The Owners are wailing that they are the Victims?
Here is a link that might be useful: LOSS
I recently watched an interesting documentary series where a bunch of young British fashion tragics agreed to go and work in the same conditions for the same salries as those who manufactured their clothing.
They had to pay rent and buy food on the same salaries as their Indian co workers., and they had t put in the same 16 hour days to earn it.
The documentary showed some workers sleeping under their machines...actually spending their whole lives under or at the sewing machine.
it was a mega eye opener for them , and also for me .
The Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911 was a similar event and this fire looks similar as a country deals with the cost of economic growth...
Yes , no unions , no Government standards to protect them. Sad fact , that Labour has little value when it is in limitless supply.
Or governments don't Impose regulations...
Walmart has now dropped the supplier!
"A supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorization and in direct violation of our policies. Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," Wal-Mart said."
Here is a link that might be useful: image
US consumers have looked the other way for a long long time now. All this information about slave-like labor over there has been around a long time. It seems shopping has become an obsession or therapy for millions here??
What about other countries? We can't be the only importers of this stuff. I'd bet Kohl's owns their own ships.
Anything in huge supply has little value, whether human labor or virgin continental forests. The only way to change that, for the humans in question is to stay out of the game, or to organize and resist. In Tolkein's Middle Earth, the forest did organize and resist; here in real life unions usually fail, or like communist leaders become corrupt.
labrea, the owners may wail in public; but these very people, in their dark suits, seated in the board room on the 22nd. floor, will cold-bloodedly acknowledge the consequences as the 'cost of doing business' and move on to the next item on the agenda.
Tragedies like this one know not countries, nations and political ideology.
They will occur whenever and wherever one factor of production - entrepreneurship - will not acknowledge that labor - another factor, is equally human.
I expect them to be what they are, as much as I expect the US consumer to blithely continue to buy junk because it has a BRAND name. There are flocks of tourist on Canal Street here every day looking for knock off's of the junk. The arrest the sellers but not the clowns dropping a hundred or more for a fake Prada or Louis Vuitton.
People used to insist that some of these designer brands were different (they were buying an idea)
some of the brands insisted they weren't made in China but if you knew where to look you could find another lable that said made in Vietnam, China etc.
Rona: "They will occur whenever and wherever one factor of production - entrepreneurship - will not acknowledge that labor - another factor, is equally human."
I disagree with this use of the word "entrepreneurship", so I'm pasting this from businessdictionary.com:
Rona's use of the word makes it sound nasty. IMO it's not.
"The capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses.
In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources and capital can produce profit. Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, and is an essential part of a nation's ability to succeed in an ever changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace"
Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/entrepreneurship.html#ixzz2DTg6daok
Yeah then there's that!
And many will continue to shop at Walmart and others because it saves them money.
No thought to the working conditions of the people who make the product. Not their problem.
There are many in this country that work just as long and hard, on two or three minimum wage jobs a day.
They don't have time to consider where Walmart gets its goods from; they're just happy it is open when they are finally off work.
That rationalizes it!
That's not a disagreement Eibren good to see you around!
The other problem I see though, is how do you know somebody is working in good conditions? Other than the very limited number of goods designated as fair trade, it is rather difficult to tell. How do you know if a product sold in a different store (whether it be Neiman Marcus or Target) is manufactured by employers treated with dignity?
If you purchase electronics, which television maker treats their manufacturing employees well? Even if an item is expensive, there is no guarantee that much of that money is being passed on to those who produce it, more often than not, one is just paying for a prettier package.
Really, the only way to ensure that we are not supporting the ill-treatment of labor is pretty much to not buy anything. Admittedly, my family is purchasing less than we once did but even now, I know that there are times when I purchase things, slave labor may have had a part in that purchase. Tell me though, how do I do it any differently?
Shop at the thrift (second-hand, charity, etc.) stores and garage sales; I do. Great stuff. Most of it is made in foreign countries under God knows what kind of working conditions, but I rationalize that's okay because I'm not the original consumer.
labrea, my only intention was to compare the two factors of production -entrepreunership and labor - that are people or human. And to make the point that when the former treats the latter like the other non-human factors, then do disasters like the Shirtwaist Fire, the Bhopal Disaster and the Cyanide River Disaster in Guyana occur.
In my day there were only four factors of production. Capital and land were the other two.
elvis' post has updated my knowledge to include the fifth - which usually includes life forms.
"In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources and capital can produce profit."
I was serious it is interesting how this can go is it a libertarian idea or is it extreme conservatism with Rand Paul I find it hard to tell which he is.
"You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs."
It was someone else idea that workers take risks when they work in such places.
It was a digression of mine that yokels flood Canal street here looking to snap up knock off replica's of high end Fashion Junk and should probably be arrested along with the sellers for possession of counterfeit goods.
VALUE another element in merchandising sales & marketing.
The Value of a good is not necessarily connected to quality or craftsmanship.
I rarely think of where something comes from unless I'm goaded by articles about terrible working conditions or outright slavery.
Yee old lock the workers in lest they steal seemed to be in play here which is why the factory owners were arrested.
"Sources say workers who tried to leave after hearing a fire alarm were told by their managers that the alarm had gone off in error, and that they should go back to work. Escape was also hampered by the fact that all of the staircases were internal and led down through the ground floor, which was where the fire originated.
"Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower," said Maj. Mohammad Mahbub, fire department operations director."
According to the Tuba Group website, Tarzeen received a "high risk" safety rating following an audit conducted for Wal-Mart in May of last year.
Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner said online documents indicating a "high risk" assessment after the May 2011 inspection and a "medium risk" report after an inspection in August 2011 appeared to pertain to the factory which burned. The August 2011 letter said Wal-Mart would conduct another inspection within one year.
