Thousands of workers have walked out of factories in the Ashulia and Gazipur industrial districts of Bangladesh shortly after they opened, and staged a protest march, reportedly setting fire to an ambulance.

Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing cheap clothing for major Western retailers that benefit from its widespread low-cost labour. It is easy to jump up and shout Primark at the top of your voice but I wonder how many other ‘designer brands’ are guilty of doing the same thing, simply making more money. You can find a list of the worst offenders at:

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/clothing/clothesshops.aspx

It’s interesting that Primark is not on the list, but that ASDA George comes out at 0/20 in respect of it’s ethics!

Again, similar to tax evasion, the disaster in Bangladesh has highlighted  that cheap sweatshop labour isn’t illegal, encouraging people to want more and more floor space any which way. It will be interesting to see what sentence the landlord gets – it will determine if it will deter other businessmen or they will consider the loss of life and a fine an acceptable risk!

Again it is another impact of the demands of capitalism; not just destroying lives but also the environment with increased shipping. Why doesn’t Ian Duncan Smith not just ask rich pensioners to hand back any benefits, but just generally ask anyone whose rich to handover money that they don’t physically use, and simply exists as figures on a statement.

 

 

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