We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Female Garment Workers in Cambodia Fighting For The Right Not To Die At Work

Click here to access article by Joel Preston from The Multicultural Politic

The exploitation that provides us with cheap clothes and retailers like Wallmart, The Gap, etc with huge profits usually goes unreported in corporate media. This report from a grass-roots media collective shows that exploitation in Dhaka, Bangladesh is not confined to that location.
Since 2010, the Cambodian garment industry has been gripped by an epidemic of mass fainting. There were no recorded fatalities but in the last three years more than 4,000 garment workers have lost consciousness en masse during work. As the gap between wage and living expenses has risen with inflation, so have the reported incidents of mass fainting. In 2011 the ILO commissioned a report into specific incidents. The report found that “workers initially suffered from illnesses such as low-blood sugar (due to lack or caloric intake), heat strain, or exhaustion causing them to lose consciousness.” 
Also, see this, this, and this.