Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweatshops Don't Just Happen - They're a Policy

We see the result of these policies in the more than two million Mexicans who now work in maquiladoras assembling goods for the US market, the more than three million Bangladeshis who sew apparel for European and US retailers, and the millions more across the globe who either work in sweatshops or cross borders "illegally" to find jobs in the richer nations.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
June 25, 2013

On May 5, The New York Times dedicated its "Sunday Dialogue" feature to letters about the factory collapse in Bangladesh that had killed more than 1,100 garment workers a week and a half earlier. The "dialogue" started with a letter from University of Michigan business school professor Jerry Davis, who apportioned blame for the disaster to "the owners of the building and the factories it contained, to the government of Bangladesh, to the retailers who sold the clothing," and to us. Through "[o]ur willingness to buy garments sewn under dangerous conditions," he wrote, we "create the demand that underwrites these tragedies."

There's a striking omission in Prof. Davis' list - the people whose policies make the sweatshop economy possible.[...]

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