Tuesday, July 20, 2004

For years, students at universities around the country have protested the use of sweatshop labor in the creation of the t-shirts, gym shorts, sweatshirts with some pretty good success.
Now, we learn that the Olympic Games are doing the same thing that Harvard and Yale and a myriad of other American universities did. They are using sweatshop labor for the official Olympic athletic wear.
It, of course, is a product of globalization----something I'm not always the biggest fan of.  Most people love that we can get cheap products. Don't get me wrong, I'm budget conscious most of the time. However, it doesn't seem right to use sweatshop labor (actually, I think it's rather morally wrong to use sweatshop labor period just so Billy and Mandy Abercrombie can have overpriced trendy clothing, but that's just me) for the one event that occurs every four years: The Olympic Games.
The Olympic Games have long stood up against oppression, racism, apartheid, and various other evils that plauged the world during its first modern century of existence. Jesse Owens ran against Hitler's Aryans (and won.) Other nations were excluded. It seems against the values of the Olympic Games and spirit for sweatshop labor to be used, period. People working shifts 17 hours long for 6 days a week. Ugh.
Eh I'm not just complaining. There's an organization called Play By The Rules. They have a petition and a way for people to contact the CEO's of various makers of sportswear. Here's the link. Go have fun. Oxfam America also has a report on how workers are exploited as well. It's a PDF file. Oxfam, by the way, is a non-profit dedicated to solving issues of poverty and social injustice around the world......including an area I care a lot about: Sudan. Give a look.

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