Friday, 26 April 2013

Outsourcing - at what cost?

The costs are dear:
Bangladesh garment factory death toll passes 620

-700 deaths in Bangladesh since 2005. There are more than 620 dead in the latest tragedy, and thousands injured in this country where workers are cheap and less important than profits.

India hospital roof collapse injures 8

Part of a hospital building collapsed in central India on Friday after its roof came crashing down, injuring at least eight people, an official said.

We import $1.1 billion dollars worth of clothes, export $500 million worth of raw materials to Bangladesh, according to CBCNN.
Graeme MacKay - editorial cartoonist
used with permission
The workers are paid 18 cents per hour ($37 per month), in order for us to be able to buy an $8 t-shirt at Loblaw's, the Joe Fresh brand.

Canada's Joe Fresh among brands made in collapsed Bangladesh building

Rescuers were clawing through the rubble to free dozens of people in Savar, Bangladesh, after the collapse of an eight-storey building that housed garment factories, some of them suppliers to Loblaw Cos.’ Joe Fresh and other Western brands.

Is this right?
Is this moral?
All in the name of profits?
Humanity has a long history of this, beginning with those war mongers who profited durring WW II. Recently, the big box stores, like Cheap-Mart, have exploited this desire for cheap goods.
For western businesses to profit, these workers live in appalling conditions, earning a pittance. They enter a factory, threatened with job loss if they do not ignore the cracks in the foundation of an 8-story building, that was only granted a permit to be 5 stories.
You look at the young faces of the women being pulled out of these builds alive, and wonder, at what cost?
Working conditions and labour codes that are ignored or by-passed with bribes.
Fires, crumbled buildings.

History of accidents in Bangladesh

  • Nov 2012 - More than 100 workers die in a fire at a factory in Dhaka suburb of Tazreen
  • March 2012 - More than 100 people die as a ferry collides with an oil tanker and sinks
  • June 2010 - Four-storey building in Dhaka caves in, killing at least 25 people
  • April 2005 A garment factory collapses in Savar, killing 73 people
  • May 2002 - Up to 500 people die when a river ferry sinks during a storm


Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, Jenn, that could be the face of my niece, Jodi, who was adopted as an infant from an orphanage in Dhaka. She hasn't had a perfect life in Canada but at least she is a healthy adult who stays in constant touch with me, which my sister doesn't.
Eighteen cents an hour? I can remember working for $42.50 a week in 1965, but 18 cents for a 40-hour week would be $7.20, and even though I'm sure they work more than 40 hours, they wouldn't even make $10.
"Outsourcing" is hyped as a great idea by influential businessmen, with the inference that we're thereby helping undeveloped nations.
Life does have more downs than ups some days, doesn't it, my friend?

Red said...

This has been going on since the beginning. Colonialism is one example which has resulted in many of today's problems. Globalization has set us up for the present ability of industry to take advantage of under privileged and make enormous amounts of money.