We learned recently of the Bangladesh disaster where fires and the collapse of garment factories have taken the lives of hundreds of young workers, mostly women, leaving only their charred bodies. Hundreds of others injured.
We know now that these buildings were built by big companies without permits or inspection and on unstable ground. Their products, made by slave labour working 12 hours a day at $38 a month, were purchased by big Canadian companies and sold at huge profits here in St. John’s.
This total disregard for the welfare and the lives of human beings is reminiscent of the way big business in our province treated our fishermen, miners and sealers.
Our people starved and died while working in the mines, on the water and on the ice, trying to seek out a living, while the merchants made huge profits.
Even in the 1940s, the big companies oppressed our workers by forcing the military bases in this province to pay our men and women 20 per cent less than their American civilians working side by side with them.
Big companies in this province, many represented by the St. John’s Board of Trade, should hang their heads in shame.
Is there really any difference between Bangladesh and Newfoundland and Labrador?