In the News

Namibia: Textile Sector Stumbles As Foreign Owners Pull Out

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Namibia's troubled textile industry was dealt a serious blow on Thursday when 1,600 workers were retrenched.

"It is a very sad day for me, because I do not know where to find a new job," said ex-Ramatex employee Hileni Haimbondi. "At least the [retrenchment] package includes a transport payment and a small bonus, because I worked there for two years", she told IRIN.

China's Use of Child Labor Emerges From the Shadows

LA Times

The deaths of five girls draw attention to the practice, common in struggling rural areas.

By Ching-Ching Ni

Times Staff Writer

BEIXINZHUANG, China — Christmas was just two days away and snow was falling when the five factory girls finished their shift. They'd been working for 12 hours, it was already after 1 a.m., and their dorm was freezing cold. One of them ran out to grab a bucket and some burning coal. The room warmed slightly. They drifted off to sleep.

Low Cost and Sweatshop-Free

The New York Times

At the close of a long, hot day sewing men's shirts, hundreds of young Cambodian women waited anxiously as their British boss jumped onto a cutting table with a bullhorn, worried that he would tell them they had lost their jobs.

But instead of delivering bad news, the manager, Adrian Ross, said he would be the host at a company picnic to celebrate the Cambodian New Year on April 15 at the advanced new factory his company had built down the road. "It's been hard work this year," Mr. Ross said. "Now it's time to have fun."

Colombia provides a case study for evils of corporate globalization

Salem Evening News


By Brian T. Watson

When Ross Perot ran for president in 1992 and 1996, he warned that

Americans were unaware of what market globalization and "free trade" had in store for us.

Who can forget his startling pie charts and his pitch-perfect evocation of "the giant sucking sound" that would be made by all of the jobs rushing out of America?

Growers say it with organic flowers

USA Today

By Elizabeth Weise

To many Americans, Mother's Day means three things: brunch, a card and flowers.

But few doting sons and daughters realize that producing those pretty posies is one of the most pesticide- and poison-intensive agricultural endeavors on the planet.

This Mother's Day, exactly half of all consumers say they'll buy flowers for Mom, according to a poll by the National Retail Federation. A small but growing number plan to give their love an organic flourish by sending flowers grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

As Goes Wal-Mart

Beth Shulman is the author of The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans (The New Press, 2003) and works with the Russell Sage Foundation’s The Future of Work and Social Inequality projects

In the economy, the bigger you are, the bigger the shadow you cast. But sometimes, when you start small, it’s hard to remember your new size and its impact.