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soroba

the s word

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just curious

don't wan't to come across like the guy from coldplay, but where does ethics fit into everyones buying habits?

I mean, I ain't too into the nike sweatshop thing, but I got to love my safaris and my AM 90 Premiums.

Does it affect what you buy? Is there any sneaker label thats not into the asian sweatshop thing (NB's the only one I know of but I haven't exactly researched it)

Is there any labels you won't buy?

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It won't change anything except your perspective... there's this misconception that you abstain from something in order to keep it from happening ever again.

No one goes "I'm not going to go see that movie, so they'll stop showing it in theatres"

they think "I'm not going to go see that movie because it sucks".

That being said, I don't own any Nike products. It's never really been about sweatshops though, I just think there's hundreds of other more worthy sneaker companies out there that are worth my time to hunt down. The sweatshop thing merely adds to my conviction.

I might, however, have to make an exception for the Pushead dunks...

looks like everything really is relative.

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I'm curious: I had this conversation with a co-worker and she stated that there are factories ovreseas that have sub-human working conditions and other substantial problems or issues.

My question to her was: Did you actually visit this factory and see with your own eyes what is going on there?

Her answer, of course, was no but she said it's commonly known. By who?, I asked. Who has gone there?

Where is this information coming from? Credible sources or someone with an axe to grind against that company?

I suggested that if she's so concerned, why not take a leave of absence from work and go to the factory and attempt to liberate the workers from their oppressors or stage a work-stoppage. I also suggested that she ask those workers if they wish to be liberated or wish to stop working.

A side effect that may occur is that instead of improving working conditions the company may close down that factory and move production to another facility, thereby leaving the local workforce unemployed. Then what?

Shit, if you compare some work places in NY with others I'm sure you can characterize some as "less that desirable". Ever work in an office where people use spray-mount right at there desk? Ever work in an office where it "suggested" that you stay late? I mean really late, "to make a deadline" they say. But it's not a suggestion. It's an implied threat gainst your job if you don't stay. I don't get overtime. My salary may declare me rich in China, but nowhere near rich because I live in NY. Asian workers are always looked at as working for "pennies a day", but how much does that work out to as far as their actual cost of living?

Those are harsh conditions, but I don't want a human-rights advocate coming to my office and closing shit down or boycotting my product.

That's just my 200 cents.

I'd like to hear what you all have to say.

Can I ask you something? These sunglasses: they're really nice. Are they like government issue, or do you guys all go to the same store together?

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I could give a shit about people dying locally, so people being mistreated far away doesn't bring the activist out in me. I'm going to continue buying until I'm told boycotting it will get them freedom and another neat pic of Bush in a flight suit.

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NB produces shoes in Asia just like almost every other shoe company, but they maintain factories in the UK and US to produce their more expensive models (upwards of $200). Those shoes are expensive because of the manufacturing cost, but NB makes most of their money from the cheap Asian-made shoes.

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I'm curious: I had this conversation with a co-worker and she stated that there are factories ovreseas that have sub-human working conditions and other substantial problems or issues.

My question to her was: Did you actually visit this factory and see with your own eyes what is going on there?

Her answer, of course, was no but she said it's commonly known. By who?, I asked. Who has gone there?

Where is this information coming from? Credible sources or someone with an axe to grind against that company?

I suggested that if she's so concerned, why not take a leave of absence from work and go to the factory and attempt to liberate the workers from their oppressors or stage a work-stoppage. I also suggested that she ask those workers if they wish to be liberated or wish to stop working.

A side effect that may occur is that instead of improving working conditions the company may close down that factory and move production to another facility, thereby leaving the local workforce unemployed. Then what?

