From this Tuesday's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart let Fox's Charles Payne have it for his defense of Wal-Mart and their role in the fire at the Bangladesh garment factory, along with his attacks on labor unions in the United States. He also let Fox and the right wing have it for using the Hostess bankruptcy as another excuse to trash unions, while ignoring the other reasons the company went bankrupt.
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After the tragic fire this week which killed well over 100 employees of a Bangladesh garment factory, Fox "news" took the opportunity to, what else, bash labor unions in the United States, and to excuse Wal-Mart of any responsibility for the incident.
The 129 Bangladeshis who died in a fire caused by poor fire safety conditions in their garment factory should be thankful for their jobs, according to Fox Business host Charles Payne. Speaking with Neil Cavuto on Fox News this Monday, Payne excused this Sunday’s fire as a rare event and labelled all critics of the unsafe conditions that contributed to the tragedy as anti-Capitalist:
PAYNE: It is tragic. I don’t think something like this will happen again. Don’t think that the people in Bangladesh who perished didn’t want or need those jobs, as well. I know we like to victimize everyone in this country, particularly when it comes to for-profit motivation, which is being assaulted. But, you know, it is a tragedy but I think it is a stretch, an amazing stretch, to sort of try to pin this on Walmart but, of course, the unions in this country are desperate.
[...] Some believe companies like Walmart — whose brands were found in the burnt factory — would move if production at the faculty were more expensive; that is, if things like basic safety precautions were implemented.
During his defense of the factory, Payne referred to himself as “a spokesman for capitalism and the American Dream” and said “for a lot of people, this [Walmart business practice] is a step in the right direction.”
Thank you to Eric Dolan at Raw Story for bringing attention to this. 100 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire which I wrote about here, we're still seeing these abusive conditions in sweatshops around the world. We got rid of them here and just outsourced our slavery so we didn't have to look at it.
As the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire approaches, the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights urged the United States to pass legislation to prevent multi-national corporations from violating internationally recognized worker rights standards, such as no child or forced labor, decent working conditions, freedom of association and the right to organize a union.
The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire resulted in the death of 146 female workers, who were locked inside the factory by their managers, on March 25, 1911. The women worked 6 days a week, often 14 hours shifts, and earned the meager wage of 14 cents an hour. (The equivalent of $3.18 an hour in 2011, adjusted for inflation.)
After the death of workers in a Bangladesh sweatshop, the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights said now was the time to hold corporations accountable to respect labor laws and pass the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act.
The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators in 2007, but never made it out of House and Senate committees. The bill would have prohibited the import, export, and sale of goods made with sweatshop labor.
More there on how we failed to get any legislation through the Congress here in the US to put a stop to this, so go read the rest of the article. And as he referred to in his article, here's more from the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights.
Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights Releases Explosive New Video and Report for the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
We speak with TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson, author of An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President. On President Obama tapping former President Bill Clinton and former President George W Bush to co-chair US relief efforts in Haiti, Robinson says, “Bush was responsible for destroying Haitian democracy…Clinton has largely sponsored a program of economic development that supports the idea of sweatshops… but that is not what we should focus on now. We should focus on saving lives.”
Democracy Now continues to do some of the best reporting out there on Haiti and the role that our government among others has played in creating the extreme poverty there that made this disaster worse than it had to be. It's just shameful that we've had nothing even remotely resembling the reporting they've done out of our mainstream media. They can't admit the military coups, the burden the debt placed on that country has caused or how horrid our intervention in their government has been for the people of Haiti.
Here's the bio for Randall Robinson per Goodman:
AMY GOODMAN: Randall Robinson, founder and past president of TransAfrica. He fasted almost until death years ago under the Clinton administration to try to get President Clinton to close Guantanamo. In that case, it was to close Guantanamo so that Haitian refugees who were trying to escape the coup in Haiti were able to come into the United States. Randall Robinson’s latest book is called An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President.
Transcript below the fold.