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wendersfan
05-06-08, 02:09 PM
This actually contains some personal content, so it's not all dry policy and theory. I've been invited by a student friend of mine to a rally opposing the use of sweatshops in producing college branded apparel. My friend is very earnest and well meaning with respect to this, but I have a bit of internal conflict over the whole issue. On the one hand, no one wants people to have to work in conditions that would be described as a "sweatshop". On the other hand, it seems to me that it's part of the natural evolution of a society's economy, and is probably a step up in most ways from subsistence farming, which one assumes most people did before getting their sweatshop job. Is opposing sweatshops really, ultimately hurting people in the third world, or would I be doing them a favor? What would you do?

Venusian
05-06-08, 02:11 PM
What is the rally actually doing? Are they trying to change where the college is buying stuff from and going to cause people to lose jobs?

My sister's wedding invitations were done by child labor. She went to India and went to this orphanage school that takes kids off the streets and gives them jobs making crafts (invitations etc) if they are willing to go to school. The logic is this kids are going to try to work anyway, might as well have them going to school and work in a safe environment than work on the streets.

Red Dog
05-06-08, 02:12 PM
I wouldn't attend the rally for the reasons you said.

kvrdave
05-06-08, 02:16 PM
"Sweatshop" is a relative term. It could very well be terrible, sub-human, conditions to us. But at the same time, the people that work there would probably give anything to reach our definition of poverty. I think you are correct about the natural evolution, and I wouldn't attend, except to have counter picket signs as a joke. Some pooe kid out of work that now can't help feed his sister. That type of thing.

Nick Danger
05-06-08, 02:20 PM
Sweatshops are manned by people who think working a rotten job and living in slums is still better than life on a farm. My ancestors probably thought the same thing when they left Ireland for America.

However, according to some anti-globalization lectures I've heard, money management is a lot more sophisticated than it was fifty years ago, and the local economies are not being helped as much as they used to be.

In the end, I'd have to vote in favor of sweatshops. Life in industrialized countries like Singapore and South Korea is much better than life in agrarian countries like Sudan and Somalia.

wendersfan
05-06-08, 02:20 PM
What is the rally actually doing? Are they trying to change where the college is buying stuff from and going to cause people to lose jobs?The protest is to urge the administration to not license apparel from companies that use sweatshop labor. I assume people will lose jobs because of this.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051128/dreier

It's just kinda hard to think of myself as "pro-sweatshop", you know? :lol:

wendersfan
05-06-08, 02:21 PM
I recommend you read Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in England, and after that a good text of economic history, maybe North's The Rise of the Western World.What am I, 16? I read Engels when I was a kid, and God knows I've read a ton of DC North.

Nick Danger
05-06-08, 02:22 PM
So you're like, getting a PhD in political economics or something, and you're asking us about sweatshops?

orangecrush
05-06-08, 02:24 PM
It's just kinda hard to think of myself as "pro-sweatshop", you know? :lol:
That is the unfortunate thing about these sorts of issues. For a lot of people the mere term being used will cause them to abandon reason and just oppose the idea.

wendersfan
05-06-08, 02:25 PM
So you're like, getting a PhD in political economics or something, and you're asking us about sweatshops?I'd already made up my mind about it, I just wanted to talk a little about something other than the election. ;)

And I am so not getting a Ph.D. I don't have that kind of spare time these days.

Venusian
05-06-08, 02:26 PM
It's just kinda hard to think of myself as "pro-sweatshop", you know? :lol:

capitalist pig!

wendersfan
05-06-08, 02:29 PM
capitalist pig!
You left out the "imperialist running dog" part. :(

wishbone
05-06-08, 02:36 PM
Sweatshops
A sweatshop is a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, and arbitrary discipline, such as verbal and physical abuse. Since sweatshop workers are paid less than their daily expenses, they are never able to save any money to improve their lives. They are trapped in an awful cycle of exploitation.

Defenders of sweatshops often bring up the fact that even though sweatshops are bad, they at least give people jobs they wouldn't have had otherwise. However, the type of jobs sweatshop workers receive are so bad that they rarely improve their economic situation.http://www.veganpeace.com/sweatshops/sweatshops_and_child_labor.htm

According to this site if you are able to improve your economic status then you are not being exploited; I imagine the "living wage" item is in comparison to the West and not the third world though.

wendersfan
05-06-08, 02:46 PM
:lol: Sorry, I should have known most Americans have read Engels by the age of 16.I don't know about most Americans, but I always found Engels' prose more compelling than Marx's. :shrug:

Groucho
05-06-08, 02:48 PM
Come protest the conditions at my office. They recently stopped buying Evian water and replaced it with Dasani. :(

kvrdave
05-06-08, 03:02 PM
I don't know about most Americans, but I always found Engels' prose more compelling than Marx's. :shrug:

Considering he wrote all that while still farming in Walnut Grove, it is even more impressive.

