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(Guardian)   Indians found making clothes for Gap in slave-like conditions, getting whooped in the ALCS   (observer.guardian.co.uk) divider line 124
    More: Interesting  
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7230 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Oct 2007 at 1:27 AM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-10-29 01:30:21 AM  
If I had TF I would definitely +1 that.

and I don't even like baseball.
 
2007-10-29 01:31:18 AM  
SwallowTheKnife: If I had TF I would definitely +1 that.

and I don't even like baseball.


I got it for you.
 
2007-10-29 01:32:47 AM  
Great headline. If I were a Hispanic woman, this would be about the time I would be saying, "oh no, he DI-INT!"
 
2007-10-29 01:33:03 AM  
Why is it always an independent party that discovers unethical behavior by corporations' sub-contractors? Can they not afford their own cameraman and dude with a microphone?

Hmm...
 
2007-10-29 01:34:31 AM  
Slavery still exists.
 
2007-10-29 01:36:28 AM  
photos-600.ll.facebook.com
 
2007-10-29 01:39:02 AM  
gnasche: Why is it always an independent party that discovers unethical behavior by corporations' sub-contractors? Can they not afford their own cameraman and dude with a microphone?

Hmm...


What he said. I'm inclined to think they're deliberately not wanting to know what goes on in their factories.

I've wondered for a while why it is that clothing that you buy in India is better quality than the Made-in-India stuff you buy in the US. Now I know why. The stuff that's sold in the US is made by elementary school slave labor.
 
2007-10-29 01:40:18 AM  
This just in: Fark headlines are submitted by child labor in Third World "Headline Farm" sweatshops
 
2007-10-29 01:40:22 AM  
SwallowTheKnife: If I had TF I would definitely +1 that.

and I don't even like baseketball.


FTFY
 
2007-10-29 01:45:33 AM  
Not a whole lot of free in that free market story.
 
2007-10-29 01:47:29 AM  
Interesting Side Note On This Parade Float: The Papier Mache Used In It's Construction Is Made Entirely Out Of Broken Treaties.

/Wrong indians I suppose.
 
2007-10-29 01:49:07 AM  
I have constantly been irked by the fact that the indigenous people of North America continue to be referred to as "Indian", despite the only reason they have that moniker is because some pigheaded Italian in the late 15th century couldn't get his head out of his arse long enough to admit he totally farked up and didn't actually find a westerly route to India as he so claimed. Continuing to refer to them as "Indian" seems like an additional insult added on to the giant "fark you" of blatant land theft and genocide.

/Yeah, total threadjack
//What are you gonna do about it?
///Bury my heart at Slashie Knee
 
2007-10-29 01:50:09 AM  
You no help me now, I say fark you, Jobu!
 
2007-10-29 01:50:40 AM  
Lol come on! The clothing companies already know about the child labor stuff, it's common knowledge. The problem comes when some of those anti-child labor groups suddenly check on factories/sweatshops. The clothing companies, of course, are expected to act shocked and terminate their contracts. What really happens is like this:

Clothing Company: Hey we need a few thousand clothes to be made, can you supply us with the cheapest price possible?

Contact: Sure, the cheapest legal price is...

Clothing Company: I said CHEAPEST POSSIBLE price.

Contact: Ahhh... I get what you mean!
 
2007-10-29 01:52:57 AM  
GreenSun: Contact: Sure, the cheapest legal price is...

What the subcontractor is doing in India is legal in India, or at least I couldn't find an indication in the article otherwise.
 
2007-10-29 01:59:18 AM  
Nuke China, problem solved.*

*With China out of the way, India will have no competition for the manufacture of worthless brick-a-brack and name-brand clothing. This will allow Indian workers to have more control of their destiny, unite, and demand higher standards.
 
2007-10-29 02:02:20 AM  
rynthetyn: gnasche: Why is it always an independent party that discovers unethical behavior by corporations' sub-contractors? Can they not afford their own cameraman and dude with a microphone?

Hmm...

