‘Quality for All.’ Ethics When Forced?

Jesús Espinoza

Jesús Espinoza Press Secretary, AAM

North Carolina-based Badger Sportswear, whose athletic apparel can be found on college athletes and sports fans nationwide, no longer sources its goods from a clothing manufacturer that uses forced labor in Chinese internment camps that hold members of religious and ethnic minority groups.

We’re relieved to hear that Badger is finally ending its contract with the manufacturer, Hetian Taida Apparel, and hope that it will commit to ethical manufacturing by moving its production to the U.S. There are plenty of Made in USA companies ready to meet their needs. By moving its sourcing to the U.S., Badger would create jobs in communities that have long suffered from the outsourcing of America’s textile industry.

Despite Badger doing the right thing by no longer benefitting from Hetian Taida’s appalling labor practices, the company's decision seems a tad bit forced: It insists that Hetian Taida did not participate in forced labor.

An interesting assertion considering the Associated Press (AP) first began investigating the company’s sourcing when a Badger employee was filmed in what was tantamount to an internment camp of China’s Uighur and Kazakh communities.

In an NPR interview about the process of uncovering these practices, the AP’s Dake Kang said:

“So the initial clue was that there's actually state media reports which show a Badger employee actually accepting a television interview inside basically an internment camp. So that was an initial hint. […] They don't look like normal factories. They look like prisons. There is double barbed wire fencing, and there's posters lining it. They say things like learn to be grateful. Learn to be an upright person. There are surveillance cameras everywhere. As I was filming out of the car as we were passing by this facility, they spotted my camera. And they were yelling at us for us to stop, so we had to stop, and then we were detained."

“Quality for All.” That’s Badger’s slogan, but that quality shouldn’t come at the cost of immoral and illegal labor practices. Badger made the right choice when it decided to no longer source from Hetian Taida, but insisting that the manufacturer didn’t do anything wrong even after the AP exposed the conditions on the ground makes its “ethical” decision seem not as genuine as you’d hope. 

Read what AAM had to say when this story first broke in December.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

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Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”

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Corruption Coordinates

Corruption Coordinates