Ranger
05-06-08, 03:10 PM
I'm certainly against physical abuse in the workplace. There was a report on CNN about an Asian shrimp factory:
Workers who angered the employer were often 'put to shame' in front of others by having their hair cut or shaved in patches. Women and girls were stripped naked and publicly beaten as a form of discipline
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/04/23/shrimp.workers.report/

MartinBlank
05-06-08, 03:24 PM
This happened locally about a week ago. The students ended up being suspended for about a week.

orangecrush
05-06-08, 04:12 PM
Come protest the conditions at my office. They recently stopped buying Evian water and replaced it with Dasani. :(
Heartless bastards!

kvrdave
05-06-08, 06:21 PM
This happened locally about a week ago. The students ended up being suspended for about a week.

Good thing they didn't draw a picture of it or they would have been expelled.

GreenMonkey
05-07-08, 08:40 AM
If it is a factory that actually treats employees fairly, as in, they are getting a decent living wage for the country they are in, then that's OK.

Unfortunately it seems that many of these are rife with abuse, sexual harassment and sexual favors to keep jobs, locking them inside the doors, banning bathroom breaks, and other morally awful labor practices.

Overall I think it's a mixed bag. It's probably a good thing that in the long run will help to bring these countries closer to economic equality, but the labor conditions still suck for the workers, and I'd hate to contribute to that.

I think in the long run it will be a benefit for them...these kinds of things existed in the US during the industrial revolution, until the labor movement and subsequent labor reform came along. Hopefully they get to that part of it, eventually.

VinVega
05-07-08, 09:58 AM
I think you need to really know the conditions of the factory before you throw a term "sweatshop" out there. If they are locking them in rooms and not letting them take bathroom breaks, or not paying them, then yeah, it's a fucking sweatshop and I don't think they deserve my business.

Pharoh
05-07-08, 10:03 AM
I'd already made up my mind about it, I just wanted to talk a little about something other than the election. ;)

And I am so not getting a Ph.D. I don't have that kind of spare time these days.



So then I can assume you are not attending?

The Bus
05-07-08, 10:13 AM
wenders, ask your friend what information he has about this supplier. Just because it's clothing made in a third-world country doesn't mean that it comes from a sweatshop, in the Upton Sinclair sense of the word.

I would ask if they treat their workers fairly. This could include any number of variables, from pay, to factory conditions, to treatment by supervisors, to any possible benefits they might get. Look at the bottom half of the <a href="http://adbusters.org/metas/corpo/blackspotshoes/info.php">information page about Blackspot Shoes and how they treat their workers</a>.

I wouldn't be surprised if your friend planning the protest has no idea what is going on in the actual factory where this is made.

wendersfan
05-07-08, 10:18 AM
So then I can assume you are not attending?
I won't attend, but I might walk by on my afternoon stroll. ;)

wendersfan
05-07-08, 10:18 AM
wenders, ask your friend what information he has about this supplier.Mt friend is a she.

The Bus
05-07-08, 10:26 AM
Is she specifically opposing the use of the sweatshop that your university uses, or is it more of a general awareness campaign?

kvrdave
05-07-08, 10:44 AM
wenders, ask your friend what information he has about this supplier. Just because it's clothing made in a third-world country doesn't mean that it comes from a sweatshop, in the Upton Sinclair sense of the word.


:lol: These are hippy protestors. They don't have any information about the supplier. They have ond old sage hippy who has decided to take a break from freeing Tibet and heard of an opportunity to hold a sign for something.

This is the way of the hippy.

wendersfan
05-07-08, 10:58 AM
:lol: These are hippy protestors. They don't have any information about the supplier. They have ond old sage hippy who has decided to take a break from freeing Tibet and heard of an opportunity to hold a sign for something.

This is the way of the hippy.Basically, but they're so earnest about it. It's sweet. :)

Oh, and "Free Tibet" is so 2005. Now it's "Save Darfur". I guess you don't get out much. ;)

JasonF
05-07-08, 11:13 AM
:lol: These are hippy protestors. They don't have any information about the supplier. They have ond old sage hippy who has decided to take a break from freeing Tibet and heard of an opportunity to hold a sign for something.

