Black Friday is behind us and already it's "cyber Monday". The shopping frenzy is well underway for gifts to put under the Christmas tree, and shoppers are certainly filling stores according to first reports.
I hope this year you will do just the littlest bit of research about where your gifts actually are made before you head out shopping, and make some buying choices based on that knowledge.
I know I'm barking up the wrong tree for the most part around here... I've been taken to task before about worker safety and unions for my pro union blogs and comments, but the problems persist, this time over 100 hard working folks died, nobody does anything except feed the problem, so I thought I'd pass on this tidbit from current events.
Many of the clothes we buy in the USA are made in Bangladesh. WalMart, Ikea, and numerous other businesses contract with companies in Blangladesh for clothing, and with respect to the fire location that claimed over a hundred garment workers this weekend, WalMart states that "Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this tragedy. While we are trying to determine if the factory has a current relationship with Wal-Mart or one of our suppliers, fire safety is a critically important area of Wal-Mart's factory audit program and we have been working across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."
The free enterprise system is alive and well in Bangladesh it seems. The country has over 4000 garment factories... most exporting clothing to Europe and the USA. I wrote back in March of 2011 about a fire in Bangledesh that was reminiscent of the fire credited with establishing safe working conditions in the USA.
Thing is, another 100+ folks have died because business owners/managers choose to keep worker safety behind profits it seems. Why else would managers tell workers to go back to work when an active fire was underway? Why else would fire escapes still be locked from the outside? Read about it here... http://news.yahoo.com/bangladeshis-protest-fire-killed-112-060714993--finance.ht...
Obviously factory managers need to keep their workers at their work station no matter what in Bangledesh, but I don't plan on subsidizing their poor ethicical choices, just to buy a cheap shirt. Please, consider where the products you buy are made, and support humans over profits.