What he said. I'm inclined to think they're deliberately not wanting to know what goes on in their factories.

I've wondered for a while why it is that clothing that you buy in India is better quality than the Made-in-India stuff you buy in the US. Now I know why. The stuff that's sold in the US is made by elementary school slave labor.


"By the way, our site inspector will be dropping by for a surprise visit on Tuesday"
 
2007-10-29 02:08:50 AM  
1derful: Nuke China, problem solved.*

*With China out of the way, India will have no competition for the manufacture of worthless brick-a-brack and name-brand clothing. This will allow Indian workers to have more control of their destiny, unite, and demand higher standards.


Fail.

This is actually more of a social, historical and cultural problem in India than anything to do with competing with other countries for cheap labouring product markets. If they weren't making clothes for the Gap, they'd be smashing rocks in a quarry somewhere. These are not the sort of people and social structure that's going to change because suddenly they can sell some trinkets for $2 each instead of $1.50 each.
 
2007-10-29 02:14:17 AM  
Yeah, screw those families in India.. Let them starve. They dont need the work, regardless of wage.
 
2007-10-29 02:20:55 AM  
Libertarianism at work. Those sweatshops will lead India into prosperity and help develop the country into a first-world nation just like every country that started out with child labor and sweatshops. Just look at America, Sweden, Japan, England, Norway, etc.
 
2007-10-29 02:23:18 AM  
Not a whole lot of free in that free market story.

They are free to not work under bad conditions with little pay and instead become prostitutes with worse pay and contract diseases.

Why do you hate freedom and love dictatorship?
 
2007-10-29 02:28:07 AM  
I'm a little surprised that they didn't clarify the term "slave labor" in the article. In another instance of this report, it was pointed out that mom and dad are usually the benefactors of selling their own children to these sweatshops, while these children make literally nothing and spend almost of their lives living in a world of shiat.

I find it ironic that a country like India holds rats and shiat flinging monkeys with higher regard than their own children. If Pakistan and India want to get it on with nukes, why should we stop them when that whole farking region is a disaster zone in just about every way imaginable?
 
2007-10-29 02:32:37 AM  
And it's going to be hilarious watching all the idiotic outrage and ignorance about India spew forth in this thread.

bender127:I find it ironic that a country like India holds rats and shiat flinging monkeys with higher regard than their own children.
 
2007-10-29 02:39:59 AM  
Gap said in a statement from its headquarters in San Francisco: 'We firmly believe that under no circumstances is it acceptable for children to produce or work on garments. These allegations are deeply upsetting and we take this situation very seriously.

So the Gap corporation is deeply upset? Golly, well that's all right then!

Seriously, what's with the touchy feely BS. Just fix it and do your best to spin it without making me heave, please.
 
2007-10-29 02:43:12 AM  
cellar.org
 
2007-10-29 02:46:54 AM  
Melgania, I like to think that is quick setting cement.
 
2007-10-29 02:51:24 AM  
YoungSwedishBlonde: And it's going to be hilarious watching all the idiotic outrage and ignorance about India spew forth in this thread.

bender127:I find it ironic that a country like India holds rats and shiat flinging monkeys with higher regard than their own children.


You said it.

Ought to be a pre-requisite in this thread to have been to, or regularly done business *directly* with India to have a "enlightened opinion" about the situation.
 
2007-10-29 03:00:30 AM  
Melgania: 1derful: Nuke China, problem solved.*

*With China out of the way, India will have no competition for the manufacture of worthless brick-a-brack and name-brand clothing. This will allow Indian workers to have more control of their destiny, unite, and demand higher standards.

Fail.

This is actually more of a social, historical and cultural problem in India than anything to do with competing with other countries for cheap labouring product markets. If they weren't making clothes for the Gap, they'd be smashing rocks in a quarry somewhere. These are not the sort of people and social structure that's going to change because suddenly they can sell some trinkets for $2 each instead of $1.50 each.



No sir, you fail. If we nuked China they would be able to sell their trinkets for at least $3, which would be a %100 raise.
 
