Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fire at the Bangladesh Garment factory

A few days ago there was a fire in a Bangladesh Garment factory killing at least 100 people and destroying the factory. Among the charred remains of the factory, one was shocked to find that it has on its clientele leading Western retailers and brands who had outsourced their work to this mostly impoverished South Asian Country. According to one estimate, people who work in those garment factories get as low as 37 dollars a month to work there. It is not shocking me to since I knew that they work for less money, what was shocking is that it is so low. You can almost a get a shirt here for that price, meaning that we the consumers pay outrageous prices just for the name brand without thinking about the conditions in cheap labor countries. I had this habit from my childhood that I always look for the label of where it was originally made and most of them are now made in countries where the labor laws are not as vigorous as the U.S. and also they are a cheap source of labor. I am willing to pay top dollars for something made in Europe or here in America because I know that the labor is expensive but to pay for hundreds of dollars for stuff made in overseas third world countries and pay for the brand is beyond me. Unless we the consumer demand that the conditions of overseas factories are somewhat humane and the prices paid to the poor workers reflect some kind of decent living, we will continue to be ripped off on any stuff which cost a few dollars to make ship and selling for outrageous amount of money that does not reflect their true price but the brand price.

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