Why do companies still lock workers inside?
China's deadly factory fire joins an ever-growing list of examples in which employees have no means of escape despite workplace laws.
Another industrial disaster in a developing country, and once again the victims are employees who were locked inside their workplace by management.
Family members of the more than 100 people killed during Monday's fire at a poultry processing plant in northeastern China told Hong Kong media that the plant's doors were kept locked during working hours and that workers were forbidden to leave.
A similar tragedy took place in Bangladesh last year, when 112 workers were killed in a fire at a textile factory that was making clothing for international retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT) and Sears (SHLD). An inquiry found managers and supervisors had refused to let workers leave their sewing machines, even after the fire alarms sounded.
Those events harken back to similar horrors in the U.S. a century ago, events that forced dramatic changes in America's labor and workplace safety laws. But can it happen here, still?
Apparently, it can and does. Even though the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employees to be "able to open an exit route door from the inside at all times without keys, tools, or special knowledge," those rules are still flouted.
In 2011, OSHA fined a meat company in Brooklyn, N.Y., more than $62,000 for locking all of its fire exits at night and not allowing employees to unlock a door without a manager's permission.
And Wal-Mart came under widespread criticism in 2004 when reports surfaced that it had locked in overnight shift workers at some of its facilities -- supposedly to prevent theft and increase worker efficiency.
"One hundred years ago in New York City, 146 workers died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire," OSHA chief David Michaels said in 2011. "Many of them died because they were locked in and unable to escape swiftly. A century later, we still find employers locking in their employees."
Go ahead, treat us like China workers.Big business has broken the backs of unions.I hear
lots of people say "we don`t need unions"It`s great seeing wages in the tank, no benefits
and companies with record profits and CEO`S making $100 million with jobs exported to
China.If the CEO screws up he gets $200 million to leave.
Yep the super rich are well on their way to restoring the master slave relationships they would love to go back to.
The reason they still lock workers inside is because to some the almighty dollar is much more important than a life. After all, if people meet with a terrible fate, they can be replaced. But that dollar has to be tightly held onto. A CEO may lose out on that island he/she has been eying.
Done ranting now.
New International Version (NIV)
7 The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.
We have modern day wage-slavery without Unions.
I've worked a Union job and plenty of non-Union jobs and there's a huge difference. I worked at a casino with a Union and without one. At my Union Job I made close to $17/hour, had awesome health insurance, and generous PTO. At the other casino that was non-union, I was making just over 10/hour and had no real chance of continuing to increase my wage. My benefits were HALF that of the unionized casino. People were getting let go (terminated) for ridiculous reasons and there were no checks and balances to combat against this. Like it or not, having a Union made a difference between having just a shitty disposable job, or a quality job that you can make a career out of, support a family with and be respected.
A FRIEND POSTED A PICTURE OF THE CONSTITUTION ON LINE AND A PICTURE OF A LAW PASSED BY CONGRESS. THE POST READ CONSTITUTION RULES BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE GOVERNMENT. THE LAW PASSED BY CONGRESS SAID RULES BY GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS. I WOULD ANSWER IS THAT WITHOUT THAT BIG BOOK OF LAWS MORE OF THE ABOVE WILL HAPPEN.
LAWS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS IF LEFT TO THEMSELVES DEVOLVE INTO THE LORD OF THE FLIES.
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