Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How many more will have to die…?

…before the world’s business and political leaders start to rid the globe of sweatshops?

At least 21 workers died and dozens of other workers were injured on February 26 when a fire swept through a sweater factory near the capital city of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Most of the victims, at least 14 of the dead, were women.

Since the year 2000 alone, 143 garment workers, almost all women, were killed in Bangladesh’s factory fires.

How many more women will die in sweatshops, in Bangladesh and elsewhere, before a pundit like Nicholas Kristof stops writing that sweatshops are good for women?

Moreover, “why does the garment sector in Bangladesh continue to grow despite the fires and despite the abusive working conditions that nobody denies – not even the brands themselves?”

Bjorn Claeson, director of Sweatfree Communities, adds that and other pointed questions, in an article published in “Labor is Not a Commodity,” a blog jointly operated with the International Labor Rights Forum and other groups dedicated to global labor solidarity.

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