destroyed.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Your short history there is very depressing. +1 n/t
The only thing I would add is that all the *great* powers do the same thing. I don't understand why because most citizens just want to raise their children and live in peace. What kind of human being needs to a overpower other people for financial gain?
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SocialistLez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
34. It is not as if we have much choice.
Many of the daily consumer items people need/want are produced overseas.

If any of you have some ideas as to how we can raise funds to open up a manufacturing plant here in the U.S. to make everyday clothes and household items, let me know.
I'd gladly donate some funds to it but let's get real.

Big Business makes these decisions.

As much as I hate that so many of the things I buy are made in China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. I'm pretty much powerless to stop it.

MANY Americans want to buy products made in the USA but Big Business knows that many of the things made overseas are the things we need so it's very hard to boycott items not made in the USA.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #34
43. I have no answer to that but if you have the funds
I think we can find people, with legal status in the US, who sew very well and would love to have a self respecting job sewing good clothes.

The thing though is that we can't have it all.

We can't have the cars and the iphones and the ipads and the cable tv and the lawn service and the luxurious Christmases while still pretending we care about labor if we cut corners to subsidize our luxuries.

I agree with what you say about big business but if we take our wallets and walk away in this free market, they have no choice but to accommodate us.

Two Ralph Lauren cotton shirts have lasted me 3 years wearing them each once a week for work. I have to iron them but they last forever. I don't think it would be really that difficult if we rearrange our priorities and started investing in quality instead of junk.

Maybe my European background makes me too naive about what we could do if we wanted? Your post depresses me tonight because I know you say the truth.

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SocialistLez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #43
62. If I had the funds, I'd gladly pay someone to make my clothes
I have a good friend that designs clothes.
If I had the money to pay her well so she could make a decent profit, I'd let her to design + make a whole bunch of stuff.

I remember watching something on Canada during the Winter Olympics and they have a pretty good "home-grown" fashion scene. I am sure the clothing is more than what most people pay at say Target or whatever but to me it would be worth it to pay good money for clothes that are made in my own country AND will last a while.

I do wish more of our electronics, especially iPhones and iPads (since they are so popular) were made in the USA.

I think if enough people walked away from a certain company, they would have no choice but to accommodate us.

Many Americans want to support products made in the USA BUT they often cost more and it is not as if wages are rising.
When I have the extra funds and I can find things made in the USA, I buy them.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #43
88. There are many skilled seamstresses in the South that lost their jobs
at Levi Strauss, Vanity Fair & other clothing mfgs. in the '80's & 90's when they moved their operations overseas to save a nickel. Skilled seamstresses are not the problem.

With the banking meltdown, the problem now is getting the capital to start the business.

I do think we could begin small, perhaps even individuals sewing for others. Trouble is...to compensate someone for their time & skills investment you have to charge a lot of $ compared to what one can purchase an item for at Wal-Mart or Target because of this slave labor. Decent fabric is difficult to acquire & it is all made overseas now, too (w/the small exception of polar fleece material). That is why turning this around will be tough.

I agree w/Crickett....learn to sew. America has lost "SKILLS" along w/jobs. That is our real loss. Had it not been for our skills in WWII, we would not have been able to fight, let alone succeed.

Every year I ask my HS students what skills they have to survive. Most have NONE. They can surf the Web, score a gazillion points on "Space-Invaders-War-Killing-Game-of-the-Week", or microwave a HotPocket, but they have NO skills of survival. We talk about what they would do if we had no more electricity, cell phone, gas, grocery stores could not get food, etc. They never think of these things because they have always been there for them & they ASSUME they always will be. We talk about learning to CREATE things they need & growing food & a sense of self-satisfaction that comes from creating something useful yourself. This is a foreign concept to most of them.
Sad, America.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
36. I encourage everyone reading this to read the label of everything they put on, eat, use and play
with during one day. Everything. And think about whose hands put it together.

If it's union made in the USA, you know it wasn't put together by slaves.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
37. Soon we will have to fight the battles here too




And yes I expect this to come back to this country. It is almost as if it is almost acceptable any more.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. When I read some things here, like that child slavery is acceptable,
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 12:35 AM by Catherina
I fear you are correct. With great fears.



A brief edit to say that the post I was referring to was, thankfully, sarcastic. I misunderstood the sarcasm.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. You would have never seen that on a progressive board
six or seven years ago. It's 'pragmatic' to 'see things as they are and just accept them. They call it 'realism'.

