05.08.2013 10:47 AM

Saddest, and most extraordinary, photo

I apologize for upsetting anyone in posting this. But it is so powerful. And such an indictment of Loblaws et al., as well. Link here.



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    Arnold Murphy says:

    Warren, this is the price of progress down the fascists path to wealth and power. There is no excuse for this, none, only an explanation and it is sad as you say. We as a Human Society have to choose a better path a better way, and to start with we have to take a long hard look in the mirror.

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    ray says:

    if there is a God / she is nature
    by proxy and decree
    and what she hates most / is our hypocrisy
    and the men who line their pockets
    at the corner of grief and greed.

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    patrick says:

    Doesn’t really matter on the “brand name” attached to the disaster. This is the usual end result of exploitation and profits before anything else.

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    frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    To be fair, I believe Loblaws has acted in a responsible manner with regard to the Bangladesh disaster…..from the article below:

    “Loblaw’s previous standards were designed to ensure that products were manufactured in a socially responsible way, but did not address the issue of building construction or integrity”


    As well, Loblaws has plans to compensate the families of the dead and injured workers….


    Obviously stricter policies need to be enacted by the companies and the Bangladeshi govt itself, but I think Loblaws is trying to do right by the victims of this disaster.

    Since the Canadian public doesn’t seem to want to pay the price for union made Canadian produced garments, and with the lure of greater profits for companies to have their garments produced offshore, I expect this wont be the last Asian garment manufacturing disaster we will see…..When the Bangladeshi labour rates get too high, and/or safety standards too strict….the garment manufacturers will simply move on to where the labour is cheapest….

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      deb s says:

      I agree with this…it was a terrible tragedy but loblaws and Galen Weston have made it clear they will make changes and they arent pretending like it was cost of doing business…where as some of the other cowardly clothing companies are hiding and refusing to acknowledge their part in this. I commend Weston and I believe he will make a difference…where as the others…well hopefully they are shamed into improving.
      as canadians we should try to support ethically supported goods and to pay the extra to do so. After this tragedy I hope more options become available.

      I wonder how many of the big business clothing companies like Sears and the Bay ( and the gap) actually pay more to the kids working the sweat shops…I bet they dont, but their prices dont reflect that.

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      ray says:

      no disrespect but you can’t be serious. In the Bhopal India gas leak disaster Union Carbide paid 1000 for each of 4000 dead and Warren Anderson the CEO never spent a day in jail nor did anyone else found responsible for the worst industrial accident of all time. No one will pay a price in Bangladesh anymore than Enbridge would pay a price if they wiped out a small town and half a mountain in the Rockies.

      I have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.

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        frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        Bhopal was before the days of the internet, and social media……..Union Carbide would not be able to ignore the shitstorm of protest if the same thing were to happen today…..
        Just as the Royal Bank of Canada was unable to ignore the shitstorm of protest recently.

        Galen Weston was doing damage control, yes……but I expect the company will do what it has promised to do……If not, I suspect there will be another shitstorm of protest coming his companies way.

        Its one of the best things about the internet and social media……’tis a wonderful tool to help keep corporate robber barons/would be unbridled capitalists on a somewhat shorter leash…….

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          ray says:

          I am listening to the CBC as it happens right now and Carol Off is speaking to someone in Bangladesh where the death count is expected to surpass 1000. No-one has paid the survivors a fucking dime yet and they can’t feed their kids. If the management of Loblaws or any of their ilk had an ounce of compassion in their fucking black hearted souls they’d be on the ground in Bangladesh paying the survivors their back wages and making damn sure they never suffer financial distress again.
          In my life I have had the unfortunate experience of watching children starve to death in the third world and no amount of PR or Internet based social media will ever stop it. Go back and look at the picture Warren posted and tell me again about the motherfuckers that run Loblaws.

