Worker Poverty in Sweat Shopping

cambodian garment factory workersNew Orleans               An article by Ken Silverstein in Harper’s Magazine in the January 2010 issue labeled a “letter from Cambodia” and entitled “Shopping for Sweat:  The Human Cost of a Two-Dollar T-shirt” caught by eye immediately because of the controversy around Jeff Ballinger’s critique on the infinitesimally small progress that workers have made after years of anti-sweatshop organizing.  Additionally, since the story line was Cambodia, I knew this was an area where my colleague and friend, Jason Judd, had organized garment worker unions when he was with the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center a couple of years ago. 

            On unions Silverstein writes:  “Labor unions are abundant, but most are funded and controlled by employers or the government, and independent activists have been fired, suspended, sued, and otherwise targeted for repression.” 

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