Working Conditions / Sweatshops
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Aug 14, 2012 Factory owners: Federal prisoners stealing our business
QUOTE: Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates -- at wages as low as 23 cents an hour -- to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies....If Unicor wants a contract, it gets it.
CNN/Money Magazine Mar 18, 2012 Apple and the Daisey affair
QUOTE: The show, which cast a harsh light on the working conditions in the Chinese factories....We now know, thanks to follow-up reporting by Rob Schmitz at American Public Media's Marketplace, that Daisey's monologue -- as he reluctantly admits -- was a piece of theater, not a factual report.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 25, 2012 In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad
QUOTE: workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems....More than half of the suppliers audited by Apple have violated at least one aspect of the code of conduct every year since 2007, according to Apple’s reports, and in some instances have violated the law.
New York Times Oct 07, 2011 What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs
QUOTE: In the days after Steve Jobs' death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He's been hailed as "a genius" and "the greatest CEO of his generation" by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man's reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.
Gawker Oct 04, 2011 Tracking factory slaves across Asia
QUOTE: We traveled to Cambodia planning to tell the story of an escape from modern-day slave labor but what we found were tales of more women trapped in debt-bondage in Malaysia. In Cambodia, we found the women who had escaped, but we also learned about dozens of other workers stuck in similar circumstances, unable to get home unless they paid off their "debt" to a recruitment agency.
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 24, 2011 America’s Sweatshop Diplomacy (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: the J-1 visa Summer Work Study program, which allows foreign students to work in the United States for a few months, is meant to promote “lasting and meaningful relationships” between the students and Americans....Hershey’s business strategy is a microcosm of the downsizing and subcontracting that so many American companies have pursued during the past few decades in search of ever cheaper labor.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 Mine Owners Misled Inspectors, Investigators Say
QUOTE: Federal investigators said Wednesday that Massey Energy, the owner of the West Virginia mine where 29 men were killed in an explosion last year, misled government inspectors by keeping accounts of hazardous conditions out of official record books where inspectors would see them.
New York Times Jun 23, 2011 Why SEO Disgusts Me
QUOTE: I recently had a discussion with the CEO of a leading Midwest search firm who described their common practice of creating fake accounts to pump client links into the comment section of blog posts and forums....I’m concerned when it gets difficult to compete in the industry without engaging in fraudulent behavior.
WebProNews Apr 18, 2011 Victims break chains of slavery
QUOTE: A vast network of workers who are lured from Bolivia to Argentina on empty promises… Most endure long and brutal journeys before being sent to work in clandestine clothing factories under oppressive conditions…
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 18, 2010 Supreme Court rules on employer monitoring of cellphone, computer conversations
QUOTE: A hesitant Supreme Court waded cautiously into a question that arises daily in workplaces and offices across the country: whether employers have the right to look over the shoulders of workers who use company computers and cellphones for personal communication. In the first ruling of its kind, the justices said they do, as long as there is a "legitimate work-related purpose" to monitor them.
Washington Post May 27, 2010 Safety Rules Can’t Keep Up With Biotech Industry
QUOTE: the estimated 232,000 employees in the nation’s most sophisticated biotechnology labs work amid imponderable hazards. And some critics say the modern biolab often has fewer federal safety regulations than a typical blue-collar factory.
New York Times May 26, 2010 Electronics Maker Promises Review After Suicides
QUOTE: “Foxconn’s production line system is designed so well that no worker will rest even one second during work; they make sure you’re always busy for every second,” says Li Qiang, executive director of the China Labor Watch, a New York-based labor rights group. “Foxconn only values the enterprise benefits but totally ignores the social benefits.” Those claims have been bolstered in recent weeks by some of China’s state-run newspapers, which have published a series of sensational reports about the suicides, alongside exposés detailing what they claim are the harsh conditions inside Foxconn factories.
New York Times May 08, 2010 For BP, a History of Spills and Safety Lapses
QUOTE: After BP’s Texas City, Tex., refinery blew up in 2005...The next year, when a badly maintained oil pipeline ruptured and spilled 200,000 gallons of crude oil over Alaska’s North Slope...Despite those repeated promises to reform, BP continues to lag other oil companies when it comes to safety...
