Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Outsourcing and Slavery

First of all, I'm here with a ROWDY, ROWDY group of volleyball girls.  They're all singing and being loud and what not - so if this post seems a bit distracted, that's probably the reason.  They say hi.  Well, specifically Jenica says hi.

This was the last day we discussed the reasons and effects of outsourcing.  We compared how much workers in the United States are paid with workers in Bangladesh.  We also revisited the factory collapse.

One thing that came out of this was the issue of slavery.  A student asked if they were related.  In both instances you have workers who are being treated unfairly.  In both instances there are others who benefit from their labor.  In both instances they are faced with poor choices: slaves can run away - but what kind of choice is that?  It would be much better if slavery didn't exist.  A woman working in Bangladesh could choose to be unemployed - or run away to another country that treats its workers better - but what kind of choice is that?

I asked students how they would feel if slavery was reinstated.  It was unanimous - we were all against this happening, of course.

Then I asked them if they would consider buying something made by slave labor.  Some didn't initially realize the problem others had with it.

Is buying clothing made in Bangladesh the same as buying clothing made by slaves?  No.  It's not.  And it's even more complicated when you consider 98% of our clothing is imported.

But the factory collapse opened our eyes.  And, while I don't have the answers - maybe you could figure some out in your student/parent or student/adult discussions.

Some things to discuss:

  • Is it fair to compare sweatshops to slavery?
  • Should Americans continue to support clothing made in sweatshops?
  • If yes, explain why it's not a problem.
  • If no, what's the alternative?
If you've read and discussed the blog with an adult, write two sentences telling about the discussion, then have the parent or adult you discussed with sign the paper.

Turn it in tomorrow.

See you then.

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