2007-10-29 03:00:31 AM  
Is anyone shocked by this? I mean the gap is decent place to shop for plain clothes, nothing too exciting. I don't shop there a ton myself.

But really, how much does a shirt there cost? Even if the mark up is 150%, the cost of shipping it from India, to their central location, then on to the retail store. Then factor in the cost of the person to stock the store, pay the electric bill, the lease in the mall and the person to ring you up. If you are buying a 40 dollar shirt, don't assume the person making is making 6 figures a year.

You buy a pair of 400 dollar Prada, Tod's, or Ferragamo shoes and you know the person making them is a professional and getting paid a decent wage. You are paying for that persons individual attention for several hours in Italy, not China or India.

Problem is not everyone has that type of money or even if they do, they don't see the value in spending it on something like shoes. A lot more people could afford to buy hand made shirts from expensive designers if they would purchase a mid-size sedan rather than the biggest SUV they could find. They just don't want to make the trade off.
 
2007-10-29 03:04:13 AM  
TacoBender: Even if the mark up is 150%

You dropped a 0

No, really.
 
2007-10-29 03:04:33 AM  
Libertarianism at work. Those sweatshops will lead India into prosperity and help develop the country into a first-world nation just like every country that started out with child labor and sweatshops. Just look at America, Sweden, Japan, England, Norway, etc.

..and Indonesia, the Ivory Coast, the Congo...

Oh wait, these three countries also have a history of child labor producing for the West and they aren't 'first world nations'? Guess your politically-motivated 'logic' is actually a logical fallacy.

They are free to not work under bad conditions with little pay and instead become prostitutes with worse pay and contract diseases.

Actually, the beneficiaries of such arrangements (as bender127 said) are usually the parents. Don't forget that these are children - and that bit about prostitutes.. are you making it up, or do you have some facts to show that prostitution is the only option besides this for all of those children? Again, education and accurate information trumps politically-based assumptions.

/The more you know!
//Child labor is always unacceptable.
 
2007-10-29 03:05:34 AM  
bender127: I find it ironic that a country like India holds rats and shiat flinging monkeys with higher regard than their own children. If Pakistan and India want to get it on with nukes, why should we stop them when that whole farking region is a disaster zone in just about every way imaginable?

wow.

stupid ignorant asshole of the month award goes to you. . .BENDER!
 
2007-10-29 03:10:06 AM  
Imbrifer: /The more you know!
//Child labor is always unacceptable.


You work everyone capable of working who is in your household, or you starve.

Hell, thats still true in some places in THIS country.

Christ, three generations ago in my family the average number of people under one roof was 15. And yes, the 10 year olds were running dynamite in the mines of Kentucky and West Virgina, and I dare say some of them had it MUCH worse than the kids manning sewing machines in India. (Maybe not China, I've seen pics of the kids in China chained to their machines, even to sleep.. but its not generally that bad in India. Its a Karmic thing)

Do you think if we stop buying garments made by children that India or China will suddenly find better jobs for these people?
 
2007-10-29 03:11:16 AM  
ratman999: I have constantly been irked by the fact that the indigenous people of North America continue to be referred to as "Indian", despite the only reason they have that moniker is because some pigheaded Italian in the late 15th century couldn't get his head out of his arse long enough to admit he totally farked up and didn't actually find a westerly route to India as he so claimed. Continuing to refer to them as "Indian" seems like an additional insult added on to the giant "fark you" of blatant land theft and genocide.

/Yeah, total threadjack
//What are you gonna do about it?
///Bury my heart at Slashie Knee



Well, you can always refer to them as First Nations people, which some tribes prefer. It's probably the most accurate, seeing as they aren't actually native to america or indiginous here, but rather migrated here first.
 
2007-10-29 03:12:27 AM  
I dont see what the problem is... the kids are all old enough for prostitution...
 
2007-10-29 03:12:54 AM  
Define 'child'.

In many places 15/16 is an adult. In some places it's as young as 12.

