Flee Sweatshops or Stay and Change Them ??
04/05/2013 4 comentarios
Address the Real Challenges. Some have praised Disney’s decision to pull out of Bangladesh as a step forward for workers’ rights. It’s not. A senior Disney executive justifies the company’s action by asserting that pulling up stakes in Bangladesh is “the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with our supply chain”. But Disney’s departure does nothing to address real challenges, which require a commitment by the big global brands to stay in places like Bangladesh and be part of a collective effort to protect the well-being of factory workers. Ask the workers in those factories, mostly young women, what they want. They will tell you two things. First, they want to keep their jobs, desperately. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the rapid expansion of the garment sector in recent years has put food on the table for many, lifting families out of extreme poverty. Second, they want to be treated with DIGNITY, which begins with going to work in a quite safe and secure environment. To address these reasonable aspirations, global brands like Disney need to do 3 things: Make a long-term commitment to provide jobs in places like Bangladesh and accept the responsibility for addressing the workplace issues in factories producing their products; Commit to working with other global brands to develop shared strategies and accepted best practices. This is not the place to compete, it’s the place where companies need to work together; Disney, in cooperation with megabrands, needs to work with governments (including our own), civil society groups, academics, others, to explore alternatives to the current outsourcing model. Driven by the hunt for the cheapest production costs, this model creates intense downward pressures on local factory owners, governments, and limits rather than encourages needed reforms.