Shit, if you compare some work places in NY with others I'm sure you can characterize some as "less that desirable". Ever work in an office where people use spray-mount right at there desk? Ever work in an office where it "suggested" that you stay late? I mean really late, "to make a deadline" they say. But it's not a suggestion. It's an implied threat gainst your job if you don't stay. I don't get overtime. My salary may declare me rich in China, but nowhere near rich because I live in NY. Asian workers are always looked at as working for "pennies a day", but how much does that work out to as far as their actual cost of living?

Those are harsh conditions, but I don't want a human-rights advocate coming to my office and closing shit down or boycotting my product.

That's just my 200 cents.

I'd like to hear what you all have to say.

--- Original message by dagsolo on Nov 13, 2005 10:01 AM

First off. Just because one has not seen such poor working conditions does not mean they didn't occur. Ignorance is not an excuse. I didn't personally witness the holocaust but i wouldn't be so bold to say it never occurred. There are many credible sources that have documented the horrible working conditions in saipan, guatemala, indonesia, mexico, the list goes on.

Second: Your suggestion to your coworker to "liberate" the workers in these sweat shops is slightly missing the point. It is neither realistic nor palpable that she would financially be able to support herself while attempting a work stoppage.

Third: These factories are a product of globalization and for the most part the worker's lives were better prior to globalization and the introduction of these western factories. In mexico after NAFTA was signed into action the mexican government immediately allowed foreign companies rights to the campesino lands. The campesino lands were lands designated by the government for small farmers to grow crops and sell. As soon as these campesino lands were seized the unemployment rate went up. What then happens? A factory opens up in a nearby area and hires all the ex-farmers for slave wages. Somewhere around 70 cents an hour in substandard working conditions.

Fourth: These multinationals claim that they have to move factories to other countries to keep prices low. How come when GM started moving factories to mexico and cut the cost of production by about 50 percent we didn't see a decrease in the price of their automobiles, but rather an increase. Hint Hint. It wasn't because they want to decrease prices, but rather increase profits. Profits gained of the blood and sweat of hard working mexicans. Legal? Yes. ethical? No.

Fifth: Don't even compare your office job to these sweat shops. Have you seen a woman have a forced abortion like what happens in Saipan? Have you ever seen anybody pass out from heat stroke because of poor ventilation and overworking like in indonesia.

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i totally agree with you, i hate the exploitation of workers, and the way we as a society just push it out of our minds because it is so far away.

I was reading this post in a thread and was absolutely shocked that it had got to this stage.

... By the way Imperial also offer, for the right price, authentic worn-in dry denim. They have purchased an entire sub-saharan village and are now coercing all the villagers to wear dry denim for at least 12 months before washing the garments. If they do not comply they are shot...

But the good news is ... wait for it ... ready to wear 1 wash/12 month raw denim.

So basically these poor villagers have to slave away just so someone in the western world can have an authentic worn in pair. Disgusting.

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wow Denim R!!!

Insightful post dude.

I hope that itch isn't what i think it is...

... could someone take a photo of me like this

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Guest pedler

i had the ethics dilema a couple of years ago when i was doing my own thing

i still feel bad

maybe the lady really needed the bowl of rice she would have been paid to sew my jeans

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Imagine if a company was run by a person rather than a board and shareholders. If that company was big enough, and the person who owned the company didn't care about "maximising profits", he/she could do some amazing things.

Imagine setting up a major manufacturing factory in Vietnam/Thailand/Indonesia, paying the workers five times average (still nothing compared to western world) and putting in place world standard working conditions.

The company would still be profiting, but the workers would be benefitting as well. Can you imagine what it would do to the working standards in that country and consumer expectations of the big companies.

Few problems, what sort of people get to the top of big companies to make these decisions, usually ones with the want for money. Most companies of that size are public and answer to only one thing, the profit margin (dictated by shareholder's wanting return on money)

Also, changing these dynamics might ruin the country's economy by making all the other brands pack up and leave to the next country.

I hope that itch isn't what i think it is...

... could someone take a photo of me like this

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I agree somewhat. People against slave labor are not for making the workers wealthy, but pay them a living wage. The company still turns a higher profit. Also allow the workers to organize and unionize to be able to collectively bargain.

