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Thread: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    No, the free market can't resolve "so-called unsafe working conditions." In our country, our factories don't fall down. That's not the result of the brilliance and generosity of the free-market. That's the result of building codes. Safety conditions inside our factories are the result of OSHA regulations. Some of them may have well been the result of union suggestion; but we're already seeing free market at work in Bangladesh. Buildings collapse.
    I was being sarcastic. I agree the free market won't do it.

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by austrianecon View Post
    My gripe with Unions are those in Europe and the US who argue for high wages in the US (and Europe) thus making these markets uncompetitive compared to Vietnam, Bangladesh, China and so on. I've always held the position that European and US unions should actually focus their efforts in those countries to raise the wages and working conditions in those countries first and foremost. Every wage increase and working condition improvement they get, the less of a comparative advantage they have so less and less will look to ship jobs overseas.

    But for these kinds of comments, I am a "anti-union".
    The problem is that cost of living in those countries isn't what it is in the US. As pretty much an ex-pat, I now fully understand how companies can get away with paying 10 bucks a day if that. In Mexico, you can buy a weeks groceries for a family of 4 for about $100USD. That means vegetables, milk, grains etc and still have a bit left over. You can't justify paying people much more than that if it doesn't cost more than that to live. So in countries in South-East Asia, there is really nothing to even point to the fact that you should probably pay your workers more. What do they need? iPads? No. They have a different social context than we do. So it's okay to pay them less.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    It will be interesting to see Bangladesh's
    interpretation of "unions." Yet this disaster had nothing to do with unions. This was a direct result of crappy building codes or nonenforcement of building codes. I mean, when a freaking building FALLS DOWN, unions aren't going to be holding it up, for God's sake.

    Nevertheless, this is Bangladesh's answer to the most embarrassing and horrific industrial accident (that wasn't an accident at all) in modern history. They're trying to appease you and me. If other buildings are built with the no- doubt corruption that this factory was built upon? It won't do any good at all to have unions. What they need are building codes and the balls to enforce them.
    The New York shirtwaist fire helped further union rights in America. The women's union was fighting for months and complained about workplace safety prior to the fire, and they held multiple strikes. Hundreds of women died in the fire, some were burned beyond recognition.

    The shirtwaist factory was by todays standards a sweatshop.


    It was a huge tragedy but it ultimately lead to addressing building codes in America, union rights, and women's rights.

    China, Mexico, and other countries with little to no workers rights, sweatshops, and child labor need to more towards unions and worker rights.

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    Why not? Unions played a big role in improving workplace safety in America's history. Today, I think labor unions are just as focused on greed as they employers, they exist to simply try to get the biggest piece of the pie they can. But that has not always been true and there absolutely was a period in our history when unions were necessary.
    Henry Ford did more for American workers than unions ever have in his experiments trying to figure out how to maximize production, not the least of it was the 40 hour work week.


    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    So? I don't have any problem with cheap overseas labor and I don't consider it exploitative (in general).
    And others do not consider it exploitative to not have US work conditions in places where people live in shacks made from garbage.



    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    How profound. You must be an NBA player.
    Perhaps I am. Doesn't change the reality that supply and demand works in the labor market too. A local textile mill to me that is now closed and shipped overseas used to import foreign cloth, process it into sheets and crap, and slap a Made in the USA label on it because they could not compete with cheap labor in making the cloth themselves and Americans prefer cheaper over all else in the end. If these workers unionize and strike or demand more money, their jobs will go to somewhere else and others will die or work in sweatshops. That is their right, but I would hardly call it a victory when they find out the hard way that people like you don't consider cheap goods exploitative.

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by austrianecon View Post
    My gripe with Unions are those in Europe
    and the US who argue for high wages in the US (and Europe) thus making these markets uncompetitive compared to Vietnam, Bangladesh, China and so on. I've always held the position that European and US unions should actually focus their efforts in those countries to raise the wages and working conditions in those countries first and foremost. Every wage increase and working condition improvement they get, the less of a comparative advantage they have so less and less will look to ship jobs overseas.

    But for these kinds of comments, I am a "anti-union".
    Lower paid workers tend to produce lesser quality foods. If a market is overly saturated with cheap, low cost products it's not a truly competitive market.

    Furthermore economic participants want to feel the price paid is a fair price, not just cheap. A lot of times I feel the junk at Wal Mart is overpriced, despite it but being very low price. Based in the quality I get, and the quantity per unit, I often feel like I should be paying a little less.

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    Lower paid workers tend to produce lesser quality foods. If a market is overly saturated with cheap, low cost products it's not a truly competitive market.

    Furthermore economic participants want to feel the price paid is a fair price, not just cheap. A lot of times I feel the junk at Wal Mart is overpriced, despite it but being very low price. Based in the quality I get, and the quantity per unit, I often feel like I should be paying a little less.
    I always wonder what workers in China think of the holiday decorations they make for sale here..............................

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    For a country that calls itself The People's Republic of Bangladesh I'm surprised they don't already have unions.

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    No, the free market can't resolve "so-called
    unsafe working conditions." In our country, our factories don't fall down. That's not the result of the brilliance and generosity of the free-market. That's the result of building codes. Safety conditions inside our factories are the result of OSHA regulations. Some of them may have well been the result of union suggestion; but we're already seeing free market at work in Bangladesh. Buildings collapse.
    How is a collapsing building part of a free market?

    I took a lot of economic classes in college, and I wouldn't say that unions go against a free market in the academic sense. Non free markets are those controlled by the government. Governments may manage the economy by setting production levels, owning factories, or setting price floor and ceilings. A government trying to manipulate trade and imports between countries also goes against free trade.

    With that being said, unions are not governments. They are workers, and as free agents in a free market, they should be able to sell their work and skills at a price they agree upon with their bosses.

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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Out.

    Be well.

  10. #20
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    Re: Bangladesh to allow unions for garment workers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Henry Ford did more for American workers than unions ever have in his experiments trying to figure out how to maximize production, not the least of it was the 40 hour work week.
    Well, ****. Get Bangladesh on the line. Tell them all they need is Henry Ford.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    And others do not consider it exploitative to not have US work conditions in places where people live in shacks made from garbage.
    I would love to have US work conditions in place in Bangladesh. But emplacing tariffs that preclude developing nations from access to our markets will not in any way help to accelerate their development out of such poor conditions. You can't tariff the 3rd world out of poverty. On the contrary, it will hurt their development.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Perhaps I am. Doesn't change the reality that supply and demand works in the labor market too. A local textile mill to me that is now closed and shipped overseas used to import foreign cloth, process it into sheets and crap, and slap a Made in the USA label on it because they could not compete with cheap labor in making the cloth themselves and Americans prefer cheaper over all else in the end. If these workers unionize and strike or demand more money, their jobs will go to somewhere else and others will die or work in sweatshops. That is their right, but I would hardly call it a victory when they find out the hard way that people like you don't consider cheap goods exploitative.
    A fair trade as far as I'm concerned. Or would you rather have our textile labor back in the US of A - collpasing buildings included free of charge?

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