I prefer the non-pragmatic view which is what got things done throughout history.

What I'm hoping for is that working people around the world will join forces, which I believe is beginning to happen now, and fight for fair trade, fair wages, and decent working conditions everywhere, not just in their own countries.

Maybe the world's labor force can establish a sort of Global Labor Union to combat the draconian conditions of the Global Corporations. They are a bit ahead of us, the Global Corps, but I think people around the world a lot wiser about these things today than they were even a decade ago.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #48
60. There are self-proclaimed "liberals" defending CHILD LABOR!?! Good God!
:puke:
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
38. The Miley Cyrus Collection at Wal Mart.
Jesus Fucking Christ this country is fucked.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #38
47. Yes it is
but who is Miley Cyrus? An actress I imagine? What shocks me is the $7 advertisement as if stealing someone's labor for $7 is such a great thing.

Do people not think in this country?
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #47
91. Ever heard of Hannah Montana? That's her.
Miley Cyrus is the daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus. You may remember "Achy-Breaky Heart" was his big hit in the 80's. He has now promoted his daughter as the pop star of the day. She is a singer & "actress" (Disney movie & representative). She is the new pre-teen & young teen hit sensation. Her grandfather was a Dem state rep in KY for years.

It is rumored she has a stripper pole in her bedroom installed w/dad's approval, so she can "practice" on-stage dance moves for her concerts.

Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miley_cyrus
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
39. It is so easy to see that our leadership is as Christian as they
claim to be. Because Jesus said "the little children should suffer to render unto Cesar" or something close enough for horseshoes.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
40. ,
:nuke:
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
42. knr nt
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
50. I remember a time when people across the country were OUTRAGED about overseas sweatshops.
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 01:35 AM by earth mom
Remember the Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop scandal?

That happened in 1996 but no one gives a damn anymore. :cry:

Thanks for posting this OP, it's important.

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. They will care when it comes here
It's only a matter of time.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. Now that's a scary thought! And I'm sure you're right. nt
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
53. Very important.
Thank you, Catherina. We are the greatest consumer of the majority of the third world's exploited labor.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
55. wage slavery is already here
we already see the wages declining as well. It's only a matter of time till the US will be divided into the wealthy and the majority who live in abject poverty.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
58. k&r

Kill Capitalism, it is an abomination.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
59. K&R
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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
61. Well, Lincoln said,
"Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." Seems like the same could be said for capitalism's global exploitation of workers.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
63. HUGE K & R !!!
And that may be us in 10 or 20 years.

:mad:

:nuke:
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libmom74 Donating Member (577 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
65. So sad, what makes it worse though
is that conservatives and even some people who call themselves Democrats argue about how wonderful free trade is and how the people who have jobs in other countries working for pennies a day are supposedly better off now than before the "wonders" of free trade. I have even argued with "friends" on Facebook who are Republicans who think it is perfectly acceptable for children as young as 7 years old to have jobs and think it would be just fine for the minimum wage and child labor laws to be repealed in this country because they believe that the years before labor reforms were what built this country and made it great. That is the kind of sick thinking we are up against!
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #65
92. I venture to guess those are the same people who get upset if
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 06:14 PM by southerncrone
THEIR CHILD is required to pick up their own trash at school.

However, there is a group of parents that don't care WHAT happens to their kids as long as they are out of their hair. I'm sure they would LOVE to hire their 7 yr olds out as long as they were getting $ for it.

And BTW, Welcome to DU! :hi:
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
66. there's NOTHING Free about a Free-Market
this post illustrates that well. Of course for those who benefit from child labor and who benefit from companies who take advantage of the poor in other country's, they will always say a "Free market is a great thing". What they don't tell you is in order for them to have said Free market they need to use and abuse poor people who don't have a government protecting worker's rights due to deregulation.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. More sad details. We need international worker solidarity

Riots in streets of Bangladesh as clothes workers protest over pay
Jul 1 2010 By Lachlan Mackinnon

...

More than 15,000 workers joined the protests, said to have begun after a boss beat up a female employee.

The trouble spread to dozens of factories and the cops hit back with water cannon and tear gas as the demonstrators blocked roads. Witnesses said at least 30 people, including 10 policemen, were injured.

