In early May, like many people I reflected on the disastrous collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh. I listened as the news media and individuals brought pressure on Canadian companies involved in the disaster, to provide compensation for the families affected and to ensure that workers across Bangladesh had a safe working environment. Gradually, other more pressing issues drew my thoughts away.
June 19th, the CBC Six o’clock news did a follow up report on the disaster. Neither, family compensation or safer working conditions had yet to happen.
How do we ensure these changes actually take place?
Now, it’s July. The pressure is off. The worship of profit – the almighty dollar – can surge forward. We need to keep up the pressure. Our letters and emails demanding change so easily produced in May, are essential in July if we want more than rhetoric to happen.
To be truly effective we need to follow these three simple steps:
- Set up a reminder on your calendar or your computer, so that once each month you will send a letter/email to companies like Loblaws informing them that you are waiting to hear news reports that changes are in place before you will once again buy their product. Once you’ve sent one letter the major work is done. You have the address and the person to contact in your file.
- Continue to avoid those labels that were named as companies involved in that sweat shop factory.
- Pray. Include those workers in your daily prayers.
Five minutes of your time each month will keep the pressure on those giant companies. Five minutes of your time will place you in solidarity with the poor of Bangladesh. You’re worth that five minutes and so are your neighbors in Bangladesh.
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)