Wal-Mart to their credit has a policy of not working with factories that have numerous safety concerns.
As much as VALUE figures into the equation so does IMAGE and Retailers know how and image can be destroyed by bad press.
I have no Idea what Disney's policies are of Sean Combs policy is the factory also made their lines.
Wal-Mart's policy is to not place orders for one year with a factory that has received a high risk rating three times in two years. The May 2011 report was the first orange rating for the factory.
In its 2012 Global Responsibility report, Walmart identified fire safety as a "key focus" for Bangladesh sourcing, and noted that it had ceased working with 49 factories in the country in 2011 due to fire safety concerns.
So how does a factory with no exterior fire escape ever rate lower than High risk? Who is doing the risk assesment?
The issue with "entrepreneurship" is whose risk are we talking about? It is one thing when it is the financial resources put up by the person starting the business, it is quite another when the risk is that possibly some of the employees are going to be torched. That definitly puts entrepreneurship in the nasty category.
Speaking of fire escapes, we see many multi-family rental properties with only one entrance and no fire escapes.
The tenants must value reasonable rents more than their lives.
Many are too cheap to buy a safety escape ladder.
The same applies to all the fire, electric, gas, CO and other hazards we see on a weekly basis. Many issues could be corrected with a relatively small amount of money.
If people aren't that concerned about their own lives, or the lives of their family, I doubt they care about the safety of manufacturing workers in other countries.
"In order to be profitable, you have to control the supply chain, monitor quality, prices and the speed of delivery," said Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium. "It's strange that a company would say they had no idea who was making stuff for them."
Wal-Mart's website says the retailer conducted 9,737 audits on 8,713 factories that supply private-label and non-branded goods to Wal-Mart in 2011. The audits, completed by what it calls accredited or internationally recognized auditing firms, are carried out every six to 24 months.
But the reports are not published online. Nor are they shown to factory workers, according to Nova.
"There's no transparency. They never publish their findings as to whether or not there's a violation, so there's not much scrutiny about the audits," he said.
The issue, experts say, runs deeper, to a conflict between selling clothes at a cut rate price versus bolstering the rights of workers.
In order to keep production prices low, Nova said that companies rely on cheap labor, which often goes hand-in-hand with low wages, poor working conditions and safety concerns.
"On one hand, brands are telling factories to improve conditions, but on the other hand they're telling them they need lower prices," he said. "They have workers at factories making 18 cents an hour to keep prices down, but they recognize that the consequence are egregious situations like this fire."
Poor Walmart's since they are the largest consumer of this they are the ones continually mentioned in the articles. That's ok with me!
Here is a link that might be useful: The cost of cheap clothes at Wal-Mart, Sears
Buy from Lands End, LL Bean, and Victoria's Secret. The majority of their products are subtly labeled, "imported". That takes the fear out of buying.
Did some Googling - a Lands End person said some of the goods are from SE Asia. Victoria's Secret uses/used child labor in Burkina Faso to produce cotton. The link below has a list of many LL Bean products and where they come from.
Here is a link that might be useful: Say it ain't so
The international garment business is fairly interesting. You need a reliable, relatively inexpensive electric power supply to run the electric cutters, sewing machines, etc. There are specialized companies that take down a sewing factory, move it elsewhere then set it up again. You can get going with a new factory within one or two months. There are small teams of floor managers that move with the factories - often illegally.
Then the necessary kickbacks and what not to keep the local gendarmerie looking the other way.
We were living in Kenya and I wanted some new cargo shorts the next size up. A guy that owned one of these sewing factories asked for a pair, deconstructed them, sewed up another pair slightly larger, put the original back together by that evening. You couldn't tell he'd done anything. The new pair was perfect, so the next day at noon, I had 6 pair of perfectly fitting, brand new cargo shorts that could have come off the shelves of Lands End. I think they cost $4 a piece.
That thing where they now stamp on the brand name instead of sewing in a label saves them all kinds of money, and means that they can actually make up a whole bunch of the same thing and just stamp in a different label sometime down the road.
And about 2 years later, the people that work in the factories can go get the same clothes they sewed up, now for sale in the used clothing markets where they ship in 500 lb bales of compressed, fumigated, discarded 1st world clothes back to where they came from.
Cue "The Circle of Life"
So don't buy any goods from third world countries.
That'll help a lot.
Meanwhile, see if you can't get some of those loving, caring union people to go over and organize the people.
That'll help a lot, too.
Nah, just leave a few pennies in the pockets when you give your old clothes away. The odds of the actual slave laborer who sewed your new t-shirt buying the same old t-shirt in the market are about the same as winning Power Ball. :-)
If the doors of that factory were not locked, the only news out of Bangladesh would have been, clothing factory destroyed by fire; no fatalities.
Why were the exit doors locked?
Here is a link that might be useful: Shoppers continue on their merry way.
I bought some Abercrombie & Fitch cargo pants(I think they were made in the Marshall Islands) from a second hand store that had over $100 total in some of the inside cargo pockets.
I only paid $50 for 5 pair of cargo pants.
Yes, but do they fit?
Yes, they fit excellent. I have a hard time finding pants that fit my legs, so I buy a lot of larger cargo pants and larger carpenter jeans.
The additional pockets come in handy as well...
I wonder how many people passed that barefoot man before the cop decided to stop & buy him a pair of shoes!
I'm surprised the police department didn't fine him for leaving his duty to get the guy the shoes.
even when confronted with pain & suffering people develop a defense against it (call it good business, personal responsibility, not encouraging derelicts, god will, cheap goods, a good investment)
I am as oblivious to most of it as most people My Tee shirts are made in the US, my shoes are cheap Viet Nam made.
We blasted the hell out of them so they could make sneakers!