Dhaka's deputy police commissioner, Salim Jahangir, said: "There are 15,000 to 20,000 workers massing in the street. All workers in the area have walked out."

...

Clothing prices have plummeted here in recent years, thanks largely to the rise of cut-price chains like Primark and H&M. But campaigners claim demand for cheap, throwaway fashion means misery for the Third World workers who produce it.

And the Dhaka riots were the latest in a spate of protests over pay and conditions at Bangladesh's 4500 clothing factories.

...

Business consultants Global Insight said: "With the majority of the population living below the poverty line, and at a time of soaring food prices, such low wages have had a disastrous effect on workers' livelihoods."

The women are struggling to feed themselves and their kids, and their anger is boiling over. Just last week, hundreds of factories near Dhaka were shut down after days of furious protests by workers.



...

The factories' bosses complained of "panic and anarchy" and the government sent in nearly 1000 riot police. The cops fired rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. The women hit back by hurling rocks and torching cars.

...

Ministers told the workers in April that their wages would be "substantially increased", but they have yet to see a penny.

Campaigners say the women and their families have been left to struggle on, without nourishing food, clean water, decent housing, sanitation or health care, while they wait for the government to keep their promises.

War On Want say most of the Dhaka clothes workers live in filthy slum homes, with up to three family members crammed into every room.

...

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2010/07... /



Bangladeshi workers, who make clothes for major Western brands such as Wal-Mart and H & M, have been demanding wages of at least 5,000 taka (70 dollars) a month.

The current minimum wage, which is the lowest in the world, is just 25 dollars.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i0rB...



$25 a month is too much for the corporate vermin? One walmart share costs almost twice that ($48). I marvel at a system where little slips of paper of people's misery are traded in a huge open casino.



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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. A world-wide solidarity labor movement. Yes, that is what is needed
For decades big Corps were using the poor in other countries to enrich themselves and most Americans never gave a thought to why they could buy goods so cheaply.

It won't be long before they can use American labor, with so many out of work, and the war on Unions, people will be happy to work, some are already, for a pittance, just to put food on their tables.

There have been food riots in India and elsewhere over the past several years as the Global Economy collapses everywhere.

We can't just think of this country any more. I remember this being one of Cynthia McKinney's main issues, the conditions and wages in foreign countries provided by U.S. Corps. She introduced a bill that would have made it mandatory for them to provide a living wage and decent working conditions no matter where they were operating, or be subject to U.S. law. Naturally she didn't get much support and it went nowhere.

What I would like to know is 'where did all the money go'? It didn't just disappear. I know that's a simplistic question, but there is a finite amount of money that countries have to work with, and since a vast majority of ordinary people don't have it, who does and where are they hiding it? And when will start seeing some accountability?
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
70. Horrifying!
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
71. But but but... capitalism is good. It improved the life of the majority
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 01:41 PM by conspirator
of chinese and bangladeshi :sarcasm:
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #71
74. The funny thing is that China is supposed to be Communist.
Which is why just like Ferris Bueller, I don't believe in in "isms" :-)
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chuckrocks Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
72. others?
anywhere i can find a list of companies dealing in bangladesh?
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #72
83. I will look for you n/t
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #72
86. Partial list. The Gap, Nike, VF Corp, Van Heusen, JC Penney
I support a boycott but red this first, for thought. Unicef was able to exert pressure since there were children involved but what organization can do the same for adults? The world needs an organization with clout that stands up for workers rights. The following shouldn't stop a boycott but anyone organizing one needs to think of how to help all the people who'll get fired for lack of demand. http://www.bdix.net/sdnbd_org/world_env_day/2001/sdnpwe...

What a wicked world we wove.

I'll keep looking. Here is what came up during my break




    BUYERS OF BANGLADESHI GOODS AND SERVICES:

    UNITED STATES:

    WAL-MART, INC.

    H. Lee Scott, Jr.
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    702 S.W. 8th Street
    Bentonville, Arkansas 72716
    USA
    Phone: 479-273-4000

    Bob Walton
    Chairman
    Board of Directors
    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    702 S.W. 8th Street
    Bentonville, Arkansas 72716
    USA
    Phone: 479-273-4000

    For Arkansas residents:
    Wal-Mart is located in Arkansas 3rd congressional district: John Boozman (R)
    (Congressman Boozman spoke strongly in favor of HR64 on behalf of Shoaib)
    Senators: Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D) and Mark Pryor (D)

    THE GAP, INC.

