dimanche 28 février 2010

Report on the manufacturing conditions of jeans in Turkey

Pour les non anglophones, la vidéo en français est disponible dans l'article suivant

If the video does not work, click here.

Thousands of Turkish workers have contracted silicosis as a result of their working conditions and younger they are, quicker they die of this disease. Many of them are in their early 20s. In the video, we can see a young man of 25 who can not walk home with his shopping bags and his two little daughters have to take the bags to help him. When he get home, he uses an oxygen machine to help him breathe with less pain, but there is no cure, not even surgery. He is now involved, with the help of a couple of doctors and lawyers, with other silicosis victims to try to get compensation - they will almost certainly die before any compensation comes through. Levis refused to accept any responsibility. The Turkish government has now forbidden sand-blasting but in the video we can see some evidence that suggests that it is still being used and that Levis are still sourcing jeans from sweatshops.

All the big fashion brands offer washed jeans : artificially aged, holes, these jeans are more and more worked on. The more sophisticated can cost up to hundreds of Euros. Some of the processes used on the fabric are extremely dangerous. A serious illness affects thousands of workers at the gates of Europe. The major international fashion brands sub-contract part of their jeans production to Turkey. Until last spring, many Turkish workshops used the sanding method to bleach jeans. Workers blasted sand onto the jeans in small unventilated workshops. They worked without protective equipment and breathed in highly toxic dust. This practice is absolutely prohibited in the European Union. In April 2009, Turkey also decided to prohibit it. Officially, 600 Turkish workers are affected by silicosis, but they really number in their thousands. This is a respiratory disease that had almost disappeared from Europe. In the last century, silicosis decimated hundreds of thousands of miners. It has reappeared now in Turkey, in a devastating form, with a more rapid mortality. Forty-four workers have died, most of them were less than thirty years old...