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November 20, 2007

Union activists decry sweatshop crucifixes

Labor activists at the National Labor Committee say they have traced the path of crucifixes from a sweatshop factory in China to prominent retailers in North America:

NEW YORK - With Christmas just weeks away, a labor group on Tuesday denounced "horrific" sweatshop conditions where crucifixes are made in China to be sold at religious gift shops in the United States.

Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee, held a news conference in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral to call attention to conditions at a factory in Dongguan City where the religious objects, sold in St. Patrick's gift shop, are made.

Kernaghan said the crosses were exhibited at an annual trade show organized by the Association for Christian Retail, a Colorado-based trade association that works with thousands of religious stores across the country. [AP]

Here is the National Labor Committee's report on the working conditions at the Junxingye Metal and Plastic Products Factory in Guangdong Province, China.

The report documents the paper trail from the factory, to major importers of religious gifts, to prominent end-line retailers in the USA.

The report's sourcing on the working conditions is a bit thin. Apart from a few direct quotes from anonymous workers, it's not clear how the ILC got its information.

The ILC report also includes photographs, purportedly showing the working and living conditions of the Junxingye workers. If these photographs are genuine and current, they are a stinging indictment.

Working conditions such as these are not unusual. Nor is it uncommon for end-line retailers to have no idea where the goods they sell came from, or under what conditions they were produced.

Kernaghan stresses that St. Patrick's Cathedral didn't know the provenance of the crucifixes. ILC investigators found that the merchandise wasn't even stamped with the name of the country of origin, as required by US law.

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Comments

All according to God's plan.

This is too classic.

LB - check this out...I sent this as a link to some rightwing bloggers that I'm researching, and they sent this back as a reply:


WARNING EXTREME CAUTION:

LATEST SPYWARE SET TO HIGH SECURITY SHOW LINK ORIGINATED FROM YEMEN, KNOWN
AQ ARES! DO NOT OPEN! LINK FORWARDED TO DC SOURCE FOR ANALYSIS

On Nov 21, 2007 10:39 AM, Shawm Brydon wrote:

> > But don't take my word for it...
> >
> > http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2007/11/union-activists.html?cid=90784160#comment-90784160
> >
> > mk
> >

-

Yemen, eh? Weird. Any idea what he's talking about?

He's sending out an email saying that you and I are connected to terrorists in Yemen. He's a superfreak. The guy has a site called My Point Radio.

Maybe I wasn't clear? I sent this post as a link to several people. That was his (Dave Odeen's) reply, which he's sent to his mailing list.

Thanks for sending the link around, MK.

I'm just confused about the thought process that triangulated you, me, and Yemen. Maybe the dude's "DC source" will give me a call and explain.

Yeah, right...the imaginary DC source.

Yemen? Maybe they've been chewing too much khat.

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