Monday, June 11, 2012

What We Should Know As Workers

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Thoughts....

“with the rise of civilizations, rights at work began to take on some significance”


Technology has advanced over the years and has also expanded many ways of communicating and receiving information to one another. The use of technology has a huge impact on learning because it shows what a text book cant. For example textbooks can last for years which mean the information in it has been outdated and can be expensive to replace or order new ones every school year. Another example is students can collect data about multiple subjects at once, collect information about environmental and populations issues, watching educational videos to help them better their understanding through the internet. So in other words technology has a great impact in the way I learn because it shows me what textbooks cannot and can also break down and explain things I don’t understand. Technology also has a way of getting me to think about what I need to search in order to find the right information which helps the brain process in class by sorting the information needed in class that can help me answer questions later. The internet also helps with sharing information with others so this way you can ask questions and get answers faster and through some one that might know a lot about the information needed. Or the ideas on the web can be taken into class through electronic devices like most apple products, laptops, and phones, etc. so technology can be an amazing platform for education.

Its Important to me....

I choose this topic because it is something so openly talked about yet nothing really gets done. People always complain about how much they get paid for a part time or full time job. When we should be looking at how much we get paid for only eight hours of work a day. Whereas others get paid less than us and work for longer hours in a day without going for half an hour breaks in between in some cases. I choose this topic because I felt that it was necessary to discuss what the root causes are to workers being treated baldy and how much abuse they go through and what are some possible solutions. There are kids being treated like adults and work for more than 18 hours a week with harsh working conditions. Some people have no choice but  to work because it is the only income coming in and others work because it’s been passed down from generation to generation. We believe that workers’ are abused of their rights in recent times when really it has been around since mankind. so why has there been more news about it?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Workers ? what do they mean to me??

We say we are welcoming and equal towards everyone but that’s not the truth. The truth is that everyone is judgemental no matter how good they think they are and that’s something that comes naturally to us, at first when I looked at all the information. I couldn't believe that there is so much abuse towards workers that actually help us every day, whether it maybe through physical or mental abuse or just not giving them enough rights. But after doing all my research on different companies and programs that help with workers’ rights and actually understand the different environments workers work in. and now I wonder a lot more about how this process can be stopped completely or removed completely out of this cycle of abuse towards any one. One thing I still don’t understand completely is how people can actually treat other people differently just because their higher in “ranking”.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ways Of Getting Out

Solutions are easy to list off but are harder to accomplish. And this is why it’s harder to form a union in a workplace setting, depending on the environment. A union can work with employees or work against employees depending on the situation of the company. Solutions can be easily thought of but is harder to put in control to keep things tight and clean a company will have to take care of each issue at a time to benefit with no loses while staying away from the label “sweatshop”.  Some organizations that help workers in dealing with abuse and unsafe working environments in factory settings  are Free The Children, Child Labor organizations, Amnesty, UNICEF and Canadian Labor Congress. And these are just a few of many that work together to benefit workers around the world.

Some Pros to having a union:

·         Provide support against big companies
·         Helps workers solve problems between the employer and themselves or between two employees
·         Allow employees to band together to negotiate for better wages and benefits, and to make sure that everyone is being treated fairly by the employer.
·         Protects minorities, and other subordinated groups, from being wrongfully fired.
·         Good for political use
·         Provides better and safer work environments.
·         Encourages teamwork and cooperation.
·         Created jobs for hundreds of people and immigrants.
·         Increased the number of jobs available and helped rural areas develop
·         Encourage education for employees to father their work experience

Ways of forming a union;

Cons to having a union:

·         Negative affect for employers: workers can ban together until the employer meets their needs.
·         employers can become aggressive, and very unfair to try and stop unionization
·         employers can be charged with unfair labor practice
·         striking can make union members look “greedy”
·         Children had to work alongside their parents
·         Conditions can be terrible or worse in the factories because of unions
·         Employers might threaten the union members to befit them (in some cases workers are badly injured)

Other Options:

·         Set Labor Laws in the country
·         Repair machinery immediately if hazardous
·         Scheduled maintenance on the machines
·         Outside agencies to help improve working conditions
·         Educating employees and employers
·         Establish polices that are regularly checked
·         Establish minimum wage and raises on an hourly wage
·         Working only 8 hour shifts and some over-time
·         Part-time and full-time rule to be put in place
·         Encourage education for young workers and children
·         Enforce labor laws
·         Abolish child trafficking
·         Promote fair trade
·         Replace child workers and senior workers
·         Creating medical and dental coverage
·         Monitoring companies on their products and purchases

“Everything is produced by the workers, and the minute they try to get something by their unions they meet all the opposition that can be mustered by those who now get what they produce.
Harry Bridges

"Late George Meaney said, strong Labor unions are essential to a democracy."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who's Involved ?? 
Who Is Involved?

