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Thread: Its about time we do something about the horrible conditions for garment workers

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    Politics.ie Member Old Irish's Avatar
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    Default Its about time we do something about the horrible conditions for garment workers

    112 killed in fire at Bangladesh garment factory - CBS News

    I have long seen documentaries about the terrible conditions garment workers in India/China suffer but surely something solid and proper needs to be done to stop the slavery of these people. I for one would not mind paying a euro on top of an item of clothing if they said it was going towards making the factories these people work in safer.

    I would love to see some factories open up in Ireland tbh to give our young people a job but I doubt very much that any of them would work for the money these people get and also in the conditions.

    Basic fire safey should be a human right and the owners of this factory should be done for manslaughter imho

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    You can be sure there will be huge outcry if this factory was found to be making garments for the Western market


    cYp
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Irish View Post
    Basic fire safey should be a human right and the owners of this factory should be done for manslaughter imho
    The issue comes down to enforcement procedure in countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan (which had a similar fire recently). It would be very arrogent of us to assume that we can force these countries to alter the way they spend resources. Alot of what is imported from these countries is rubbish, but no one is forced to buy it. But do we spend the amount of money that is saved by private industry and retailers, by using public resources to catalogue foreign garment companies and police them?

    But the issue is not black and white for another reason. Last year the media here had a little bit of an outting higlighting dangerous mining practices in central Africa. The metals found were used for mobile phones, and in other cases it was emeralds being mined. We were invited to be guilty and indignant at the same time, to show some good upstanding Western angst. In the case of the emerald mines, a program recently highlighted how the workers are freelance, and count themselves lucky to have the work. So much so that they are banding together to protest against government plans to built a proper mine with better safety standards. It is they say, a plan to rib them. While looking at the program I was struck but how hoodwinked we had been by TV crews going to Africa and producing a cloying and distorting piece of heart string journalism.

    In the case of the rag trade, pressure is already excerted on importers. But rightfully that stops short of imposing sanctions and bullying poorer countries into doing as we say. The truth is always far more complex than the media or campaigners would have us believe. There is always room for improvment, but there is also a need to acknowledge that sometimes it is not our place to assume we have the right to demand others meet our standards in every respect. Sweat shops are abhorrent, but the case under review is not a case of forced labour. Child labour is abhorrent to us too. But in that case, many children work for a living because without doing so, they do not get to eat. The campaigns of the late 90's over child labour in poor countries struck that rock, and sank on the quiet.

    A bit of bad publicaity would not do Bangladesh or Pakistan much harm. But what we can do, is limited by what we should do.

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    Politics.ie Member greengoose2's Avatar
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    Read the label on your shirt. Ask yourself why textiles are so cheap! Then refuse to buy garments of unknown origin!

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    People are complaining about what goes in Bangladesh and other places when here in Europe, slave laborers from the Third World are imported, sweat shops operate under the noses or with the full knowledge of paid off officials and counterfeit garments are sold in counterfeit stores controlled by organised crime. It is well known that most of the Italian rag trade is run by the Mafia and the Comorra.

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    People don't really care because there is no real connection with these people. Just look at the storm that happened a while back in new York. Non stop media coverage.

    I agree with you. Isn't it pathetic that the oul twink yolk gets more interest here than the deaths of over 100 people in a fire. Sad really.

    Regard...disillusioned

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    Politics.ie Member Old Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottovonbismarck View Post
    People don't really care because there is no real connection with these people. Just look at the storm that happened a while back in new York. Non stop media coverage.

    I agree with you. Isn't it pathetic that the oul twink yolk gets more interest here than the deaths of over 100 people in a fire. Sad really.

    Regard...disillusioned
    Indeed. I can however understand when people say things like 'we've got our own problems' because alot of us do have our own problems obviously not anywhere near as bad as these poor people but surely a body like the Hague or something can intervene and cut right through the politics of 'rag trade' and insist that fire safety is a human right.

    I know I am probably being somewhat naive but its obviously getting worse for these people with no end to this worldwide recession in sight. I'm all about putting the head down and seeing light at the end of a tunnel at times like this but it really goes too far when people are dying like this.

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    Maybe if our national broadcaster wasn't so bloody parochial, and focused more on world issues, at least more people would be aware of the real world.

    Regards...ch 4 news

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Bangladesh factory fire was deliberately started, officials believe | World news | guardian.co.uk
    A blaze which killed more than 100 textile workers in a clothing factory supplying western high street brands was deliberately started, according to officials in Bangladesh.

    As more details emerged of the lapses that turned the nine-storey factory on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka into a death-trap on Saturday night, companies including the European clothing store C&A and the giant US retailer Walmart admitted they had contracts with the owners for the supply of sweatshirts and other products.
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    So from reading the Guardian story it appears:

    1. Factory supplied Walmart & CA
    2. Walmart had designated the factor highly unsafe
    3. Workers were locked in and left to die
    4. There's a coverup trying to blame arson



    Does this not make people uncomfortable ?

    cYp
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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