New York Times Apr 19, 2010 Justices Get Personal Over Privacy of Messages
QUOTE: The question in a case argued Monday in the Supreme Court sounded both irresistible and important: Did a California police department violate the Constitution by reading sexually explicit text messages sent by an officer on a department-issued pager?
New York Times Apr 10, 2010 Mines avoid crackdowns by challenging safety citations
QUOTE: By contesting the citations, the 32 mines were able to avoid falling into a "potential pattern of violation" category, which would have brought closer scrutiny and moved regulators a step closer to the ability to restrict or shut down operations.
Washington Post Mar 24, 2010 New software lets businesses track employees' Facebook, Twitter activity
QUOTE: Facebook and Twitter users should probably just assume that what they post publicly is being monitored by their employer. If your privacy settings don't limit content to friends only, anyone can search Google or the social networking sites themselves to see what you're writing. Granted, that can be a tedious process that an employer may not want to bother with -- but now it's becoming easier for businesses to monitor social networking activity.
InfoWorld Dec 03, 2009 An Indian Village Sees the Downside of Carbon Trading Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1945243,00.html#ixzz0Ykz1f6GX
QUOTE: The controversy in Toranagallu [India} raises questions about the effectiveness of CDM [Clean Development Mechanism] projects and the wisdom of relying on the carbon market to combat climate change.
Time Magazine Nov 22, 2009 In Ethiopia, farmland is hot property
QUOTE: The scale and pace of the land scramble has alarmed policy makers and others concerned about its implications for food security in countries such as Ethiopia...
Washington Post Nov 16, 2009 Work-Related Injuries Underreported
QUOTE: Employers and workers routinely underreport work-related injuries and illnesses, calling into question the accuracy of nationwide data that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration compiles each year, the Government Accountability Office said Monday.
New York Times Oct 19, 2009 Which Side Is Government On? Millions of contract workers whose salaries are ultimately paid by government live in poverty. Uncle Sam should demand high standards, not pay as little as possible.
QUOTE: In 2007 the Labor Department found in 80 percent of its SCA [Service Contract Act]investigations that employers [contracted by the federal government] underpaid wages or benefits or both. And wages are so low in many service jobs, especially where few workers belong to unions, that prevailing wages are often only sub-poverty wages.
American Prospect Oct 08, 2009 Letterman didn't violate his company's harassment policy: The scandal points to a gray area in office policies. Many businesses have yet to clarify guidelines for workplace relationships.
QUOTE: Americans generally say it's inappropriate for someone to enter sexual relationships with office subordinates... But such actions aren't necessarily grounds for discipline, although they can cause deep concern within organizations.
Christian Science Monitor Oct 02, 2009 Dark and Bitter: Food workers increasingly exist in a legal limbo with no protections for wages, benefits, job security, or life and limb. Why are employers like Hershey off the hook?
QUOTE: In this new world, workers are paid only when needed. There are no more messy layoffs -- merely the end of an assignment. All the risks are shifted to workers. Staffing agencies often tout their services as giving employees flexibility and variety, but [Nik] Theodore's research shows they are worse off by many measures.
American Prospect Oct 01, 2009 America's High-Tech Sweatshops: U.S. companies may be contributing unwittingly to the exploitation of workers imported from India and elsewhere by tech-services outfits
QUOTE: While many [tech-service] outfits operate legally and provide high-quality talent, there is growing evidence that others violate U.S. laws and mistreat their recruits.
BusinessWeek Sep 27, 2009 Truckers Insist on Keeping Computers in the Cab: Driven to Distraction
QUOTE: The issues raised by truckers [on in-cab computers] show the challenges facing advocates for tougher distracted-driving laws, given that so many Americans have grown accustomed to talking and texting behind the wheel.
New York Times Sep 26, 2009 Mandatory Flu Shots Hit Resistance: Many Health-Care Workers Required to Get Vaccines
QUOTE: With the H1N1 pandemic spreading rapidly, hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, orderlies and other U.S. health-care workers for the first time are being required to get flu shots, drawing praise from many public-health authorities but condemnation from some employees, unions and other critics who object to mandatory vaccination.
