“Things have a price and can be for sale. But people have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things.”
On April 24, 2013, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured when the Rana Plaza garment factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After learning that many of the workers made less than $60 a month for 60-70 hour work weeks, Pope Francis bemoaned: “This is called slave labor." He added: “Today in the world slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us – the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity. How many brothers and sisters find themselves in this situation?” (The original article is here.)
Amidst the destruction, the clothing and tags found in the rubble that would eventually hang in our closets unveiled the connectedness of consumers to the people who create the clothes we buy. “While blame quickly extended from the owners of the building and the factories it contained, to the government of Bangladesh, to the retailers who sold the clothing,” Jerry Davis, Professor of Management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan concluded, “the culpability extends all the way down the supply chain—to us” (Letter, NYT 05.08.13).
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