Also, for the most part on a country by country study these corporations and globalization have already destroyed the economy of the host countries. Just look at tanzania and the type of inflation they incurred due to globalization.

Let us not forget that a lot of the times these governments that have allowed factories into their borders are bought and paid for by multinational corporations. You can just look at campaign financing in Mexico, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc.

I believe that if a corporation is based in the US then they should have labor standards that they should live up to no matter which country their factories are in.

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ok well i'm gullible.

But did you know that gullible isn't in the dictionary, look it up.

psych! Now who is gullible

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First: Did you see the horrible working conditions for yourself in order to form your opinion or did someone describe them to you? As far as the holocaust goes, there are numerous films depicting the events the occurred during the holocaust. If you saw the horrible working conditions in a documentary, please provide the name of the film, I would like to see it for myself.

Second: Then she can continue to march around the office with her fist in the air and a pair of hemp sandals on.

Third: WHERE IS YOUR INFORMATION COMING FROM? What are slave-wages? How much are they paid and how much does that wage add up to when considering the cost of living in that country or city? Just because Nike charges $100 and up for a sneaker doesn't mean that the worker should get half of it. That is the point of these companies moving their production to these areas...............

Fourth..........to maximize profit. When did the multinationals claim to lower prices?

Fifth: I am appalled that women are being forced to have abortions.

Which sneaker company is doing that? I'll never wear those again. (10)

Can I ask you something? These sunglasses: they're really nice. Are they like government issue, or do you guys all go to the same store together?

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Quote:

I'm curious: I had this conversation with a co-worker and she stated that there are factories ovreseas that have sub-human working conditions and other substantial problems or issues.

My question to her was: Did you actually visit this factory and see with your own eyes what is going on there?

Her answer, of course, was no but she said it's commonly known. By who?, I asked. Who has gone there?

Where is this information coming from? Credible sources or someone with an axe to grind against that company?

I suggested that if she's so concerned, why not take a leave of absence from work and go to the factory and attempt to liberate the workers from their oppressors or stage a work-stoppage. I also suggested that she ask those workers if they wish to be liberated or wish to stop working.

A side effect that may occur is that instead of improving working conditions the company may close down that factory and move production to another facility, thereby leaving the local workforce unemployed. Then what?

Shit, if you compare some work places in NY with others I'm sure you can characterize some as "less that desirable". Ever work in an office where people use spray-mount right at there desk? Ever work in an office where it "suggested" that you stay late? I mean really late, "to make a deadline" they say. But it's not a suggestion. It's an implied threat gainst your job if you don't stay. I don't get overtime. My salary may declare me rich in China, but nowhere near rich because I live in NY. Asian workers are always looked at as working for "pennies a day", but how much does that work out to as far as their actual cost of living?

Those are harsh conditions, but I don't want a human-rights advocate coming to my office and closing shit down or boycotting my product.

That's just my 200 cents.

I'd like to hear what you all have to say.

--- Original message by dagsolo on Nov 13, 2005 10:01 AM

nuff said, can't say it better my self.

if i show u the factory in LA that makes your favorite pair jeans, i promiss u wont say another word.

what the fuck do ppl actually know about manufacturing? how many of u actually been over there and saw it with your own eyes? if not, dont pass on a comment made by some one else and tell me "it is so". stop fucken ask the whole world to live up to american standard.

if, just if u succesfully shut down the so-called sweat shop, than what would happen to those worker? are u gonna provide them jobs? r u gonna feed them and take their kids to school? have u ever been to china and see thousands of homeless/jobless people sit infront the train station all day everyday just waiting for a chance with your own eyes?

people complain corp. like wal-mart taking the job away from america to oversea...ok if we actually make everything here in the states, i dont think i could affort anything any more, with co. compete to see who can pay the lowest to driving up their own profit margin, we are all compete in a very bad cycle, untill one day we all get pay alot more, but till than, i'll stick to over sea product and by doing so i'll provide jobs in china.