Washington Post Sep 10, 2009 Big Brother bosses: Employers spying on staff
QUOTE: Companies have long kept a close eye on employees to maintain productivity and guard against theft. But the economic downturn has prompted some to redouble their efforts—and advances in technology have given them the means.
Economist Sep 04, 2009 Working Without Laws
QUOTE: For the past thirty years, the gospel of lean and mean has reordered the world of work, setting off a race to the bottom in which employers circumvent and evade standards that once seemed inviolate. That race has now taken us to a logical low point: many employers are ignoring workplace laws altogether.
Nation Aug 25, 2009 Unchain the Office Computers! Why corporate IT should let us browse any way we want.
QUOTE: So why not lock down workplace computers? Here's why: The restrictions infantilize workers—they foster resentment, reduce morale, lock people into inefficient routines, and, worst of all, they kill our incentives to work productively.
Slate Aug 24, 2009 Wyoming split over worker safety: It's the second time lawmakers are weighing measures to decrease the state's high rate of job fatalities, especially in the oil fields.
QUOTE: For the last several years, Wyoming has outpaced the rest of the country in occupational fatalities.
Los Angeles Times Aug 21, 2009 The Deadly Cost of Swooping In to Save a Life (Fatal Flights A Perilous Rush to Profit
QUOTE: Yet as crashes and deaths have mounted [in medical helicopter accidents], top executives at the Federal Aviation Administration and its parent agency, the U.S. Transportation Department, have acted as partners with the industry, issuing reams of voluntary safety advisories with little follow-up. The FAA has sent poorly trained inspectors to monitor operators and used fines and penalties as only a last resort.
Washington Post Aug 18, 2009 Nanoparticle safety in doubt: Lung damage in Chinese factory workers sparks health fears.
QUOTE: Claims that seven Chinese factory workers developed severe lung damage from inhaling nanoparticles are stoking the debate over the environmental-health effects of nanotechnology.
Nature Aug 17, 2009 Scientists analyze blood to test for toxic airplane air exposure
QUOTE: Results of [Clement] Furlong's research could expand recognition of what a select group of researchers believes is a largely unrecognized risk of flying: the chance that poisonous fumes enter the cabin.
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 10, 2009 Off the clock? Hyperconnected workers sue employers
QUOTE: he line between work and play is growing increasingly muddy thanks to technology, and new lawsuits are popping up to push back on employers to shell out for the free labor.
Ars Technica Aug 09, 2009 French workers pull few punches in fight to keep jobs
QUOTE: As jobs are lost, and factories close because of the global financial crisis, French workers have resorted to threatening management with violence; forcefully holding their bosses on company grounds; blocking and burning property in factories; and, in one instance, ransacking police headquarters.
Los Angeles Times Aug 08, 2009 Fatal Sunshine: The Plight of California's Farm Workers
QUOTE: Last week, the ACLU and the blue-chip law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson sued California's occupational-health and safety agency... According to the lawsuit "large numbers of agricultural employers fail utterly to provide basic access to water and shade for their employees" and, as a result, hundreds suffer heat-related illnesses and hospitalizations — or worse — each year .
Time Magazine Aug 07, 2009 UPS Employees Say They Were Forced to Lobby Against FedEx
QUOTE: In an increasingly bitter Washington battle between the nation's two largest shipping companies, some unionized UPS workers say they are being forced to write letters to their lawmakers in support of more stringent labor rules for arch rival FedEx.
Washington Post Aug 05, 2009 L.A. lawyer accused of fraud in pesticide litigation (Column One)
QUOTE: Here[Nicaragua], [the chemical] DBCP is more than a pesticide. It is a political movement. The forces of poverty and corruption cloud the most basic facts surrounding the claims. The truth that can be established is one that [Judge Victoria] Chaney alluded to in her ruling: If Nicaraguans truly were injured by DBCP a generation ago, what has happened since makes identifying the victims nearly impossible.