So you wouldn't want to be sewing when you were 13. But if you lived on a family farm, by 13 you'd have a pretty good working relationship with all sorts of tools. Ditto for a lot of family-owned businesses. The kids start helping ASAP.
 
2007-10-29 03:13:10 AM  
Shadow Blasko: YoungSwedishBlonde: And it's going to be hilarious watching all the idiotic outrage and ignorance about India spew forth in this thread.

bender127:I find it ironic that a country like India holds rats and shiat flinging monkeys with higher regard than their own children.

You said it.

Ought to be a pre-requisite in this thread to have been to, or regularly done business *directly* with India to have a "enlightened opinion" about the situation.


I'm here now. Read the Times of India article about it. The Commerce Minister is accusing the developed nations of using non-tariff barriers like child labor as a protectionist device, and is threatening retaliation against The Gap.

/shakes head
//freakin' amazing...
 
2007-10-29 03:14:01 AM  
Shadow Blasko: TacoBender: Even if the mark up is 150%

You dropped a 0

No, really.


I work in retail, not clothes. But I don't doubt that the number is 1000%. With as many stores as they have and the quantity of product they must order, I image a dress shirt from them probably only cost them several cents to produce. The other costs such as electric, leases, pay roll and what not that get added probably add into a few bucks per 40 dollar shirt. To their credit a large portion of their items are not sold at retail prices. They turn over inventory pretty quick in that industry to keep up with seasons and trends. I think they operate on a 6 week or so cycle. So if you see something you like in September, usually in October it would be on sale, by November it is heavily discounted, and December it is in their outlet store.

Sure they could afford to have better standards, but plenty of people by the product as is. They are a publicly traded company who in an effort to boast share holder value are going to skimp. Mind you even with the child labor I still think they are struggling to turn a profit.
 
2007-10-29 03:14:06 AM  
FatherDale: The Commerce Minister is accusing the developed nations of using non-tariff barriers like child labor as a protectionist device, and is threatening retaliation against The Gap.

Sounds to me like someone is looking for a job in the states. That won't go over too well over there.
 
2007-10-29 03:14:36 AM  
Khazar-Khum: Define 'child'.

In many places 15/16 is an adult. In some places it's as young as 12.

So you wouldn't want to be sewing when you were 13. But if you lived on a family farm, by 13 you'd have a pretty good working relationship with all sorts of tools. Ditto for a lot of family-owned businesses. The kids start helping ASAP.


From the Times of India article: "A 10-year-old boy, filmed making clothes, told the British paper that he had been sold by his family to the factory owner. The boy was said to have been working for four months without pay and would not be allowed to leave the job until the fee his family received had been recovered. "
 
2007-10-29 03:16:10 AM  
Shadow Blasko: Imbrifer: /The more you know!
//Child labor is always unacceptable.

You work everyone capable of working who is in your household, or you starve.

Hell, thats still true in some places in THIS country.

Christ, three generations ago in my family the average number of people under one roof was 15. And yes, the 10 year olds were running dynamite in the mines of Kentucky and West Virgina, and I dare say some of them had it MUCH worse than the kids manning sewing machines in India. (Maybe not China, I've seen pics of the kids in China chained to their machines, even to sleep.. but its not generally that bad in India. Its a Karmic thing)

Do you think if we stop buying garments made by children that India or China will suddenly find better jobs for these people?


its about incentives and oversight, or lack thereof.

these enormous corps dont always know where there stuff comes from any more than a corp like mcdonalds can ever truly know the conditions of the slaughterhouses where it gets its meat; you have a set of rules, a list or requirements, and you give it to the bidder who can give you the highest ROI and look the other way and hope its ok.

so if these wonderful suppliers who always deliver on time and underbudget and seem too good to be true are then called out because they're using child labor, you say "we didnt know", cut the contract, and find another.

i'm not an expert on retail supply chain. i dont know what the incentives are.

what's obvious though is there's not a huge incentive for western companies to use contractors who *dont* use child labor, nor is there a huge sorbains oxley type system of accountability for western companies who do ues it, which would incentivize them to have more careful oversight.

what needs to happen? they need to change the incentives. its not that the industrys themselves are inherently evil, they're doing what the market rewards them to do. that's what needs to be pressured to change.
 
