Published: Thursday, May 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
"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.
IT would be dangerous for any business not to have a safe building as it would
hurt that business.
Right here in a nutshell is the GOP's anti-union, anti-worker,
anti-environmental vision for the future of the American workplace.
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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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).
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?
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
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