This is the way of the hippy.

Hippies are not unique. Most people don't have any information before they demand political action. Witness the number of people who, to this day, remain convinced that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.

Oh, and "Free Tibet" is so 2005. Now it's "Save Darfur". I guess you don't get out much.

Tibet is back, thanks to the Olympics.

GreenMonkey
05-07-08, 11:31 AM
I'm not sure I trust wendersfan now that this information about him being chummy with leftist hippies is out in the public. Can we really trust him with the kind of power that DVDtalk moderators wield?

kvrdave
05-07-08, 12:02 PM
Basically, but they're so earnest about it. It's sweet. :)

Oh, and "Free Tibet" is so 2005. Now it's "Save Darfur". I guess you don't get out much. ;)

Man, are you late to the party. JasonF is correct. The Olympics are in China, and anyone who has watched a movie with Brad Pitt knows that China is evil and they shouldn't have the Olympics, and in the spirit of such, we should all boycott.

Don't mess with the history of warring nations laying down swords for the Olympics in ancient Greece. Don't look at the fact that the Dali Fucker has said he is happy for the people of China and they deserve to have the Olympics. Don't care about Darfur because we tried for weeks and nothing happened. Brad Pitt must be exhaulted.
<img src=http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/8/8d/200px-Beijing2008GamesOverlogo.jpg>

The Bus
05-07-08, 12:50 PM
Dude, Darfur is 2005. Free Tibet was, like, mid-90's or so although it never went away but it peaked with those concerts the Beastie Boys did (from the perspective of uninformed youth). But now it's back!

wendersfan
05-07-08, 12:57 PM
I'm not sure I trust wendersfan now that this information about him being chummy with leftist hippies is out in the public. Can we really trust him with the kind of power that DVDtalk moderators wield?I think it's safe. Apparently I'm not as "jacked in" to the hippie hivemind as one might think. :lol:

MartinBlank
05-07-08, 01:53 PM
Hippies are not unique. Most people don't have any information before they demand political action. Witness the number of people who, to this day, remain convinced that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.


:lol: EVERYTHING'S about George Bush isn't it?! rotfl

al_bundy
05-07-08, 02:58 PM
If it is a factory that actually treats employees fairly, as in, they are getting a decent living wage for the country they are in, then that's OK.

Unfortunately it seems that many of these are rife with abuse, sexual harassment and sexual favors to keep jobs, locking them inside the doors, banning bathroom breaks, and other morally awful labor practices.

Overall I think it's a mixed bag. It's probably a good thing that in the long run will help to bring these countries closer to economic equality, but the labor conditions still suck for the workers, and I'd hate to contribute to that.

I think in the long run it will be a benefit for them...these kinds of things existed in the US during the industrial revolution, until the labor movement and subsequent labor reform came along. Hopefully they get to that part of it, eventually.

sounds like a lot of working places here in the US

Vibiana
05-08-08, 03:23 PM
My best friend was, until recently, a professional dog breeder. She has a place in the country on five acres, and had about 200 dogs plus, on average, about 40 puppies depending on sales momentum. The dogs lived in four kennel buildings which had central heating and air conditioning, large dog runs, and outdoor play areas adjacent. Each of them got daily exercise, clean food and fresh water, all necessary medical care, and plenty of socialization. Karen had a staff of four to help her with the dogs.

Nevertheless, when legislation about "puppy mills" and "backyard breeders" was passed, she was lumped right in with them by the animal-rights activists.

There are certainly factories and businesses out there that mistreat their employees, and the people who run them should be punished. However, as others have pointed out, not all third-world factories are sweatshops, and the people working there would unquestionably be worse off with NO job than in a factory that Americans consider a "sweatshop."

bhk
05-08-08, 04:20 PM
My best friend was, until recently, a professional dog breeder.

Yikes, isn't that the job of the dog?