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Quote:

I'm curious: I had this conversation with a co-worker and she stated that there are factories ovreseas that have sub-human working conditions and other substantial problems or issues.

My question to her was: Did you actually visit this factory and see with your own eyes what is going on there?

Her answer, of course, was no but she said it's commonly known. By who?, I asked. Who has gone there?

Where is this information coming from? Credible sources or someone with an axe to grind against that company?

I suggested that if she's so concerned, why not take a leave of absence from work and go to the factory and attempt to liberate the workers from their oppressors or stage a work-stoppage. I also suggested that she ask those workers if they wish to be liberated or wish to stop working.

A side effect that may occur is that instead of improving working conditions the company may close down that factory and move production to another facility, thereby leaving the local workforce unemployed. Then what?

Shit, if you compare some work places in NY with others I'm sure you can characterize some as "less that desirable". Ever work in an office where people use spray-mount right at there desk? Ever work in an office where it "suggested" that you stay late? I mean really late, "to make a deadline" they say. But it's not a suggestion. It's an implied threat gainst your job if you don't stay. I don't get overtime. My salary may declare me rich in China, but nowhere near rich because I live in NY. Asian workers are always looked at as working for "pennies a day", but how much does that work out to as far as their actual cost of living?

Those are harsh conditions, but I don't want a human-rights advocate coming to my office and closing shit down or boycotting my product.

That's just my 200 cents.

I'd like to hear what you all have to say.

--- Original message by dagsolo on Nov 13, 2005 10:01 AM

First off. Just because one has not seen such poor working conditions does not mean they didn't occur. Ignorance is not an excuse. I didn't personally witness the holocaust but i wouldn't be so bold to say it never occurred. There are many credible sources that have documented the horrible working conditions in saipan, guatemala, indonesia, mexico, the list goes on.

Second: Your suggestion to your coworker to "liberate" the workers in these sweat shops is slightly missing the point. It is neither realistic nor palpable that she would financially be able to support herself while attempting a work stoppage.

Third: These factories are a product of globalization and for the most part the worker's lives were better prior to globalization and the introduction of these western factories. In mexico after NAFTA was signed into action the mexican government immediately allowed foreign companies rights to the campesino lands. The campesino lands were lands designated by the government for small farmers to grow crops and sell. As soon as these campesino lands were seized the unemployment rate went up. What then happens? A factory opens up in a nearby area and hires all the ex-farmers for slave wages. Somewhere around 70 cents an hour in substandard working conditions.

Fourth: These multinationals claim that they have to move factories to other countries to keep prices low. How come when GM started moving factories to mexico and cut the cost of production by about 50 percent we didn't see a decrease in the price of their automobiles, but rather an increase. Hint Hint. It wasn't because they want to decrease prices, but rather increase profits. Profits gained of the blood and sweat of hard working mexicans. Legal? Yes. ethical? No.

Fifth: Don't even compare your office job to these sweat shops. Have you seen a woman have a forced abortion like what happens in Saipan? Have you ever seen anybody pass out from heat stroke because of poor ventil

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Consumers in the developed world are absolutely complicit. Our collective willingness to ignore the exploitative practices of multi-nationals in exchange for cheap goods is precisely what allows these practices to continue. Publicly traded corporations have no conscience and a single purpose: maximize shareholder value. If shareholder value will be maximized by hiring a third party manufacturer to exploit a bunch of peasants several thousand miles away, so be it. If consumers really did give a shit about whether or not the people who sew, solder and assemble their goods are adequately compensated and protected from unacceptable working conditions, then corporations would have to do something about it to avoid their stock taking a hit. Naturally, costs would have to be passed on to the consumer (‘cause posting reduced revenues would cause the stock to take a hit) and we’d rather pretend that things couldn’t possibly be as bad as they are so as not to have to pay an extra few dollars, pounds or euros for our sneakers, shirts and DVD players.