This issue affects families and homegrown business because of huge companies that take away from natural resources, quality of products and prices. Also having factories based in third world countries and producing products with cheap Labor leave smaller and local business high and dry. Families might be running into problems like paying bills, giving their kids’ education, keeping up with demands from society's culture, Being able to work on their own terms and being exposed to situations and not having the experience to understand what should be done. Major companies like Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and Gap affect workers at factories in assembly lines and workers in department stores by not giving them proper training, equipment and more than eight hours.

Some countries that have a factory based in their cities or coummities are:
-          China
-          Vietnam
-          Indonesia
-          Mexico
-          India
-          Philippine
-          Ivory coast
-          New York
-          Nevada

Stores that have or had sweatshops, cheap labour, and unhealthy environment
(Physically & mentally) problems are:

-          Abercrombie and Fitch
-          Gymboree
-          Hanes
-          Ikea
-          Kohl’s
-          LL Bean
-          Pier 1 imports
-          Nike
-          Wal-Mart
-          Calvin Klein
-          Jones apparel
-          Liz Claiborne
-          Tommy Hilfiger
-          Gap
-          Disney
Created by Shariya Shammeed

Monday, May 14, 2012

How Did They Get There?

Workers’ rights are being abused and not respected, because most of them are blindly lead into unfair working conditions. This problem has been around throughout history. People have taken advantage of others by influencing them with religion, safety and goods (example food items).

Some “Root Causes” for poor working conditions are:

  • Workers not being aware of their rights and employees not training or trained well enough
  • Uneducated workers and children who start at a young age
  • Has done the job for a generation because there is no way out
  • Having huge companies move in smaller communities and pushing home grown business out
  • Cheaper products being sold to customers and other companies around the world
  • An unequal trade agreement between “common people”
  • Products being made cheaper and sold for more without the assembly line profiting
  • Corrupt or “Weak” government system
  • Consumers wanting products at a cheaper price but not understanding how it was processed (which give companies a loop hole)
  • Wasting materials instead of reusing
  • Unsanitary workplace/environment
  • Forced labor (family debt, live in poverty, pressure)
  • Discrimination (lower cast members, skin color, religion and environment)
  • “Pushed child labor” (having children going in for other family members and/or being allowed to work under harsh conditions because there is no law set in place for workers

what is workers rights?

“It’s easier to follow customs than to question them”
– Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth

It is easier to follow customs weather it maybe religion or society's than to step out and be looked at differently. We as human beings have problems with stepping out of “the box” to ask for self-respect and equality. The topic I have been focusing on is Workers Rights and noticed workers are not treated like humans but slaves or animals. Issues I will be trying to focus on are Fair Trade, Trade Unions, and Child Labor under the umbrella of Workers Rights. A workers right does not just mean the people who work in sweatshops but who are involved locally.  What the government says about workers’ rights is “Employment standards are the minimum standards established by law that define and guarantee rights in the workplace. Each province and territory has its own legislation.” (Service Canada) but yet people are treated unfairly because of their race, sex, realign, beliefs and/or income. If we have developed over the years then why is it that we have not moved far from treating people like slaves. Then comes the questions what is the root cause, who does it involve and what are some solutions along with how can I make a difference.

So what is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is about making principles of fairness and decency; it’s also about changing terms for products we buy to ensure that farmers and artisans (A worker in a skilled trade) behind products get a better deal to produce more. Most often it is considered better prices for producers, but it often means longer-term and respectful trading relationships as well. “Fair Trade is a way for all of us to identify products that meet our values so we can make choices that have a positive impact on the world.”-the web
Well what is a Union then?

Unions represent the mutual interests of workers at their jobs.  This is why workers first came together and began bargaining for their rights. From wages and benefits to health and safety to pensions to job security and more, workers can look to their unions and be ensured that they will be treated fairly and with respect by their employers.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Human Rights Story

  Human Rights = Workers Rights
 This video shows the struggle for human rights throughout history overcoming “the man” or challenging “the status quo” Workers have always been “the little guys” or the oppressed. Those who are weaker have always been used by the powerful, Workers are humans so why aren’t they treated the same as every one else. People think that this issue has recently come up and well it has not. I feel like this video has a great way of understanding how humans have treated other human beings because of their race or sex. So the question is how far are we willing to go to make our selves comfortable at someone else’s expense?