The supply chain watchdog and retail
Lisa Gorman, the founder of the now iconic Gorman fashion label, has recently been vilified for receiving an “F” — whatever that means — for not completing a questionnaire prepared by the Baptists.
Gershon Nimbalker, the advocacy manager, appears to be the face behind Baptist World Aid Australia – the self-appointed mafia monitoring the manufacturing of merchandise overseas and links to child labour, slavery and other malpractices.
A noble cause you say.
The extent of these reports, especially the latter, beggars belief. Who is paying for these reports? Who decides to allocate funds to produce these as opposed to using this money for the poor and needy? Are the elders within the church aware of this scandalous use of worshipper’s money – those folk donating diligently every Sunday into the collection plates around Australia in the belief that someone will directly benefit?
The vast majority of Australians purchase merchandise because they have a need or a want. They are not particularly interested in who made it and where. If it looks good and feels good and the price is right, they’ll buy it trusting that it is not made in a sweatshop in Australia or that it was not made by slaves somewhere in Asia. Retailers in Australia would not knowingly buy goods from such unscrupulous suppliers.
There is no excuse whatsoever for the abuse of workers anywhere in the world, including at 7-Eleven in Australia.
But let us reflect for a moment. There are hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions, who would go to sleep tonight very very hungry were it not for the wages they earn, yes in poor conditions and probably under age. One of our biggest challenges in Australia is that we have a trade union mentality of entitlement to a “fair wage” with the vast majority of protagonists having no clue what is happening in the real world. Many have never left Australian shores let alone visited third world countries and seen abject poverty.
When my daughter went on an overseas excursion many years ago to Bali, the schoolchildren had to be counselled before they left to minimise the trauma they would experience. This is reality, while the do gooders pontificating from their air conditioned offices in North Ryde without much if any experience outside their sheltered employment insist that poor Lisa Gorman (and other retailers) allocate hours of valuable time to complete their ill conceived questionnaire.
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