Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Always low [wages, long hours]

Another Wal-Mart Bargain Made In China

"You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women." - Osama bin Laden

(First, my apologies for being so redundant by posting this excerpt from one of bin Laden's letters to the United Statesian people. I know the United Statesian media covers them ad nauseam, since the savants in charge of shaping public opinion have taken Sun Tzu's advice to know one's enemy so close to heart.) As you can probably tell, bin Laden - being the medieval, anti-communist reactionary prude that he is, ignorant of the fact that Islamic civilization was at its height when it was most liberal - is most peeved at the exploitation of women's sexuality for advertising and service industry purposes. For instance, Mexican domestic workers who have to ignore their own families to care for the pampered kids of wealthy United Statesians slip under his radar - maybe if they were required to wear those sexy French maid costumes, that would raise his ire?

But it is quite the pinnacle of hypocrisy for United Statesian politicians to croon about how their country stands for the liberation of women, while its consumption-based economy demands Chinese women to work as slaves. Oops, sorry, slavery is inapposite. In slavery, workers are human capital equipment, and must be well-fed and rested if only to slow the depreciation of the asset.

"Since there is not proper place to eat lunch, the women must sit along the side of the road. Most of the workers are so exhausted that after finishing their small meal, they will sleep sitting up on the roadside, resting their heads on their knees and hands.

Even [the] most minimal expenses—for basic food and tiny, one-room apartments—still cost the workers $86.23 a month, absorbing 93 percent of the monthly base wage of just $92.84. This is why workers must guard every cent they spend, while also being completely dependent upon long overtime hours to survive and hopefully save some money to send home to their families.

The routine shift is 12 ½ to 13 ½ hours a day, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, with nine-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday. Actual working hours are 68 to 73 hours a week, including 28 to 33 hours of overtime, which exceeds China’s legal limit of permissible overtime by 237 to 297 percent!"

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