[World History Archives]

The world history of forced labor

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   The world political circumtances of the working class

Is workfare never justified?
By Bill Bartlett, contribution to a dialog on Labor-L, 16 June 1998. Workfare uses "economic" coercion to compel work. This economic coercion is moral in the hands of the capitalist class, but quite wrong in the hands of workers. The idea of workfare workers banding together in unions to press for better pay and conditions is morally repugnant to the capitalist class, so of course they proscribe it.
Americans work longest hours among industrialized countries
ILO News, 6 September 1999. New ILO statistical volume highlights labour trends worldwide. The study shows that the US pattern of increasing annual hours worked per person (an increase of nearly 4%) runs contrary to a world-wide trend in industrialized countries that has seen hours at work remaining steady or declining in recent years.
ICFTU mounting campaign against slave and forced labour worldwide
ICFTU Online..., 4 October 1999. The ICFTU is developing a campaign against the use of forced and slave labour. It has pressed for the suspension of the EU Generalised System of Preference in Pakistan and Burma because of the use of forced labor in these countries.
Bus admin course - keeping order in the workplace
Lecture outline, 21 October 2000. Part of some lectures given to final year business administration students at Macquarie Uni, NSW Australia. Distinguishes direct and indirect control mechanisms, such as culture and technology. External coercions. Natural law in support of exploitation.

Garment industry sweatshops

"The Global Sweatshop: Alternatives and Resistance." New York City, Dec. 7, 1996
Organizers' Report and Evaluation, 28 December 1996. A one-day conference to focus on the global economic policies (widely known as neoliberalism) that drive workers into sweatshops, and the dynamic and creative resistance that these policies have encountered throughout the world.
A Checklist for Effective Campaigning
By Maggie Poe, Fighting the Global Sweat Shop newsletter, Spring 1997. A list of suggestions from the National Labor Committee (NLC), based on strategies that have worked for that organization in its campaigns.
High-tech capitalism reinvents the sweatshop
Workers World, 6 November 1997. Only under capitalism are those who toil making the garments often unable to afford the very clothes they make. Investigations revealed child labor, sexual harassment, long hours, wages way below legal minimums and horribly unsafe working conditions. Companies like Nike, the Gap and Guess? jeans have particularly been exposed for their participation in the sweatshop scandal.
You have a right to know about sweatshops
By Fred Gaboury, People's Weekly World, 26 September 1998. The "People's Right to Know Campaign/Holiday Season of Conscience," aims at exposing the location, wages and working conditions of the foreign factories that produce the majority of clothing sold by Wal-Mart, K-Mart and other high-volume retail chains.
Report Says Global Accounting Firm Overlooks Factory Abuses
By Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, 28 September 2000. Book offers a rare inside look at the auditing firms that inspect overseas factories to see whether they are sweatshops and contends that the world's largest factory-monitoring firm does a shoddy job and overlooks many safety and wage violations.