    Glenn K. Murphy
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
    Gap, Inc.
    Two Folsom Street
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    USA
    Phone: 650-952-4400

    For California residents:
    The Gap is located in Californias 8th congressional district: Nancy Pelosi (D)
    Senators Diane Feinstein (D) and Barbara Boxer (D)

    NIKE, INC.

    Philip H. Knight
    Chairman of the Board of Directors
    Nike World Headquarters
    One Bowerman Drive
    Beaverton, OR 97005-6453
    USA
    Phone: 1-800-344-6453

    Mark Parker, President & Chief Executive Officer
    Nike, Inc.
    One Bowerman Drive
    Beaverton, OR 97005-6453
    USA
    Phone: 1-800-344-6453

    For Oregon residents:
    Nike is located in Oregons 1st congressional district: David Wu (D)
    Senators: Ron Wyden (D) and Gordon Smith (R)
    (Senator Smith is the originator of Senate Bill 652.)

    VF CORPORATION

    Mackey J. McDonald
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
    VF Corporation
    105 Corporate Center Blvd.
    Greensboro NC 27408
    USA
    Phone: 336-424-6000

    Eric C. Wiseman
    Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer
    VF Corporation
    105 Corporate Center Blvd.
    Greensboro NC 27408
    USA
    Phone: 336-424-6000

    For North Carolina residents:
    VF Corporation is located in North Carolinas 6th congressional district: Howard Coble (R)
    Senators Elizabeth Dole (R) and Richard Burr (R)

    PHILLIPS-VAN HEUSEN CORPORATION

    Emanuel Chirico
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
    Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation
    200 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY 10016
    USA
    Phone: 212-381-3500

    For New York residents:
    Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation is located in New Yorks 14th congressional district: Carolyn B. Maloney (D)
    Senators: Charles Shumer (D) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)

    BANGLADESHS MINISTRY OF COMMERCE EXPORT PROMOTION BUREAU:

    http://www.epb.gov.bd/export_related_org.html

    BANGLADESH GARMENT MANUFACTURERS AND EXPORTS ASSOCIATION:

    http://www.bgmea.com


    http://boycottbangladesh.org/page/3 /






Also there are:


    Retailers Wal-Mart (WMT.N), Tesco (TSCO.L), Hennes & Mauritz (HMb.ST), JC Penney (JCP.N) and Marks and Spencer (MKS.L) have notified Bangladesh of their decision, said Abdul Hai Sarker, the president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/idINDHA40534920081018
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memorybomber Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
75. Re: Lest we forget
What an outrage! This is exactly why I have boycotted stores for the last 3 years. My money will not be used to sponsor terror against children. Start making your own clothes people! It's not that hard, and atleast you know noone was beaten or murdered to make sure you have lower cost pants.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
79. Thank you
NEVER, ever shopped at WalMart for all the obvious reasons.

Recently heath issues have lessend my resolve. Thank you for posting this. I will fix what I own, do without, shop thrift stores. These pictures hurt my heart. How can I continue to buy from places like Walmart with these images burned into my brain (again). If I can, then I don't deserve to be called a human being.

Thank you.
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
82. K&R for a great OP.
I grow weary of seeing "What's wrong with WalMart?" posts. Thanks for answering their question, once and for all.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
84. Globalization


Fierce global competition in the garment industry translates into poor working conditions for many laborers in developing nations.
(top) A worker in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, rests on the floor of a garment factory. More than 2,000 young women work in this factory, producing clothes for shops in Europe and North America.
(bottom) The owner of a textile factory in Dhaka threatens a child laborer, who works for 10 hours a day to earn US$1
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
87. Still made in the USA: Here's a good resource for goods produced
in the US.

This site is a voluntary effort by one woman to help shoppers find products made in USA.

http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/index.html
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. And another one.
http://www.madeinusa.org/nav.cgi ? This place even has a link for dog chew bones made in the US. Try finding that in your local grocery store.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
90. Obama promised we would revisit these so-called free-trade agreements. End them now.
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stuart68 Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
94. China is no different
Foxconn is moving operations North "to less expensive regions". My guess is that it is for less visiblity to these type of issues.

Briging manufacturing back to the US is a great way to eliminate this and creat a lot of good jobs as well.
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