I don’t really know what the solution is. The notion that the market will eventually push corporations towards social responsibility is a fucking joke. They just spin and advertise their way out of trouble, ‘cause it’s cheaper that way and they’d rather shift responsibility than admit to having been at fault. My theory is that people, individually, are generally OK but people, collectively, can be real fucking assholes. As long as we are able point our fingers at some other guy who might be more to blame than ourselves we are able to justify the things we do or don’t do that make the world a shittier place. Maybe corporate officers need to be held to a higher degree of accountability for the decisions that they take. Maybe shareholder liability needs to go beyond having to ride out a dip in the value of a portfolio. Maybe we just need to have free movement of labor (which would benefit the developing world) to go with the free movement of goods and capital that we currently have (which benefits us far more than it does anyone else).

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in the end it all comes down to us, THE CONSUMER....you can bitch all you want about how huge corporations like NIKE exploit labor overseas, but in the end its you that supports that idea....you buy the shoe, you sign off on the practice....

blaming marketing, bottom lines, etc. is a joke....cause it still takes a consumer to buy into that shit....

and i have to disagree with yakboy that the market can't push "corporations towards social responsibility...." in fifteen or twenty years, the global economy we live in today is gonna become an even playing field....look at how fast china has westernized in the last decade.....we're gonna see a lot of those manufacturing jobs come back to the states, and when its in your own back yard, you tend to take notice....i think that's what its gonna take to raise social awareness....

www.hecklewood.com

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This country is full of people who want so desperatlely to feel unique that they will buy or wear anything to cultivate an identity at any cost. I don't for one second entertain the thought of paying 200 bucks for a tshirt, but, I dig the repro denim that is made in the US and I will buy it from time to time. Mostly I get my stuff from thrift stores or vintage and I can't remember when I bought something that was not made in the USA. That being said, we tend to be ethnocentric in our beliefs regarding the garmet industry in foreign countries. In many of the countries mentioned 90 percent of the jobs available are taken by men. That leaves scant little opportunities for women and childen who are not dependents of a man, which leads in many cases to the obvious for means of support. So, twelve hour days sweating over a sewing machine can be a pretty good job verses 12 hour nights in a brothel.

Fair, hell no but life ain't fair.

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I hate to burst your bubble, but a lot of the textile industry workers are women.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/archive/970385.stm

Just read it. Do a google search of Saipan sweat shops.

Once again. Ignorance is not an excuse. Don't claim they don't exist, because you personally didn't see the evidence. This is moronical. Next we will have to throw out eyewitness testimony in law cases. If you want to support the use of sweat shops go ahead, just don't try to candy coat it with "these people are better off because we are there" type mentality. Why is it that corporations choose to set up factories in countries that have virtually no labor standards, ala indonesia, saipan, guatemala, etc? Why is it that plant managers will not allow human rights advocates into the plant to inspect the conditions? Why is it that corporations donate money to regimes that are tyrannical and dictatorial? Probably has nothing to do with profits... right? Or setting up factories...right?

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Why's everyone coming with the "a job's a job and if it weren't there they'd be fucked" argument, when the original point to task was just about how shops should strive to create the kind of environment where, in addition to it being a job, it be an at least half-way decent job, where people are treated like human beings.

to whomever said that we should stop trying to export the american standard of living, are you fucking serious? why, so only you can afford to buy all the expensive shit that other countries' hands produce? an american standard of living, even a poor american's standard of living, is an incredible thing. passing it a long is not at all bad; i don't see how you'd think so.

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I suggest checking out the documentary called The Corporation and there is one focus on this guy who helps sweatshop workers and has some footage from inside factories and also found internal Nike pricing/time document alotting fractions of seconds to do one task on a shoe. Good movie to check out even if you're not overly concerned about corporations.

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