Andrew V Pontbriand
There are approximately 190,000 people in China that are currently working in Slave Labor Camps. Among these are petty offenders such as drug addicts, pretty thieves and prostitutes. Currently, 75% of toy products are made in China, and these toys are being assembled under conditions that would make the average American cringe. So, why do we have so many consumers that support this, knowingly or unknowingly?
The Chinese labor camps indeed have women and children forced to work 7 days a week, and sometimes 20 hours a day. These factories are home for U.S. corporations that make staggering profits from the slave labor of women and children – and you’re paying for it.
The average American citizen goes about their lives with a bleak understanding of where their products come from. Whether it’s clothing like Nike, or Adidas; or toys made for Disney or McDonald’s. People have lost sense of reality, as the average person is either blissfully unaware, or just doesn’t care that the bulk of the products they buy (especially on Black Friday) are in fact straight out of prison factories, such as Foxconn.
In 2010, a report done by more than 20 Universities in China stated that “Workers complained to the researchers that the assembly lines ran too fast, and that they were required to finish every procedure in exactly two seconds. Workers aren’t allowed to talk, smile, sit down, walk around or move unnecessarily during their long working hours, which require them to finish 20,000 products every day.”
In 2000 the McDonald’s Corporation was forced to ‘investigate’ claims that child labor was being used in one of its Chinese Toy Factories. Once again, it was discovered that child labor was being used, and children were working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, and earning less than $25 a month.
To get an idea of the staggering numbers that surround Black Friday, let’s examine a few statistics from 2011. In 2011, more than 226 million people shopped on Black Friday, whether online or in a store. Also, consumers spent a staggering $11.4 Billion Dollars on the day of Black Friday, with a total of $52.4 Billion Dollars over that weekend.
The so-called American Holiday, is on the same week where Americans give thanks to what we already have, including freedom, liberty, and wealth; which is now declining of course due to the destruction of our industry and manufacturing which was sent overseas. People who take part in the shopping-madness, just do not seem to grasp the understanding that a vast amount of human rights violations occur in the factories, whether it’s a sweatshop or labor camp; where their beloved products are built.
According to numerous studies and investigations, most sweatshops – and especially labor camps (which are mostly located just outside of Hong Kong, where the business deals are made) – are found to constantly violate Chinese labor laws, UN human rights laws, and even the ethical codes of the corporations themselves; all to drive both the profits of the corporations, and the need for Americans to indulge in materialistic undertakings.
Black Friday doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, this year Black Friday became Black Thursday for the first time in history. As I go to publish this article a half hour before the ringing in of the real Black Friday, people are still out spending. So now Americans have an extra day to enjoy “savings” on the toys the Chinese workers had to suffer day in and day out to assemble, all while still struggling to feed their families.
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