"Officials say about 2,500 people were injured in the collapse and that 2,437 people have been rescued. Bangladesh has shut down 18 garment plants for safety reasons since the Rana Plaza disaster, the Bangladeshi textile minister has confirmed."
Huge global companies dictate the condition that workers have to endure. Do they have a moral or ethical duty to increase the health and safety standards to those of the country they are registered in.
Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/06/04/3326464/locked-doors-a-sign-of-china-work.html#storylink=cpyBy CHRISTOPHER BODEEN — Associated Press
Jainal works in silver cooking pot factory. He is 11 years old. He has been working in this factory for three years. His work starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. For his work he gets 700 taka (10 USD) for a month. His parents are so poor that they can not afford to send him to school. According to the factory owner, the parents do not care for their children; they send their kids to work for money and allegedly don't feel sorry for these small kids. Dhaka 2008
Presentation globalisation & Health and Safety
• The city attracted international attention after the Bhopal
disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide
manufacturing plant leaked a mixture of deadly gases
including methyl isocyanate on the intervening night of 2 / 3
December 1984, leading to the worst industrial disaster in the
city's history. Since then, Bhopal has been a centre of protests
and campaigns which have been joined by people from across
The moral impact of globalisation from an Environmental
and HEALTH AND SAFETY Perspective
If it works for us
• many developing countries do not have robust Health and
Safety but the developed countries have.
• We could save the World Economy Billions
• Protect the Environment
• Have the cheaper clothes and luxuries
• The April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, where apparel was made for
several Western retailers, has sparked an international outcry over
substandard working conditions in Bangladesh, where workers have
some of the lowest wages in the world and the garment industry is
• On Wednesday, a European Union delegation was dispatched to the
country to urge the government to "act immediately" to improve
• China is now the biggest shoe producing country in
the world, producing over one-third of the world’s
top brand-name sports shoes. In many ways it is an
ideal setting for the sports shoe multinationals and
their subcontractors. Massive unemployment, low
wages, the lack of enforcement of labour laws and
standards, repression of independent union
organizing, and the role of the state-run All China
Federation of Trade Unions in supporting
management, are combined with local governments
whose policies and interests lie in attracting foreign
capital and ensuring the best conditions for the
accumulation of profit
• BEIJING — A fire breaks out in a Chinese
factory, and panicked workers discover one exit
after another is locked. That describes not only
the poultry plant fire that killed 119 people
Monday, but a toy-factory blaze that left 87
workers dead 20 years earlier.
• The similarities between the two worst factory
fires in China's history suggest that little has
changed for industrial workers even as the
country has transformed its economy.
Locked FIRE EXITS contributed to the huge DEATH TOLL
The bolted doors, clearly a violation of Chinese law, are
emblematic of the often callous approach to worker safety
in China that leads to frequent industrial disasters and an
annual death toll in the tens of thousands.
• While the country's increasingly sophisticated
economy has surged into second place globally
behind the United States, industrial safety
conditions often more closely resemble those in
struggling impoverished nations such as
Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 people died
in an April garment factory collapse.
• "Throughout China's modern economic
development, there has really been very little
consideration for the rights and interests of the
workers," said Li Qiang, executive director of
New York-based China Labour Watch, which
closely tracks working conditions in China.
• "First World" multinationals like Nike and Reebok
benefit in every way because they do not have to
deal directly with production: they can distance
themselves from this "unseemly" process
through subcontracting - and in doing so, benefit
from low production costs without any direct
lines of responsibility. Subcontracting also allows
them to respond quickly to changing styles and
fashions, while passing on all of the uncertainty
and insecurity to their subcontractors and
ultimately to the workers themselves. [Report
from the International Federation of Labour]
• The following is typical of conditions to be found in
one of the better "Third World" factories which
produces products for consumers in the "First
World." The factory is Nority International Group Ltd.
of China, a Reebok Subcontractor. It should be noted
that most of these same conditions prevail for the
other American multinationals like Nike, Liz
Claiborne, etc. which have re-located operations out
of the United States to sites in the so-called
"Developing World." This is what "globalization" is all
• Nority Shoe Factory is located in Dongguan, Chang’an
Province and employs 6,000-7,000 workers, most of
whom are women. The factory is Taiwanese-owned
and it is run like a prison labour camp. Workers are
constantly yelled at by their superiors and are beaten
by the security guards for leaving the factory without
• The normal work week, not including overtime, is
12 hours a day, six days a week, or 72 hours a week.
The work is divided into three shifts: 8am-11:30pm,
12:30pm-4:30am, and 5:30am-10pm. On top of this
gruelling 12-hour schedule, workers are often
forced to work an additional 2-5 hours of overtime.
Refusal to work overtime could result in a fine of
$7.23 to $21.67 (60 to 180Rmb), and a worker who
refuses to work overtime three days in a row will be
You might be wearing clothes from the factory
Where this is an acceptable standard
• The work is very stressful. Workers are given a quota to fulfil.