2007-10-29 03:19:27 AM  
imbrifer: Actually, the beneficiaries of such arrangements (as bender127 said) are usually the parents. Don't forget that these are children - and that bit about prostitutes.. are you making it up, or do you have some facts to show that prostitution is the only option besides this for all of those children? Again, education and accurate information trumps politically-based assumptions.

Yes the beneficiaries are the parents because they're poor, chief. Why else would they be working? And the sweatshops are the only real employment opportunities for ridiculously poor kids in the rural areas of India. In the more urban areas, kids from poor families usually are servants or work in factories that treat the kids relatively well.
 
2007-10-29 03:19:39 AM  
TacoBender: Mind you even with the child labor I still think they are struggling to turn a profit.

Oh, I'm well aware of that... on a personal level.

Hell, after paying half a dozen new tariffs in the name of "homeland security" our shipping on overseas merchandise is higher than the unit cost on some items. (not big ticket stuff either)

Avg garment markup, from gross unit cost, that I've dealt with is around 1000%

After tariffs, shipping, facilities costs, and local labor, you're lucky to get a 60% markup at POS at "boutique costs" and maybe 10% at the dept store level. So, wasn't really disagreeing with you, I was just working the number from the gross unit cost.

Heh, lucky we're not talking about Jewelry from India. 5000% markup anyone?
 
2007-10-29 03:24:28 AM  
bender127: I'm a little surprised that they didn't clarify the term "slave labor" in the article. In another instance of this report, it was pointed out that mom and dad are usually the benefactors of selling their own children to these sweatshops, while these children make literally nothing and spend almost of their lives living in a world of shiat.

I find it ironic that a country like India holds rats and shiat flinging monkeys with higher regard than their own children. If Pakistan and India want to get it on with nukes, why should we stop them when that whole farking region is a disaster zone in just about every way imaginable?




Not all India is like that, but there are some pockets where really bad stuff goes down.

Imagine the most sophisticated, well eductated, worldy person living in a place like New York or San Francisco, and then contrast them with the most illiterate, ill educated rabidly fanatic person living in the middle of now where farkign their cousin and beliving that the earth is 6,000 years old, the rapture is coming, and Jesus rode on dinosaurs.

Now imagine that India is like that, only more so. The country is deeply divided, and while the educated elite do actually put quite a bit of work into combatting things like caste prejudice and superstitions and human rights violating practices, the country people in many places (who often have their own, local traditions as well as more general ones) are actually quite insular and don't welcome these changes and resent people interfering. Yes, they want things like electricity and fresh water, but they don't like outsiders messing with thier traditional way of life and telling them that what they do is wrong. They have the attitude certain segments of this country has, that stuck up smarty pants college educated limp wristed bleeding heart so and sos that think they know soooo much and are soooooo smug shouldn't be telling them what to do or belitting their culture or beliefs.
 
2007-10-29 03:26:18 AM  
Father_Jack: you say "we didnt know", cut the contract, and find another.

What do you do when you run out of suppliers then.

The first world consumer is simply not willing, and lately, not ABLE to pay the prices that would be reflected at the point of sale if large garment producers suddenly went "kosher" on their suppliers.

Blame Wal-Mart if you want, they are quite obviously one of the worst offenders, but the whole system is set up to force these kind of prices, and thats not going to change anytime soon.

Global economies are going to keep this in play until something drastic happens (like the US goes broke building China) but while the conditions at the manufacturing end may seem abhorrent to you, its better than some of those families could have hoped for less than a generation ago...and it is, quite frankly, essential to their survival. Without "sweatshops"... many of those people would die.
 
