Monday, April 29, 2013

The blood stains of our clothes

Recently, in Bangladesh, an 8-story building collapsed, causing one of the worst disasters in the history of the country. The building, known as Rana Plaza, was located in Savar, just outside the capital Dhaka. With the death toll rising everyday, who knows how many will be the total deaths of this terrible calamity?

But my point is on something else. While we all know Bangladesh is now a forefront player in global manufacturing of clothing industry. The rising garments industry has enticed world-class clothing brands like GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Disney & many more to produce their products from Bangladesh at one of the cheapest labor cost. Like Bangladesh, there are many more 3rd world countries that are producing these goods for these world-class brands at a very low pay.

What are these labors making? In Bangladeshi taka, these labors are demanding for 8000 tk. a month. That would equate to roughly $102 (USD). Mark my words. That is what they are demanding. So that means their actual pay is much less than that. Is that really sufficient? In this world of rising food, housing, living costs, is this salary enough to sustain a family of 4 members, let's say?

Yes. Critics will say that we need to look at the other side as well. As CEO, businesses have to look for profit & any means to cut costs. But would that mean suppressing your very workers who are building the empire you are residing on? Would that mean forcing the labors to enter into a building where the chief engineer inspected cracks the previous day, but the owner feels it's okay to continue the production? Does these business owners' greed ever end?

I leave with a image that caught my eyes few days ago. It's a manufacturing tag with a "Made in Bangladesh" written on it. In addition, there is a blood stain. The symbolism itself should be sufficient.


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