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July 23, 2002

Brad libels Global Justice Movement

The NY Times has a story about how New York City cancelled a contract when they found out Ghana workers were doing the work. And Brad DeLong implies in his post title The Anti-Globalization Movement Seeks Another Victory that global justice activists were involved in this decision or would have advocated the result.

While there are some protectionists around the movement, most of the global justice activists have not demanded that developing countries lose jobs everyone knows they need. Instead, they have demanded that their employers abide by basic labor rights to organize. For example, if you check out United Students Against Sweatshops, student activists have concentrated overwhelmingly on supporting domestic struggles in those countries. If as some sweatshop advocates argue, the workers are so grateful for the work, why do those employers suppress labor unions so ruthlessly. If the local workers think low wages are needed to keep the work, their demands won't be unreasonable. But they never get a chance.

I find it hard to believe that Brad actually argues that it is for the workers own good that their free speech and right to unionize is suppressed in these countries' workplaces -- any more than he would argue that labor violations in the US are good things.

Posted by Nathan at July 23, 2002 12:30 PM

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