Lemdog
05-08-08, 06:57 PM
Yikes, isn't that the job of the dog?
:lol:

grundle
05-11-08, 05:45 PM
I wrote all of this. Please ask your friend to read it and comment on it, and let us know what she said, especially the bolded part.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweatshop

In an article about a Nike sweatshop in Vietnam, Johan Norberg wrote, "But when I talk to a young Vietnamese woman, Tsi-Chi, at the factory, it is not the wages she is most happy about. Sure, she makes five times more than she did, she earns more than her husband, and she can now afford to build an extension to her house. But the most important thing, she says, is that she doesn't have to work outdoors on a farm any more... Farming means 10 to 14 hours a day in the burning sun or the intensive rain... The most persistent demand Nike hears from the workers is for an expansion of the factories so that their relatives can be offered a job as well."[10]

According to a November 2001 BBC article, in the previous two months, 100,000 sweatshop workers in Bangladesh had lost their sweatshop jobs. The sweatshop workers wanted their jobs back, and the Bangladeshi government was planning to lobby the U.S. government to repeal its trade barriers so the sweatshop workers could have their jobs back.[11]

A 2005 article in the Christian Science Monitor states, "For example, in Honduras, the site of the infamous Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop scandal, the average apparel worker earns $13.10 per day, yet 44 percent of the country's population lives on less than $2 per day... In Cambodia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras, the average wage paid by a firm accused of being a sweatshop is more than double the average income in that country's economy."[12]

On three documented occasions, anti-sweatshop activists have unintentionally caused increases in childhood prostitution. In the early 1990s, anti-sweatshop activists in the U.S. managed to cause the closure of several sweatshops in Vietnam, and as a result, several thousand Vietnamese children who had been working in those sweatshops ended up working as prostitutes, turning to crime, or starving to death. In the mid-1990s, an international anti-sweatshop movement caused several Nepalese carpet manufacturing sweatshops to close, which resulted in thousands of Nepalese girls turning to prostitution. A similar anti-sweatshop protest in the 1990s also resulted in the closure of several Pakistani sweatshops, which caused those Pakistani children to turn to prostitution.[13]

Defenders of sweatshops argue that every country starts out poor, and that the emergence of sweatshops in a country is a sign that the country has started to climb up the ladder of economic growth and upward mobility, and that this path eventually leads to the country become a rich first world country. These defenders of sweatshops cite Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan as recent examples of countries that benefited from having sweatshops.[14][15][16]

grundle
05-11-08, 05:52 PM
If they are locking them in rooms and not letting them take bathroom breaks


I'm against sweatshops doing that.

I'm also against public schools doing that too.

At least there's no law that forces people to work in sweatshops - there are laws that force people to attend school.

grundle
05-11-08, 05:56 PM
I am pro-choice on sweatshops. I trust each worker to choose the job that is best for him.

The anti-sweatshop activists do not trust workers to choose the job that is best for them. So when the anti-sweatshop activists cause sweatshops to close, and the women and children who had been working in those sweatshops end up turning to prostitution and starvation, the anti-sweatshop activists don't feel guilty about it.

It's a good thing that the Asian tiger countries ignored the anti-sweatshop activists, or else the people in those countries would be starving today.

grundle
05-11-08, 05:58 PM
:lol: These are hippy protestors. They don't have any information about the supplier. They have ond old sage hippy who has decided to take a break from freeing Tibet and heard of an opportunity to hold a sign for something.

This is the way of the hippy.


The bolded part says it all.

Superboy
05-11-08, 07:30 PM
I am pro-choice on sweatshops. I trust each worker to choose the job that is best for him.

The anti-sweatshop activists do not trust workers to choose the job that is best for them. So when the anti-sweatshop activists cause sweatshops to close, and the women and children who had been working in those sweatshops end up turning to prostitution and starvation, the anti-sweatshop activists don't feel guilty about it.

It's a good thing that the Asian tiger countries ignored the anti-sweatshop activists, or else the people in those countries would be starving today.

It's a little more complicated than that in Asia. While I don't always agree with free market doctrines, there are numerous applications in Asia. In Korea for example, every major corporation is government owned and operated and possesses a monopoly. This was fine for a while, as their standard of living was increasing at an astronomical rate. However in the 80s workers grew tired of the ceiling they were approaching when it came to the lack of opportunity. The government was keeping companies from competing for workers. The lack of competition led to the stagnation of wages - demand for work simply couldn't be met. Furthermore South Korea was beginning to lose it's footing when it came to competing with Japanese, and now Chinese, markets, as their corporations enjoyed complete economic security when it came to their home country.

I'd also like to say that anti-sweatshop activists are nothing of the sort. They're the sort of self-aggrandizing blowhard that likes to pretend they care about the world when in fact it is nothing of the sort. If they are so opposed to sweatshop labor, they should probably STOP BUYING CLOTHING AND OTHER GOODS PRODUCED IN A SWEATSHOP. The same goes for luxury cruise lines (they work on the same principle as sweatshops). I know it might be difficult for them to understand that in order for something they find despicable to die out, they must stop supporting it.


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