Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's Legal, but is it Right?

It has taken decades for America to pass and enforce laws to assure safe and humane working conditions.   But conditions outlawed in this country are often totally legal elsewhere.   How many of the products we buy are made elsewhere by workers forced to endure deplorable condtions?   Such conditions concerned Mike Daisey.   By failing to be up front about the reality of his performance, Mike Daisey has caused great harm to an issue that needs thorough and thoughtful reporting.

Here's a video from Radio Free Asia that's worth watching by all American consumers.   In Cambodia, workers in the garment factories commute to work.   In Cambodia, it is not a safety violation to ride on the roof of the van.   The more workers crammed in and on top of a van, the lower the fare.  Workers cram together to save a few extra pennies.  But what happens when the driver has to slam on the brakes?   What do American consumers think?   You don't need to understand the language to ask a worthwhile question:   what are American companies who buy from the Cambodian factories doing to improve safety conditions in the country?   On corporate web site after corporate web site, you can read about the corporation's commitment to vendor codes of conduct.    So what real pressure are American & European corporations exerting to assure safe and humane conditions?

Click the video and take a ride on a Cambodian commuter van.

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