By Beth Myers, Executive Director, STITCH
I am on a number of list serves and receive tons of news articles and alerts about labor rights violations and sweatshops around the world and at home. As I read these alerts I am often shocked by the information I receive. I am not shocked that abuse and violations are happening because I am not that naïve but by how little impact these stories have any more. The tales of workers getting abused, fired, or attacked are rarely covered by mainstream media and when they are printed, they are often greeted with nothing more than a yawn by consumers and business people.
Are we as a culture agreeing that in order to have “cute” clothes or cheap appliances that we are willing to live with slave labor? Can we at least all agree that there are some minimum standards that we as a culture should live by? Do we really need to continue to find the worst of the worst stories of brutality to bring attention to this continual problem in our society?
I am generally an optimistic person and I believe that workers around the world will fight with all of their strength for their rights at work. I hope that I can continue to believe that consumers and activists in the global north will join them.
What can we do to break through the apathy?
Here’s some samples of stories that have been in the media lately: