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May 22, 2008

Comments

Howie Chong

That reminds me of my first time in Beijing!!

Dave

Just want to say thanks all for even having this debate. I'm just now becoming concious of some of the disparities that exist in the world and my responsibility to do my part to see things change. I've been wishing for some resource to help me find products and companies that can be relied upon to provide ethically produced goods. For the last six months or so I've been trying to avoid any and all products made somewhere that I suspect of especially human rights violations in their trade practices (basically made in china meant don't buy). The only thing I've found is that it's virtually impossible. Just wondering if anyone has any other resources to offer information on this issue? websites where I can find companies like MEC that make an effort to conform to ethical practices? I feel like the way I can create change right now is to buy in a more informed way or else not buy at all. But yeah guys it's good to know there's more people out there who do this. I was walking around the mall checking made in wherever labels wondering if I'm going crazy.

HC

Hi Dave

Google human rights, supply chain, sourcing or visit the below.

http://www.humanrightstools.org/

MSN at the link below tracks brands and their ethical sourcing programs
http://en.maquilasolidarity.org/


Most major US brands have ethical sourcing programs. A few Canadian ones do.

Cheers

todd davis

Glad to hear that MEC is committed to improving workers lives abroad. Sadly, however, here in Canada MEC continues to ignore the plight of workers in the contract cleaning industry. Why is this relevant you ask? Well for one, because MEC continues to contract the cleaning of its Toronto store to Impact Cleaning Services Ltd, a company that was recently found guilty of violating the City of Toronto’s ‘fair wage policy’ and ordered to pay in excess of $18,000 in back wages to its employees at Toronto’s Union Station (visit www.negative-impact.org to view the indictment). Unfortunately these abuses are commonplace in an industry that lacks regulation and accountability. We’ve only to look at the tragic deaths of 4 Toronto construction workers to confirm that industries like these, where there is little or no regulation, and where there is a high concentration of immigrants, are in crisis. Despite being made aware of this company’s track record, and the negative impact it has on these workers’ lives and industry standards, MEC continues to turn a blind eye. In fact, MEC has only ever commented on the issue when Toronto cleaning workers show up to protest and distribute pamphlets in front of its Toronto store, or when members generate discussion on its blog and Facebook page, otherwise MEC considers it out of sight out of mind. As a member I feel MEC has a responsibility to apply its ethical sourcing practices here at home. I applaud Mr. Chan for recognizing that when it comes to advancing human rights and labour standards there’s certainly more to be done, and that it’s not an easy thing to do. I take issue, however, with the commitment MEC has shown here in Toronto to do so. Quite simply, MEC has an easy opportunity to set an example for other property owners to follow. By terminating its contract with Impact it would send a strong message that MEC takes workers’ rights seriously, both abroad and at home. That said, its up to us the members to make sure MEC doesn’t continue to walk, as Mr. Chan so aptly puts it, with its “eyes wide shut.”

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