Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great Link from New Balance

For those who are interested.  New Balance shoes has come out with a USA COLLECTION.   Made in USA Factories by U.S. workers. 

Check out the link below:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

China Blue (Documentary)

This Documentary is about one factory in Shaxi, China that assembles jeans.  The name of the factory is called Lifeng and is considered to be one of the better factories in China for workers according to a Chinese/U.S. Inspector (who was fired and jailed for writing up too many factories).  Here are some of the facts provided in the documentary:

-Shift Hours: 8:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M. Manatory Overtime: 7:00 P.M.-2:00 A.M.
-Factory workers must work 7 days a week.
-Hourly wage at this factory is a half a Yuan per hour.  That comes out to about 9 cents per hour in U.S. coinage (as of 9/17/2011).
-If you want hot water for your dorm, its one Yuan per bucket. 
-You get paid once a month
-If you skip out for a quick half hour break during your shift and you are a new worker (3 months or less) get your whole paycheck taken away.

What I took away from this documentary was but might not be the average for all factory workers are:
-The average factory worker makes about 80 US dollars a paycheck after all of the deductions. Some who worked crazy were clearing $250 per month.
 -This factory hires minors (These are minors according to the Chinese Government) from ages 14-16 with illegal but real Chinese I.D.'s).
-The factory owners do not get paid great.  Just enough to get by slightly comfortably.
-The buyers make the biggest profit, sometimes up to 1200% profit on one order.

Keep in mind that this is an above average great factory for workers in China.  I could only imagine the lesser quality factories or bad factories.

For one Levi buyer out of the U.K. with the Lifeng Factory, they buy one pair of jeans for $4 (including shipping) they then turn around and sell it for $38-43 per pair.
 The factory owner does not make much profit, if he is selling a pair of jeans for $4 but then has to pay a worker, food costs, room and board, supplies, shipping.  So although an owner does not have to do the long physical labor he still has to work about 10-12 hours a day (like many workers world wide) just to provide for his/her family. 
Is it worth putting all of those factory workers through that just to live slightly better than the rest? 

Who is to blame: 

Global Over-Consumpiton or the factory workers or the Chinese Governement? 

I look forward to your comments...Pro or Con.