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Politics and its Discontents: A Small Story, But With Large Implications

To be sure, it is a short piece in the part of the newspaper that many readers tend to gloss over, page two. The title, Bangladesh garment workers’ minimum wage boosted, leads one to feel that finally there is a small bit of justice for workers in an industry that has cost so many lives and inflicted so much suffering on woefully underpaid garment workers.

The story reveals that the government of Bangladesh has approved an increase in the monthly minimum wage for entry-level garment industry workers to 5,300 taka ($72 Canadian) from 3,000 taka (about $40). However, the (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Toronto Mayday 2013 – Photo set 2 Two current issues that were…

Toronto Mayday 2013 – Photo set 2

Two current issues that were emphasized at the 2013 International Workers Day rally in Toronto were the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a recent factory collapse in Bangladesh (and the continuing systematic exploitation of all sweatshop workers in that country) and the Porter Airlines fueller strike, which has been going on since January 10.

One company that has a contract with the Bangladeshi factory that collapsed is Joe Fresh, which is owned by Loblaw, which is owned by the Weston family, which is one of the richest families in the world. (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Bangladesh tragedy — factory manager’s words come back to haunt us

In hindsight the words sound eerie. In February we were in Nicaragua on a rare tour of a Maquila factory that manufactures Levis Dockers pants for the U.S. and Argentina. These factories are usually reluctant to let foreigners in, but this … Continue reading →

Politics, Re-Spun: Joe Fresh & Loblaws: Perpetuating the Early Marginalization of Women

Not so long ago, my friend Becca was shopping at her local Loblaws store (Real Canadian Superstore, for those of us who live in the West.)

Like many people I know, Becca approves of their Joe Fresh clothing line, which offers Canadians the opportunity to buy stylish and seasonal clothing at reasonable prices. Always colourful, fairly hip, and relatively well made, Joe Fresh offers people of all ages and genders opportunity to dress in a manner that would usually cost much more at other retail establishments.

That day, Becca was perusing the children’s section, looking for something for her

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Joe Fresh & Loblaws: Perpetuating the Early Marginalization of Women