2007-10-29 03:28:10 AM  
1derful: Melgania: 1derful: Nuke China, problem solved.*

*With China out of the way, India will have no competition for the manufacture of worthless brick-a-brack and name-brand clothing. This will allow Indian workers to have more control of their destiny, unite, and demand higher standards.

Fail.

This is actually more of a social, historical and cultural problem in India than anything to do with competing with other countries for cheap labouring product markets. If they weren't making clothes for the Gap, they'd be smashing rocks in a quarry somewhere. These are not the sort of people and social structure that's going to change because suddenly they can sell some trinkets for $2 each instead of $1.50 each.


No sir, you fail. If we nuked China they would be able to sell their trinkets for at least $3, which would be a %100 raise.


And you think that the 100% raise will somehow trickle down to child slaves and their families? Hell no - their masters will pocket the difference and make the wealth gap even wider. This isn't primarily a basic market problem at all, at root two things are WAYY ahead:

1. Overpopulation.
2. Culture.

1. When you've got such a huge population on limited resources, life is simply cheap. And this particular point has nothing to do with India or its culture per se. So long as you've got X number of people on Y amount of land/food/wealth, where X/Y is a piss poor low amount of resources, life will be cheap and there'll be a tendency for poor people to be exploited. This won't change much until the population stabilises of drops.

2. Read that article from Human Rights Watch again. Debt slavery in India goes back a long way, and is much more ingrained in the culture and overall social setup than the "ZOMG BUT TEH INIVBISLE HAND OF TEH MRKT FIXEZ EVERYTHING LOLZ!!!11!" crowd likes to admit. For starters, there won't be much trickle-down to lower castes and the most vulnerable.

Now, would some of these problems theoretically be lessened if suddenly the stuff made by child slaves in India was selling for 100% more? Possibly. But I don't think it's anywhere NEAR the primary reason for the cycle of debt slavery that occurs in India (and Pakistan).

/Breeding less would solve a LOT of problems in a LOT of countries in this World
 
2007-10-29 03:30:14 AM  
Khazar-Khum: Define 'child'.

In many places 15/16 is an adult. In some places it's as young as 12.

So you wouldn't want to be sewing when you were 13. But if you lived on a family farm, by 13 you'd have a pretty good working relationship with all sorts of tools. Ditto for a lot of family-owned businesses. The kids start helping ASAP.


Some of the children were as young as 10.

Gap child labor
 
2007-10-29 03:33:22 AM  
Shadow Blasko: The first world consumer is simply not willing, and lately, not ABLE to pay the prices that would be reflected at the point of sale if large garment producers suddenly went "kosher" on their suppliers

This is the point I tried to make in my Boobies. Take a look at the clothes in Neiman Marcus, an outfit there would cost over 1k. Most of their shirts run 200-350 dollars.

To most families that is unobtainable. Joe Blow is not going to strut into work at a call center making 10 dollars an hour in a 300 dollar shirt. And it doesn't make a ton of sense for a family of modest means trying to put a kid in college to be spending that kind of cash on clothes. So they buy the cheaper clothes, the ones you see at places like the GAP. If they bought the 300 dollar shirt at Neiman's that might mean they can't eat at applebees as often


However, drive past a Wal-Mart on Saturday and look how many Dodge Durango or Chevy Tahoe's are in the parking lot. These people all have 30,000 dollar SUV's that suck gas @ 2.75 a gallon and probably cost a bit to insure. And yet they have to save 36 cents on orange juice and paper plates?
 
2007-10-29 03:33:24 AM  
Bathia_Mapes: Some of the children were as young as 10.

And? Got my first work related injury on the farm at 8. Broke two ribs when the compacting ram in our bailer jumped the track and shot out of the side. Caught me when I was standing next to it.

I was back in the field next weekend, but in a position that I could do while sitting.
 
2007-10-29 03:34:27 AM  
Shadow Blasko: What do you do when you run out of suppliers then.

You start another shell company, "buy" the equipment and "hire" the laborers from your "bankrupt" sweat shop, contract your production out to the "new" company, and snort some coke off a hooker's ass.
 
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