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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Everyone should have safe working conditions’

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Published: Thursday, May 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

"That's why we applaud the efforts of retailers around the world who have banded together to create an alliance that will oversee building and fire safety in Bangladesh's burgeoning garment industry. "

Both Walmart and The Gap have refused to participate in these efforts. That speaks volumes about them - none of it good.

higv
Dietrich, ID

IT would be dangerous for any business not to have a safe building as it would hurt that business.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Right here in a nutshell is the GOP's anti-union, anti-worker, anti-environmental vision for the future of the American workplace.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Why is the Dnews so liberal now? What we need is no unions, no workplace safety requirements (regulation) and no minimum wage. That way more money can stay at the top.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

"IT would be dangerous for any business not to have a safe building as it would hurt that business."

In reality human lives are simply calculated into the cost of doing business by corporations. Case in point, Ford Motor Co's decision that the cost of repairing dangerous gas tanks in their Pinto line of cars was greater than the cost of settling lawsuits from the families of people killed when Pinto gas tanks ruptured in minor crashes - so they decided to sell cars that they knew would cause injury and deaths.

Walmart similarly calculates the cost of labor, including deaths, and goes where the cheapest labor can be found. If Bangladesh begins to require garment factories to conform to some minimum standard of safety, and if that means that t-shirts made in Haitian sweatshops then might be twenty cents cheaper than the same shirts made in Bangladesh, you'll find Haitian-made clothing at Walmart.

And Americans will keep shopping there.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The businessmen employed by the giant international corporations are not likely to be concerned about the health and welfare of workers. American businessmen are busy working to bring the American workers down to the level of foreign workers.

While the groups that are seeking exemption from taxes refuse to elaborate on the regulations they with to do away with, common sense would tell you that American businessmen will do away with those regulations that provide safety, wages and working conditions because they are the most costly and the easiest to control.

Seems like we hear just about as many American business disasters as foreign. Oklahoma fertilizer, medical and automobiles come to mind.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Personally, I refuse to shop at Walmart. They give no benefits so their employees must go on Medicaid. Walmart exploits people in Bangladesh and other countries. Walmart oppresses its suppliers to the point of squeezing them out of business. It is a monopsony, a gigantic criminal organization. I encourage people to avoid the place like the plague that it is.

Jon W.
Murray, UT

As a conservative, the problem I have with unions is not that they exist, but that they overreach. Let's face it: The primary effort of any institution, regardless of original intentions, is to preserve the institution itself. Unions in America, once they obtained a decent wage and work environment for their members, began to grab power without regard to any mischief that may have caused to corporate profitability. Therefore private industry was decimated by unions in many areas and the workers ended up in worse circumstances than when they started.

It would be my hope that in Bangladesh, and later in Haiti, and in Africa, and all over the world, that worker safety and comfort be given priority, that workers will be able to collectively negotiate and raise their own standard of living, that corporations will be able to supply high-quality goods at prices consumers are willing and able to pay, and that union leaders will come to recognize that only through free markets (both of labor and of goods) can prosperity increase and be shared by all.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Jon W.

I believe you are the victim of business propaganda that has been spread through out the American people by businessmen in their efforts to defeat the free market in labor and obtain the lowest wage costs.

Although I have never been in a workers union, other than the United State of America, I tend to look at workers unions in the same way as plumbers unions, Doctors, lawyers, and the other tens of thousands of associations, religions, etc. And like you say, “the primary effort of any institution, regardless of original intentions, is to preserve the institution itself”. Workers unions are no more corrupt than any other.

Because of the propaganda campaign, workers unions do not have the power to force business operations to take care of their workers safety. Businessmen will generally follow the law of government but not go beyond the law. And sometimes it’s hard to get them to do that much.

The only hope for improving the workers lot in life is from the unions called nations.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"The only hope for improving the workers lot in life is from the unions called nations." No, actually labor's only hope is from unions called unions (and act like it).

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The problem with sweatshops in Bangladesh or anywhere else has been known for a long time. If a compahy suddenly starts checking their suppliers thsat is good, but I wonder why they didn't do it check before?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

There is little economic incentive for large corporations to change. Even here in the U.S., corporations merely get a slap on the wrist when found doing something illegal or improper. For example, when pharmaceutical companies blatantly market drugs for conditions they've not been approved for they are fined. But the money they make from the off-label marketing far outweighs the fines. Same goes for the banks. They gave fraudulent loans, and fraudulently forclosed on thousands of homeownwers with few to no consequences.

Bangladesh wants corporations creating jobs there and the people are desparately poor so they want jobs too. I think corporations would only change if Americans started large public protests at their stores and made it a PR nightmare for them.

I've always avoided shopping at Walmart.

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