Most say they are unable to fulfil their quota during work
hours, and therefore they have to stay behind and work
without pay. Some workers said they only got one to three
days off per month. The workers can be fired for refusing
overtime and female workers can be fired for becoming
pregnant. (Nority–like many other factories in the area which
employ women workers–finds it easier to dismiss pregnant
• We all want our products at the lowest price,
but at what cost?
• The general principles are relevant to all organisations
whatever their size. It makes sound business sense to have
good health and safety practices.
Have we simply exported this
• In the UK, 1995, an estimated
average of 11 working days per
sufferer were lost through
musculoskeletal disorders affecting
the back, caused by work. HSE
estimated that such conditions cost
employers up to £335 million
Britain's appetitefor fast fashionis pushing
• “Third world factories – and their employees –
are being overwhelmed by the demands of
western fast fashion” The Guardian The
• What price are workers paying?
• What price is the WORLD paying?
New modern factories with working
practices straight from the dark
•Do we have a moral responsibility to
ensure that these products are being
produced in a safe and healthy
•Many Health and Safety experts have
told us that a safe working
environment reduces costs
We sell modern high tech
equipment to these developing
countries but seem to care little
for environmental protection.
SENDING THE PROBLEMS ABROAD
WELL BEING AUDITS
• Wellbeing Assessments
• Studies have shown the value and need for wellbeing Audits,
using both qualitative and quantitative data have shown
where there is positive wellbeing outcomes for the employees
there are financial benefits for the employer. In particular two
studies have looked at;
• 1. Impact of stress through the person/environment fit
theory (French, Caplan & van Harrison 1982)
• 2. The quality of life and performance through behavioural,
cognitive and health benefits of positive feelings and positive
perceptions (Isen. 1987 & Warr. 1999)
•Do we in the West see well being of
employees as an unacceptable cost?
•The simple answer is no, we regard
the well being of employees as
making economical sense.
•A happy workforce is a more
“Cambodia's big advantage is having its
factories certified by an independent
monitor with international credibility,
the ILO. Established in 2001 following a
trade deal with the U.S., the program
sends monitors armed with a 500-item
checklist on unannounced factory
Labour laws add costs but increase
• The aim: to hold factories to Cambodian
labour law, which stipulates a $45 monthly
minimum wage and a six-day, 48-hour
workweek with no more than two hours of
daily overtime. The ILO reports give
companies confidence that their brand
names won't be tarnished if they buy here.
As factory conditions improved,
Cambodia's share of U.S. garment imports
rose to 14% last year from 9% in 2002
• To persuade reluctant factory managers to pay, the ILO argues
that better working conditions boost profits in the long run.
• Prodded by the monitors, Archid manager Huang reorganized
production of the $45 million in garments he ships annually to
U.S. customers. Chairs for workers who previously had been
on their feet were among the improvements.
• To reward Cambodia's efforts, Congress is considering
legislation to eliminate the 15% to 25% tariffs on its
exports to the USA.
• Lower tariffs would help. But for Cambodia to remain
competitive, it must address problems outside its
factories as well as inside.
• That means tackling widespread corruption. In this
desperately poor country of 13.8 million, where civil
servants average a $28 monthly pay check, companies
must routinely bribe customs officials to get raw
materials into and finished goods out of the country.
Those payments add at least 6% to costs, a major hurdle
in a fiercely competitive global market, Loo says.
"It's not a niceenvironmentto be in," says
Adrian Ross,general managerof U.K.-owned
• To cut chances for under-the-table payments,
the government plans eventually to let garment
makers get customs permits online.
• Such reforms won't be introduced overnight. But Cambodia has
time to change. Many buyers aren't immediately shifting orders to
China, fearing the U.S. will soon cap surging Chinese exports.
• Archid's orders are solid through June, and Huang and his
counterparts at other large companies have expansion plans. But he
is uncertain whether to build the new factory, which would add 400
jobs. The allure of China's low costs might swamp Cambodia's
sweatshop-free sales pitch, he worries.
• If it does, the price will be paid by people such as Sophea Mang, 19,
who dropped out of the 10th grade to take a job making clothes for
Americans. Every month, she sends home half her $45 salary so her
three sisters can stay in school.
Ever wondered where all the
factory smoke went.
• Surrounded by colourful blouses, Mang recalls the
impoverished village where her family ekes out a living raising
livestock. If Archid's orders someday switch to China, she'll
reluctantly return to the farm.
• "I like this life better," she says. "Both the farm and this are
hard work, but this is a better life."
• The result: Productivity jumped 48%, and overtime fell by
more than half. "Our factory became more efficient," Huang
• Still, good working conditions alone won't guarantee
Cambodia long-term success. "A country would not be
competitive if (working conditions) was the only thing they did
well," says Gap's Henkle. "This is perhaps an advantage for
them, but they can't rest on that."