Monday, October 29, 2007

Credibility GAP: How corporations achieve competitive advantage...

Americans are frequently lectured by politicians (Hillary Clinton and George Bush, among others) regarding the need to be "globally competitive". This is usually delivered in the stern tones of a parent lecturing a child. Every now and then, the phalanx of generally approving media lets slip a glimmer of how corporations achieve competitive advantage under the current system of corporate managed trade and labor policy. Here's a wonderful story of how Indian children are used to produce clothing items which appear in American stores. It's especially ironic, I think, that the specific clothing articles were intended for the Christmas sales season...
Indian 'slave' children found making low-cost clothes destined for Gap

Child workers, some as young as 10, have been found working in a textile factory in conditions close to slavery to produce clothes that appear destined for Gap Kids, one of the most successful arms of the high street giant.

Speaking to The Observer, the children described long hours of unwaged work, as well as threats and beatings.

Gap said it was unaware that clothing intended for the Christmas market had been improperly subcontracted to a sweatshop using child labour.

The discovery of the children working in filthy conditions in the Shahpur Jat area of Delhi has renewed concerns about the outsourcing by large retail chains of their garment production to India, recognised by the United Nations as the world's capital for child labour.

According to one estimate, more than 20 per cent of India's economy is dependent on children, the equivalent of 55 million youngsters under 14.

The Observer discovered the children in a filthy sweatshop working on piles of beaded children's blouses marked with serial numbers that Gap admitted corresponded with its own inventory. The company has pledged to convene a meeting of its Indian suppliers as well as withdrawing tens of thousands of the embroidered girl's blouses from the market, before they reach the stores. The hand-stitched tops, which would have been sold for about £20, were destined for shelves in America and Europe in the next seven days in time to be sold to Christmas shoppers.

Read it all


Blogger Richard said...

Hey guys,

Don't know if this is a hoax or what but some people seem to be buying into this as an investment opportunity. Vulnerability should never be an opportunity for profit.


Wed Oct 31, 05:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Info_Tech_Guy said...

This is a wonderful parody! As an IT worker, of course, I'd think that the Indian call-center workers and programmers at TATA/TCS deserve inclusion...

"Today’s forced labour market is becoming increasingly diverse and is truly global, so the risks are spread across multiple markets, with new and emerging economies only bolstering demand. Child soldiers in Africa, sex workers in Eastern Europe, child labour in India and China – these represent only the more obvious areas for potential investment. At Four Continents we believe that this commodity will come to play a significant part in keeping the world economy growing."

Wed Oct 31, 06:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Richard said...

Hey I also found this on youtube. So interestingly put across


Thu Nov 01, 08:49:00 AM GMT-5  

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