Penney's still do sweet F' all to solve sweatshops

johnfás

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Further to my previous topic on the subject (Click Here) it has been reported today by leading UK trade justice charity War On Want that leading retailers such as Primark (holding company for Penney's Clothing Shops) have still done little to change their practises in regard to sweatshops following the charity's report on the companies one year ago.

Religious Intelligence said:
A LEADING charity has accused leading retailers of doing little to put an end to ‘sweatshop’ conditions in Bangladesh.

War on Want said today that workers are still being paid only 5p an hour – and have to work 80-hour weeks – to produce clothes for retailers such as Primark, Tesco and Asda (part of the Wal-Mart group).

Calling for government intervention, the charity was alarmed that little had changed in the year since its original report was published.

Simon McRae, War on Want senior campaigns officer, said: “It is a scandal that Primark, Tesco and Asda have failed to tackle the poor wages and conditions of Bangladeshis making their clothes. Now the UK government must step in and tackle this exploitation once and for all.”

Khorshed Alam, a researcher who interviewed employees for the Fashion Victims report, said: “I have kept in touch with workers from the Bangladeshi factories. Their pay and conditions have not improved.”

War on Want is backing campaigns being staged today against the Top Shop fashion chain, and they are calling on festive shoppers to join its campaign for government action.
http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/ ... ewsID=1282[/url]
If people would like an insight into the practises of such sweatshops, the following video may be of interest. If the embed does not work Click Here to see in YouTube.

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Try and spare a thought where your purchases come from this Christmas.
 


MookieBaylock

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well do what i do and refuse to wear anything thats not made in the first world..

i have had this policy for years.. hugo boss, diesel and dolce & gabanna generally use european factories...

nike and ralph laurend do not..
 

colgan

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If you want the truth about sweatshops/workers in textile factories look at www.itglwf.org

The General Secretary is an Irish fella,

Public pressure seems to have actually led to Nike and Gap developing some of the best polices.

War on Want and other such organisations do harm in the long run, they target short term publicity without any sustainable improvements in conditions for the workers.
 

johnfás

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colgan said:
War on Want and other such organisatiosn do harm in the long run, they target short term publicity without any sustainble improvements in conditions for the workers.
I think you'll find that would be the case if such organisations were the sole organisations working in the field. Beyond that, if they were, their policies would be rather different. Any major issue in the world like this needs a multipronged approach. Without largescale publicity professional organisations get neither the political backing nor the funding to carry out their work. Band Aid was never going to solve the root cause of famine, but it did alot of good in highlighting the issue.
 

Anorakphobia

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Thanks Johnfas
Have you got a good site that shows the best and worst shops in this area?


I have long heard of Primark's reputation in this area and have avoided and needless to say that kip Wal Mart was also known to me for similar practise.
Tesco came as a bit of a surprise.
 

Anorakphobia

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colgan said:
If you want the truth about sweatshops/workers in textile factories look at www.itglwf.org

The General Secretary is an Irish fella,

Public pressure seems to have actually led to Nike and Gap developing some of the best polices.

War on Want and other such organisatiosn do harm in the long run, they target short term publicity without any sustainble improvements in conditions for the workers.
Thanks for that
 

colgan

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"Any major issue in the world like this needs a multipronged approach. Without largescale publicity professional organisations get neither the political backing nor the funding to carry out their work. "

Point taken:

I wonder if anyone has had a look at the Irish clothing retailers and designers to see where they source there goods, Dunnes etc I am sure they're no angels.
 

johnfás

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colgan said:
I wonder if anyone has had a look at the Irish clothing retailers and designers to see where they source there goods, Dunnes etc I am sure they're no angels.
My understanding - though it has been a while since I have looked at alot of this stuff being bogged down with other things - is that alot of retailers source from middle men. Thereby attempting to shield themselves from guilt using the excuse that they had assurances from the suppliers that they were not made in sweatshops. That situation I would imagine has changed more recently in shops such as Dunnes who I believe are taking a much more hands on approach to the sourcing of their clothes, hence their increasing 'fashionability'. I wouldn't be shocked if their clothes came from incredibly dodgy places but I wouldn't want to say they did unless I had some sort of proof.

I was once upon atime involved in a thing where we used to write to shop managers and executives around the UK and Ireland to see if they were actually aware of where their clothes came from. Most didn't have a clue. That's why it continues, theres alot of nudging, winking and blind eye's turned.
 

johnfás

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People may be interested in the documentary "Primark: On the Rack" which begins at 21:00 on BBC1 this evening.

Edit: they seem not to be showing it in BBC in Ireland - pity.

Double Edit: 22:35 on BBC NI.
 

cyberianpan

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Firstly regarding "sweatshops"
I'm not sure what the people on this thread mean by the emotive term "sweatshops". These factories are actually modern with some pretty sophisticated machinery, so lose any notions of Dickensian machines that eat bits of people. To produce clothes the high consistent finish standard that we are accustomed to requires modern , well managed factories. Healthy productive workers are needed so yes the hours may be long but inhumane conditions would be counter productive.

The things in India weren't even factories
The company had outsourced the embroidery back to huts, embroidery is one of the few things that can be pushed out of the factories. Now this was deception on the part of the company, Primark can't stay working with a supplier that engages in wholesale deceit. Even as a deterrent they needed to carry out the drastic action of severing links.

