been shocked to learn that several premiere "socially
responsible" companies contract with factories in Central
America that are abusing human rights.
assembly factories, known as "maquiladoras", mainly produce
clothing. The workers are usually young women between
14 and 18 years old. For approximately 35-55 cents/hour,
they work 12 to 22 hours a day in hot, unventilated rooms.
They have no access to clean drinking water and may suffer
verbal and physical abuse, including sexual harassment.
I most want
More Than Money
readers to realize
is how many of the companies you may buy from or invest
in are using maquila labor. The "socially responsible"
companies I happen to know of include The GAP, Liz Claiborne,
Merwyn/Dayton Hudson, Sears, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Russell
Corp. (Jerzees brand), and Nordstrom. Although some of
these companies may no longer be clients, there are numerous other American
companies that both own maquiladora factories or contract
with them. This includes "trendy" companies like Eddie
Pierre Cardin, and other familiar names such as Bloomingdales
you find any these names in your portfolio, please contact
those companies or your portfolio manager and apply your
influence as a shareholder. Following one campaign led
by the National Labor Committee, The GAP tentatively agreed
to suspend business with one of the factories until overall
working conditions improve significantly. So pressure
To find out whether your goods are being made by abused foreign
labor, contact the National Labor Committee,
or call (212) 242-0700 x 583.
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