Tag Archives: child labour

Over 170 years after Engels, Britain is still a country that murders its poor

Lower your gaze from the blackened husk of Grenfell Tower and you see the flowers and the signs decorating the streets. Many are photocopied pleas to help find the missing: 12-year-old Jessica, baby Amaya. Steve. Moses. Nestled among them are the others: scribbles and boards and A4 sheets reading Cuts Cost Lives and Corporate Murder, and People’s Lives Don’t Matter Under Capitalism.

This, Theresa May, is what a people’s public inquiry looks like. The sign-writers and passersby talking in the streets around Grenfell have grasped a truth that cabinet ministers are still fumbling towards: whatever and whoever a judge finds at fault – this procedure or that subcontractor – the true causes of the failures go far wider. They lie in the way Britain is run.

While in Victorian Manchester, Friedrich Engels struggled to name the crime visited on children whose limbs were mangled by factory machines, or whose parents were killed in unsafe homes. Murder and manslaughter were committed by individuals, but these atrocities were something else: what he called social murder. “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual,” he wrote in 1845, in The Condition of the Working Class in England.

Over 170 years later, Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable. Those dozens of Grenfell residents didn’t die: they were killed. What happened last week wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

Photo Credit (header): Wikipedia

Banana Republic: the ugly story behind New Zealand’s most popular fruit

Here is how the corporate world we live in oppresses the vulnerable. (This is why Key & his cronies are for TPPA). Corporations now set up shop wherever there is cheap labour to be found. Six dollars per 18 hour day in this instance! Dole in this instance pays 27 cents in the Philippines per kg of bananas, that then sell for $3-4 per kg in NZ. Vulnerable families who have frequently been deprived of their ancestral lands, as was the case way back when the colonial predators first set foot, are forced to work for the invader who only visits their shores in search of investment opportunities … resources, cheap labour, a chance to make a buck basically. All the colonial claptrap about bringing civilization is just that … corporations owe their first and only allegiance to their shareholders. Human beings who work for them, who buy their goods, are not a consideration at all. Maximize profits is their bottom line. Remember this when you eat your bananas. Speak up & expose these predators for what they are. And spare a thought for the young parents who have little time to give to their families because of this.

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EnvirowatchRangitikei


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“Corporations are required by law to place the financial interests of their owners above competing interests. They are legally bound to put their bottom line ahead of everything else, even the public good” (Noam Chomsky, ‘The Corporation’).

From Radio NZ

Tess McClure Digital Journalist @tessairinitess.mcclure@radionz.co.nz

From the top of a rusting observation tower, the leaves stretch out in every direction: thick, glossy, utterly uniform, as far as the eye can see.

It is silent at the centre of the plantation. No birds calling, no hum of insects, only the low whine of planes dumping their loads of pesticide in the distance. Banana bunches wrapped in blue plastic hang like alien egg sacs from the branches. The plantations cover around 10,000 hectares, encircling small villages, networks of roads, and the entire lives of the growers, who work, eat, sleep, live and die among the trees.

She and her team work 15 to 18 hours per day to meet their packing targets of around 800 boxes. For that they are paid 200 pesos, the equivalent of NZ$6.

Francisco B. Milallos, 65, has worked here his whole life, but this season he was too old to be granted a contract. He helps his wife with her work, and today has taken it upon himself to act as guide. Pausing to scuff the ground, he spits, and sweeps out an arm to gesture at the trees.

“So! This is where your bananas come from.”

Filipino workers forced to work 18 hour days, paid as little as 30 cents per hour, constantly exposed to toxic chemicals, and threatened with violence or death when they campaign for better conditions.

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http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201808688/banana-republic-the-ugly-story-behind-new-zealand’s-most-popular-fruit