This is only a small amount
Primark point out that this is only 0.04% of their volume. That seems quite small to me, as they point out over 2 million people in the 3rd world depend on Primark. This good as by trading with these people we're giving them a fair chance to progress, trading is better than handouts. Primark go beyond the ETI requirements by paying 3rd world suppliers within 30 days, often before they even receive the goods (they use a bond system). Last ETI report that I got my hands on rated Primark ahead of the pack.


Overall I think there is an unfair emphasis on Primark here, they're a pretty successful company, they operate on very, very low overheads centrally and they pass on low prices to consumers.

cYp
 

Universal_001

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Do you not find it ironic that if their wages were raised to our level they'd loose their only advantage (low costs) and be unemployed?
 

Victor Meldrew

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Universal_001 said:
Do you not find it ironic that if their wages were raised to our level they'd loose their only advantage (low costs) and be unemployed?
Untill women's fashion shifts to well made stuff that 'stays' in fashion for 3 years women will always buy flimsy, fussy clothes for nothing. That drives the rag trade and explains the Expense spent peddling the junk. You can't regulate the supply again here. Mens wear is never as cheap. And it lasts, even the chinese stuff.
 

silvamuppet

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Universal_001 said:
Do you not find it ironic that if their wages were raised to our level they'd loose their only advantage (low costs) and be unemployed?
That's a fair comment.

Read a book a while ago that was kind of like an argument against the Naomi Klein 'No Logo' approach and it made a lot of sense.
In essence the author argued that while we in the comfortable environs of the 1st world have the luxury to be appalled at the conditions of the people who make our clothes etc, these people are doing it of their own free will (the alternative being slavery which is a seperate issue).
Thus they are doing this job because the alternative is worse!

You take this business (as dreadful as it is) away from them and where does that leave them?
Author went on to argue that with free market economics at play the money that this brings into the local economy feeds into ancilliary businesses and taxes over time. Went on to make an argument for how over time the local economies build on this type of stuff to create local owned industries that then compete for these workers (who now have a skill level) and that the wage and conditions start to get better.

So while you might not like how these people are used. If you insist on 1st world conditions for these people will they still have a job??

Note: Before i get lynched I'm not saying I like the conditions these people are working in , i don't! But before you go and boycott some retailer for using this labour bear in mind who bears the cost of the likes of Pennys using a more ethical factory. The price of the goods go up and there is some poor sod who lives in near poverty whose lot has just gotten worse because the not enough they used to earn has been taken away from them (for their own good!).
 

Effin Effer!!!

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The prices don't go up, Primark use the same factories as many other retailers. They keep the prices low because they cut out middle men and buy direct, stick to simple designs, don't run expensive advertising campaigns, purchase in bulk and only take 12.5% profit on garments. Learn a bit about both sides of the industry!
 
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cyberianpan said:
Firstly regarding "sweatshops"
I'm not sure what the people on this thread mean by the emotive term "sweatshops". These factories are actually modern with some pretty sophisticated machinery, so lose any notions of Dickensian machines that eat bits of people. To produce clothes the high consistent finish standard that we are accustomed to requires modern , well managed factories. Healthy productive workers are needed so yes the hours may be long but inhumane conditions would be counter productive.

The things in India weren't even factories
The company had outsourced the embroidery back to huts, embroidery is one of the few things that can be pushed out of the factories. Now this was deception on the part of the company, Primark can't stay working with a supplier that engages in wholesale deceit. Even as a deterrent they needed to carry out the drastic action of severing links.

This is only a small amount
Primark point out that this is only 0.04% of their volume. That seems quite small to me, as they point out over 2 million people in the 3rd world depend on Primark. This good as by trading with these people we're giving them a fair chance to progress, trading is better than handouts. Primark go beyond the ETI requirements by paying 3rd world suppliers within 30 days, often before they even receive the goods (they use a bond system). Last ETI report that I got my hands on rated Primark ahead of the pack.


Overall I think there is an unfair emphasis on Primark here, they're a pretty successful company, they operate on very, very low overheads centrally and they pass on low prices to consumers.

cYp

Hmmmm, this sounds very familiar, :D A friend of mine who works in Pennys said nearly the exact same thing a few weeks. They had a meeting for all the staff because of the current affairs program. So do you work for Pennys/Primark? You certainly sound like you do.
 

Effin Effer!!!

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In fairness I do work for Penneys. The only slave labour they have is me :D On the serious side though, Penney had a fast one pulled on them by the factory in India who sub-contracted work without the companies knowledge. When the B.B.C. told Penneys what they had discovered they looked into it straight away (this all happened a year and a half ago) and when they had confirmed the story was true they cancelled all contracts with the Indian factory and gave all profits from the garments to charity. Now I know that all sounds like an official responce but it is true, Penneys take it very serious and value their good reputation.
 

lostexpectation

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The things in India weren't even factories
The company had outsourced the embroidery back to huts, embroidery is one of the few things that can be pushed out of the factories. Now this was deception on the part of the company, Primark can't stay working with a supplier that engages in wholesale deceit. Even as a deterrent they needed to carry out the drastic action of severing links.


cYp
or inspecting thoroughly to see where they clothes are actually made.
 

ManOfReason

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So the moral of the story is all the people of Ireland who make ends meet by shopping in Pennys are supporting 'sweatshops' while the Bankers, Politicians, Senior Civil Servants and Business Men(aka tax dogers) are making the world a better place by splashing out a few hundred Euro for a blouse in Brown Thomas?

Sounds like a bunch of sanctimonious muck to me. The campaign is probably financed by French garment workers unions or something.
 


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