Can We Afford to Shop at Wal-Mart?

Got a deal on a new shirt or blouse at Wal-Mart?

Northern consumers used to get good deals when they bought their cotton from the slaveholding Southern States. Today when kids study American history they can easily assume a sense of moral superiority, we wouldn’t tolerate slavery today, would we?

Well, we do, and we celebrate it every time we make the rounds at Wal-Mart or at any other outlet for Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Thai or Chinese goods. We support slavery, we pay slavedrivers with every “deal” we brag about.

In Bangladesh, textile workers are on strike. Many of them are force to work a 19 hour day in factories in which they are locked-in for their full shift. If they get sick, they’re fired. They are allowed bathroom breaks on their own time — ever try “holding it” for 19 hours?

An 80 hour work week is common and female workers are frequently required to perform for their supervisors after they’ve put in a full day’s work (and we mean FULL DAY’s work). Despite the long hours, most textile workers cannot support themselves or their families. Families survive only by putting their children to work to supplement the parents’ and older siblings’ wages.

When 200,000 textile workers resolved to strike, as well as give up eating, the employers on behalf of Wal-Mart and others responded with bullets and tear gas. Instead of meeting the workers’ demand for a wage of a $ 100 A MONTH, Wal-Mart’s agents would rather kill a few now so as to intimidate the rest later.

And all so you can get a good deal.

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