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            frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

            Did Loblaws construct the building?…..did Loblaws pay off building inspectors to pass what was obviously a shabbily constructed building?…..Did Loblaws order those garment workers back into a crumbling building so they could keep them producing garments for the company?……the answer is no…..
            Loblaws is somewhat culpable……but so is the construction firm, the building inspectors, and the owner of the garment factory who contracts to manufacture Joe Fresh for Loblaws…..and WE the Canadian public are culpable, as other posters on here have pointed out…..because WE don’t want to pay the price for what it would cost to manufacture garments in Canada and pay a living wage with decent benefits…….when you point a finger…..four are pointing back at you…….
            I agree that there should be immediate compensation, but I am sure dealing with a third world country, and a third world bureaucracy……these things take longer than any of us would wish…..

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      smelter rat says:

      Where next? It’s hard to imagine anywhere poorer than Bangladesh.

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        frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        I suspect Africa…..Mauritius has a booming textile industry, apparently……the problem with Africa is supply, and proximity to markets…….

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      Kevin says:

      “Look for the union label….”

      You’re right that Loblaws et al are pushing for worker safety, however that push leaves much to be desired. They have only committed to ensuring that buildings meet LOCAL building codes. How stringent are building codes in Bangladesh?

      That said, that is the most heart-rending photo I’ve seen in ages.

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    Eric Weiss says:

    I wonder how many of those cursing Loblaws and capitalism are doing so with their computers and mobile devices assembled by Chinese slave labour in factories where it’s illegal to unionize? Not criticizing anybody, just questioning weather or not any of us put much thought into what we buy until a tragedy like this. And many others that don’t get covered.

    How much of what we own is manufactured in the same or worse conditions because we don’t want to pay higher prices and have allowed companies to move operations over seas? Go look at the “Made In…” stamps on pretty near anything you own. I doubt much of it was produced in conditions any of us would willingly work in.

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    buck says:

    Warren, what a sad picture. But it is not an indictment of Loblaws alone – everyone who has cheap clothing in their wardrobe, and even expensive clothing in many cases, created this situation. How else did we imagine these clothes could be made for such low prices?
    Many clothing brands have learned some lessons with respect to labour standards, but as Happy Lib says, they may not have addressed all risks. In any case, why is OK for consumers to delegate responsibility for the integrity of how their goods are made to the brands, but it’s not OK for brands to delegate at least some of the same responsibility to the manufacturers, or local regulators?
    Have you checked where your $20 Jesus Got Wood, SFH T-shirts, for sale on your band’s facebook page come from? I certainly am not in a position to fault you if they come from somewhere with similar working conditions, but these are the kinds of things we all need to investigate about our goods.

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    Tired of it All says:

    Thank you Warren.

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    Pipes says:

    Firstly, the photograph produces within me an agony that words can’t express.
    Secondly, we all know about the working conditions in these countries. This is not a surprise and all of us or most of us share guilt purchasing these third world products. Sweat shops, child labour, a dollar a day if you’re lucky. I think if people really gave shit, there would be concerted efforts by thousands and hundreds of thousands of people standing together and refusing to buy the products that are produced in these shit holes. People making them are trying to feed themselves and their families and I suspect their is a great desperation on their part just to have a job and companies like Loblaws et al, can not deny responsibility for supporting poverty based labour. Sadly, in a 6 day media cycle most of this will be forgotten.

    I am as guilty as the next person. Shame on me.

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    Graham says:

    Is it an indictment of Loblaw or of consumers?

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      Lawrence Stuart says:

      Should be an indictment of human folly and greed: vices to which global capitalism is no stranger.

      This is the kind of shit you can expect when you take your hands off the wheel, close your eyes, and dream that markets will make everything OK.

      Markets, unless guided, politically and consciously, by purpose, lead to misery and death. Ever was it thus, ever will it be.

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        deb s says:

        indeed…great analogy. the corporations are all sociopathic and guiltfree. profit driven to the Nth degree, it requires limits to what is socially acceptable, and then the line is drawn…andprofits can still be made but ethically.

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    ray says:

    for what it’s worth here is a Toronto based company that makes casual clothing with organic cotton and no it’s not just assembled from overseas bits. why not spend a few minutes and find out who sells their stuff and buy it. small step but hey it’s a start.


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