Sunday, May 29, 2005

"Make Poverty History" sells wristbands made in awful conditions

Telegraph | News | Ethical wristbands made using 'slave labour'. The ultra-fashionable white wristbands for the Make Poverty History campaign are apparently produced under horrible working conditions.
Wristbands sold to raise money for a campaign against world poverty are made in Chinese sweatshops in "slave labour" conditions, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
The audit uncovered a list of "weaknesses" including poor health and safety provision, long hours, a seven-day week, workers cheated out of pay, inadequate insurance, no annual leave and no right to freedom of association.
Overtime was worked beyond the legal limit and not paid for properly, there was no paid annual leave, and no guarantee of a day off each week. Workers had pay deducted for disciplinary reasons, in breach of Chinese law.
In short, the charities are guilty of everything they accuse companies of doing, exploiting foreign workers. Now that's what you call ironic.

One the plus side, I guess they are bestiring themselves to try and make things better. Hundreds of thousands of the wristbands have been sold in England alone, so it may be locking the barndoor after the horse has escaped. I just find it exceedingly odd that a coalition of 400 charities didn't do what they want business to do, purchase from reputable companies.

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