Wednesday, May 03, 2006

An Ugly Side of Free Trade: Sweatshops in Jordan
Hazrat Ali, 25, who worked from September 2004 to March 2005 at the Al Shahaed factory, said he sometimes worked 48 hours in a row and received no pay for the six months.

"If we asked for money, they hit us," he said.

This gentleman seems to not understand the new economic order. The highest goal here is for a store to sell a piece of clothing for a low price. All other considerations are secondary not important.

If a U.S. manufacturer cannot make the garment at slave wages, that U.S. manufacturer should expect to go out of business. U.S. products and jobs are lesser goals than the low cost of that shirt. If a foreign manufacturer can avoid public notice in running a sweatshop, then U.S. retailers probably will not ask too many questions. Human rights and a living wage are lesser goals than the low cost of that blouse. If a U.S. consumer doesn't care to know where that garment is coming from, then U.S. retailers and foreign manufacturers will do whatever they can to make it, sell it, and profit from it. Solidarity and common decency are lesser goals than the low cost of those pants.

Cheap clothes. That's what our country is about.


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