MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 6, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Don’t buy things made by suffering workers


— The United States recent actions in cutting off long-term trade benefits for Bangladesh may not make drastic changes in their worker safety practices. It will, however, let the rest of the world know our government is making an effort to get changes made and may influence other countries to do the same.

Sheikh Rokon, Bangladesh journalist and researcher on exchange to the University of Oklahoma, states unless factory owners in his country improve working conditions, lives will continue to be at risk. Every effort needs to be made worldwide to get worker conditions changed.

Not only should we be pressing our government officials to get changes made in Bangladesh, we need to be looking worldwide at other countries that have atrocious working conditions and use child labor for unbelievable long hours of work. Similar conditions have also been recently reported in China and India.

We should not be buying cheap products made by workers suffering and even dying in making these products. Improving working conditions in foreign countries is the humane goal. In addition, additional costs of making these products overseas will also allow more competition by companies in our country.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

Hugo