In light of the incident in Bangladesh, the factory collapse disaster that left a thousand dead and many more injured and out of work, many companies in Europe decided to make and sign a pact declaring they had the safety of such workers in mind.
What they are is in essence slave labor, chattel for the making of products sold in rich nations. These people make only cents a day, live in horrible conditions and are poorly treated. They are the people who make your clothes, your computers, your sheets and your shoes.
But there are some American companies who did not sign the safety pact, and they are familiar names. I am going to avoid them until they get with it and sign that pact to let the workers know they are thinking about them and have their well -being in mind. After all, these are human beings; they are PEOPLE with families, hopes and dreams, things to do and places to see and homes to maintain. They have feelings and can hurt just as much as you do.
The companies in question are the following:
1. Joe Fresh (the worker was carrying items of Joe Fresh out of the rubble)
2. Wal Mart
6. J. C. Penney
7. The North Face
10. Made in the Shade
11. Osh Kosh B’Gosh
13. American Eagle Outfitters
14. Children’s Place
15. Foot Locker
A good article showing a worker carrying Joe Fresh clothing out of the rubble can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/bangladesh-factory-safety-accord_n_3286430.html#slide=2468152
Do you work at any of these places? Be aware of what your employment is doing to someone else in another country who is putting up with slave conditions and being treated like chattel. You are in your cozy American home, working in a clean store, wearing a clean uniform, getting your lunch break and your coffee in a clean mug, with your parking space, your restaurants and your choices. These people work bent over for hours in sweatshops to make the clothes you wear and the shoes you put on the feet of your children.
The officials who run these stores do not care about the people who make the products, so do you think they really care about YOU?
I will not shop at these stores unless I have to as a last resort for something I need and even then I will consider whether or not I can do without it.
Another suggestion I had from a comment responder is that everyone concerned for the safety of workers for these companies and for all workplace safety issues write to the executives of these companies and tell them you will NOT shop at their stores or subsidiaries until they fess up and sign agreements to keep workers safe. You can hurt them where it counts, in their big fat wallets and cushy salaries and perks. You can get them where it really will make a difference, so they can’t send their kids to the posh private school while some forlorn young worker in Bangladesh or Pakistan or other country lives in poverty and subsists on a few grains of rice and a few pieces of bread and a few cents a day.
Show these pompous twits and uncaring people that you will not support them or their businesses until they make visible and quick changes for workplace safety!
Oh, and did Earth Wind and Fire give Kohl’s permission to use their hit song “Shining Star”, which is one of my favorites, in the background of one of their radio commercials I heard today? Hey, EWF, get on that right away and tell them not to use your song to promote their company- they were among the ones noted as not signing on with the safety agreement. I hope you do not support companies like these who do not have the safety and well -being of ALL their workers in mind.
Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.
- Shoppers lash out at stores over Bangladesh (money.cnn.com)
- Leaving Bangladesh? Not an easy choice for brands (miamiherald.com)
- Chains grapple with how to improve safety (sfgate.com)
- Wal-Mart to Inspect Bangladesh Factories, Won’t Sign Pact (bloomberg.com)
- Shoppers lash out at stores over Bangladesh (wdsu.com)
- H&M, Hilfiger sign Bangladesh factory safety pact (money.cnn.com)
- Americans face tough choices over Bangladesh (money.cnn.com)
- MICHAEL KRYZANEK: Third World factory workers need First World outrage to survive (patriotledger.com)
- Penney says it’s changing Bangladesh contracting practices; Dickies says that information is proprietary (star-telegram.com)
- Bangladeshi workers pay price for West’s cheap clothes (worldbulletin.net)