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Do you know who made your guitar?

Abandoned Cor-tek factory: Photo by Noh Suntag.

After dedicating decades of their labour in unventilated rooms full of fumes and solvent; enduring forced overtime and below-minimum wage pay; incurring injuries and lung diseases; and undergoing the abuse of their managers, these workers found themselves padlocked out of their factory. It turned out that Cort had moved its operations overseas, for much cheaper and non-unionised labour in Chinese and Indonesian factories.

Slavery begins at home

Photo by Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons.

As the workplace for the domestic worker is in a private household it means that, in practice, the protections that do exist are not extended to her. Alarmingly, as the abuses take place behind closed doors and away from prying eyes it means that the treatment of domestic workers has become a hidden human rights issue.

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