Fair Trade/Sweatshop labor

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December 10th, 2006 at 12:57pm
In August 1995, the nation was outraged by news that 72 Thai immigrants worked under slave-like conditions. Local and Federal law enforcement agents conducted a raid on this sweatshop in El Monte, California, just east of Los Angeles. The immigrants worked for 69 cents an hour,(the minumum wage in USA is 5.15) locked in an apartment complex surrounded by razor wire. Workers were threatened with rape and murder if they stopped working. After the raid, Labor Secretary Robert Reich launched a crusade against sweatshops.

During the 1970s and 1980s corporations were so effective at holding down wage increases that by 1992, average weekly earnings in the private, non-agricultural part of the U.S. economy were 19 percent below their peak in the early 1970s. Nearly one-fourth of the U.S. workforce now earns less, in real spending power, than the 1968 minimum wage.

In 1989, when the Cold War ended, democratic countries accounted for more than half--53.4 percent--of all U.S. imports from Third World countries, not counting oil. Today, with more democracies to choose from, the democratic countries supply barely one-third--34.9 percent--of U.S. imports from the Third World.

Sweatshops are a familiar fixture in the garment industry. DOL estimates that 50% of 22,000 registered garment contractors pay less than minimum wage, two-thirds do not pay overtime and one-third operate with serious health and safety violations. Workers who try to organize and protest poor working conditions are often fired.



In general, workers sewing garments are paid only a tiny fraction of the sale price of these garments, usually only 6% or $6 from a dress that retails for $100.

Walmart and Nike are two of the largest corporate sponsors of sweatshop labor.


Average Hourly Wages in Apparel Industry

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people have however, been taking action many protests and boycots have took place, and many organtions have been created to fight for better working conditions.

many american jobs have been transported to poor countrys beaucase it is cheaper to make the stuff there and it results in americans losing there jobs

funny video about that --> http://www.jibjab.com/originals/originals/jibjab/movieid/122

on the other hand, prodects made with cheap labor tend to be alot cheaper and can help poor people find stuff they can afford.


i have to admit i found this sort of funny....
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Below is an email correspondence with customer service representatives at Nike iD, an on-line service that lets people buy personalized Nike shoes. The dialog began when Nike cancelled an order for a pair of shoes customized with the word "sweatshop."

From: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <nikeid_personalize@nike.com>
To: "'Jonah H. Peretti'" <peretti@media.mit.edu>
Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000


Your NIKE iD order was cancelled for one or more of the following reasons.
1) Your Personal iD contains another party's trademark or other intellectual property.
2) Your Personal iD contains the name of an athlete or team we do not have the legal right to use.
3) Your Personal iD was left blank. Did you not want any personalization?
4) Your Personal iD contains profanity or inappropriate slang, and besides, your mother would slap us.


If you wish to reorder your NIKE iD product with a new personalization please visit us again at www.nike.com


Thank you,
NIKE iD



From: "Jonah H. Peretti" <peretti@media.mit.edu>
To: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <nikeid_personalize@nike.com>
Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000


Greetings,


My order was canceled but my personal NIKE iD does not violate any of the criteria outlined in your message. The Personal iD on my custom ZOOM XC USA running shoes was the word "sweatshop." Sweatshop is not: 1) another's party's trademark, 2) the name of an athlete, 3) blank, or 4) profanity. I choose the iD because I wanted to remember the toil and labor of the children that made my shoes. Could you please ship them to me immediately.


Thanks and Happy New Year,
Jonah Peretti



From: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <nikeid_personalize@nike.com>
To: "'Jonah H. Peretti'" <peretti@media.mit.edu>
Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000

Dear NIKE iD Customer,

Your NIKE iD order was cancelled because the iD you have chosen contains, as stated in the previous e-mail correspondence, "inappropriate slang".
If you wish to reorder your NIKE iD product with a new personalization please visit us again at www.nike.com


Thank you,
NIKE iD




From: "Jonah H. Peretti" <peretti@media.mit.edu>
To: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <nikeid_personalize@nike.com>
Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000


Dear NIKE iD,


Thank you for your quick response to my inquiry about my custom ZOOM XC USA running shoes. Although I commend you for your prompt customer service, I disagree with the claim that my personal iD was inappropriate slang. After consulting Webster's Dictionary, I discovered that "sweatshop" is in fact part of standard English, and not slang. The word means: "a shop or factory in which workers are employed for long hours at low wages and under unhealthy conditions" and its origin dates from 1892. So my personal iD does meet the criteria detailed in your first email.
Your web site advertises that the NIKE iD program is "about freedom to choose and freedom to express who you are." I share Nike's love of freedom and personal expression. The site also says that "If you want it done right...build it yourself." I was thrilled to be able to build my own shoes, and my personal iD was offered as a small token of appreciation for the sweatshop workers poised to help me realize my vision. I hope that you will value my freedom of expression and reconsider your decision to reject my order.


Thank you,
Jonah Peretti




From: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <nikeid_personalize@nike.com>
To: "'Jonah H. Peretti'" <peretti@media.mit.edu>
Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000

Dear NIKE iD Customer,
Regarding the rules for personalization it also states on the NIKE iD web site that "Nike reserves the right to cancel any Personal iD up to 24 hours after it has been submitted".

In addition it further explains:

"While we honor most personal iDs, we cannot honor every one. Some may be (or contain) others' trademarks, or the names of certain professional sports teams, athletes or celebrities that Nike does not have the right to use. Others may contain material that we consider inappropriate or simply do not want to place on our products.

Unfortunately, at times this obliges us to decline personal iDs that may otherwise seem unobjectionable. In any event, we will let you know if we decline your personal iD, and we will offer you the chance to submit another."

With these rules in mind we cannot accept your order as submitted.

If you wish to reorder your NIKE iD product with a new personalization please visit us again at www.nike.com

Thank you, NIKE iD




From: "Jonah H. Peretti" <peretti@media.mit.edu>
To: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <nikeid_personalize@nike.com>
Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000

Dear NIKE iD,

Thank you for the time and energy you have spent on my request. I have decided to order the shoes with a different iD, but I would like to make one small request. Could you please send me a color snapshot of the ten-year-old Vietnamese girl who makes my shoes?


Thanks,
Jonah Peretti


i dont know the persoon who e-mailed this, i found it on some site. please do not bug her
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i didnt see a thread for this if you need to lock it go ahead

also this is nat a child labor thread please discuss that here http://www.geekstinkbreath.net/board/viewtopic.php?t=49176&highlight=labor+labour
*Sophie*
King For A Couple Of Days
*Sophie*
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December 11th, 2006 at 01:14pm
How ironic that people loose their jobs because companies move to cheap country's where people work for almost nothing, you're making your own country poor... It's bad karma
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