Los Angeles Times Aug 04, 2009 More than half of ER nurses have been assaulted on job
QUOTE: More than half of nurses who work in emergency departments report they've been physically assaulted on the job...
USA TODAY Jul 15, 2009 Labor issues in China continue to plague Apple and others
QUOTE: A new investigation into Chinese labor law disputes reveals that Apple still isn't immune to associations with manufacturing partners that aren't in compliance with laws designed to improve labor conditions for Chinese workers.
Ars Technica Jul 06, 2009 How to Stop Fraud: The Madoff and Stanford cases may grab the headlines, but the temptation of fraud appears at every corporate level
QUOTE: It doesn't take a high-profile, multibillion-dollar scandal to rock an enterprise.
Jun 24, 2009 In the Andes, a Toxic Site Also Provides a Livelihood
QUOTE: But Mr. [Ira] Rennert’s privately held industrial empire includes the smelter with a towering smokestack that overlooks Ms. [Claudia] Albino’s home, so the health and economic fate of her and thousands of others here rest on the corporate maneuvers he is carrying out.
New York Times Jun 16, 2009 Economic downturn fuels human trafficking: Twelve more countries are on the US watch list this year for failing to combat trafficking, as the recession makes workers vulnerable to exploitation.
QUOTE: The economic downturn is adding a new dimension to the global problem of human trafficking... as workers desperate for income accept increasingly onerous conditions or fall prey to international cheap-labor rings.
Christian Science Monitor Apr 24, 2009 Nigeria: The Hidden Cost of Corruption: Who are the biggest victims of widespread bribery?
QUOTE: the Berlin-based group Transparency International has consistently ranked Nigeria among the world's most corrupt countries.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Feb 10, 2009 The price of saying 'no' at work
QUOTE: Indeed, a decade or two out, halfway up the career ladder or higher, a yes-yes-yes woman will discover that she wants to start saying no sometimes. But can she? Can any woman in a fast-paced, high-powered career ever stop saying yes -- without self-destructing?
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 09, 2009 Government fights slave labor in Brazil
QUOTE: A recruiter known as a "gato," or cat, plumbs the slums and other poor areas of the vast country and gets people to agree to jobs in distant places. Once separated from home and family, workers are vulnerable to all sorts of abuses, such as being told they owe money for transportation, food, housing and other services. "This is known as debt bondage, which also fits official definitions of slavery,"...
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 29, 2008 Under Bush, OSHA Mired in Inaction
QUOTE: Current and former career officials at OSHA say that such sagas were a recurrent feature during the Bush administration, as political appointees ordered the withdrawal of dozens of workplace health regulations, slow-rolled others, and altered the reach of its warnings and rules in response to industry pressure.
Washington Post Dec 26, 2008 Bits: Naughtiest and Nicest C.E.O.’s
QUOTE: Glassdoor.com, a site that lets employees anonymously review their employers and share salary information, is out with a list of the naughtiest and nicest chief executives of 2008, based on those reviews.
New York Times Dec 09, 2008 Accountability? Check. Authority? Not so much.
QUOTE: I have complete accountability for the company's network infrastructure and its data, but no authority over any of these...The employees treat their work computers as their own personal computers.
InfoWorld Sep 16, 2008 Code Aims to Aid Nurses: Group Says Foreign Hires Need Protection
QUOTE: A coalition of health-care groups this month unveiled a code of ethics it hopes will protect nurses from other countries from abusive employment practices when they take jobs in the United States.
Washington Post Aug 03, 2008 Work at Home? Your Employer May Be Watching (WORK & FAMILY)
QUOTE: In a budding trend some employment experts say is invasive, companies are stepping up electronic monitoring and oversight of tens of thousands of home-based independent contractors. They're taking photos of workers' computer screens at random, counting keystrokes and mouse clicks and snapping photos of them at their computers. They're plying sophisticated technology to instantaneously detect anger, raised voices or children crying in the background on workers' home-office calls. Others are using Darwinian routing systems that keep calls coming so fast workers have no time to go to the bathroom.
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