The writer is wrong about the workers in the garment sector

Letters to the Editor

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THE EDITOR: Kanista George’s article (“Dipping Into Ethical Fashion”, 6/29/22, Newsday Tobago) was a classic example of the misguided condemnation of so-called “sweatshops”.

George described garment workers in the Third World as “overworked, underpaid workers” who do not receive a “living wage”. Needless to say, all of these measures are judged by first-world standards.

The fact is that when clothing brands open factories in Third World countries, there are always more applicants than jobs. Are these people so stupid that they choose to be exploited?

Moreover, the conditions in these factories, even when below first-world standards, are generally better than local ones. Salaries, although below First World salary scales, are generally above the average local income.

Upper class militants in first world countries are doing these poor people a disservice by harassing multinational corporations to raise their overheads or stop production.

Their First World customers have to pay more, but Third World workers are either without relatively well-paid jobs and have to go back to farming or prostitution, which are often their best alternatives.



Michael O. Stutler