Friday, December 20, 1996

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  • Barbie’s Betrayal: Corporate International Labour Exploitation

    An article in The Nation December 30, 1996 written by Eyal Press: Barbie’s
    Betrayal:The Toy Industry’s Broken Workers.
    The article features the US company Mattel, producers of Barbie, Fisher-Price, Disney and Hotwheels Matchbox cars.
    Most of their factories and employees are based in Mexico, Indonesia and China where health, safety, and worker rights are unregulated. Workers including woman and children are often abused and
    exploited to produce the iconic Barbie among other toys. With only 6000 US employees Mattel is a US company in name only. US corporations are lobbying the US government for foreign governments where labor exploitation is common. Eyal Press believes only a concerted
    collective effort not the individual effort can have an impact.

  • Consumer Boycotts during the Holiday Season

    David Goodman reporting on Boycotts. The Burmese Governments’ abuse of human rights lead to an international boycott. Selective purchasing legislationof The Commonwealth of Massachusetts pressured multinationals to withdraw their operations from Burma (Myanmar). Supporting a boycott generally means finding alternative consumer products, but what if their are no alternatives? Pat Weinthal former Editor-in-Chief of The Active Window and author of editorial on Burma believes that not enough awareness exist between consumer habits and the world market place. Alisa Gravitz Executive Director Coop America discusses the long term damage of a consumer boycott on companies spending millions on advertising to improve their image. 90% of American consumers have participated in boycotts which explains why company executives surveyed believe boycotts are their number one concern. Kathy Mulvey executive director of INFACT and director of the documentary: Deadly Deception explaines how their documentary pressured GE to withdrawal from nuclear weapons industry. INFACT are also targetting Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds to stop marketing tobacco to young people. Some companies like Gillette’s dispute the impact of consumer boycotts on sales. Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA however believes sustained boycotts are pressuring Gillette which continues to use chemicals tested on animals.
    Segment Subject: Burmar; Myanmar; Pat Weinthal; Coop America; INFACT; Deadly
    Deception; PETA

  • Kids and the New TV Rating System

    Jack Valenti president of the Motion Picture Association of America has revealed the new TV ratings system directed at kids which leaves the responsibility of what children view with the families.
    Dr.George Gerbner, founder of the Cultural Environment Movement, believes that the new TV rating shift responsibility away from TV producers all allows them to act unregulated. The Screen Actors Guild uses the Fairness Index, a yearly baseline measurement that best judges the level of inequality, gender bias, discrimination and violence. Most countries have a significant public broadcasting entity while in the US broadcasting is almost exclusively a commercial mechanism. Curiously all broadcasters are operating in the public domain by law and therefore have certain responsibilities. However, the law is not enforced. Gerbner believes children are raised by corporations with everything to sell but nothing to tell.

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