Our Free Trade Shame Files

It is the position of VOID that safety and decent working conditions are a basic right of ALL workers around the world.  We acknowledge the tragic deaths of thousands upon thousands of workers who have died producing the goods destined for our shores.

The people within our organisation have a very acute appreciation of just how damaging a death in the workplace is.  

In these times of free economic trade, we recognise the serious consequences of globalisation and the increased exposure Australian workers have and will have to more and more safety risks.  If we want a safer workplace, it makes no sense to place unfair pressure on Australian manufacturing.  We recognise the quandary here and it would be foolish of us not to include this issue in our fight for safer workplaces...for many good reasons.

THE UNFAIR PLAYING FIELD OF FREE TRADE PLACES MORE AUSTRALIAN WORKERS AT RISK

This is NOT rocket science.  To have some hope of remaining competitive in our own marketplace against these cheap imports, Australian companies must constantly look for ways to shave costs in order to remain in business.  Expending resources of implementing a safer workplace is going to be one of those areas that comes under scrutiny over and over again.  

THE MORAL ISSUE

It beggars belief that our Governments not only embrace globalisation without considering the consequences to our own productive future but that these calculating decision makers continue to turn a blind eye to the atrocious abuse of basic human welfare in some of these countries.  The most obvious of course are China and India.

There is no shortage of wealth in either of these countries.  The problem is that this wealth is not distributed in a manner that see’s the poorest of workers benefit beyond a pittance wage and often with zero regard for the safety of their workers.  This includes children!  

It is absolutely appalling that we continue to allow these cheap imports flood our shipping docks without regard to the terrible conditions that the workers have had to endure to put them there.

PUSHING FOR A FAIR OUTCOME FOR ALL

Unless we begin to mandate for improved workplace conditions on the businesses in these booming economies overseas, these human rights issues are not likely going to improve.  The cash will continue to line the pockets of those already affluent and the destitute will continue to be capitalised on.  

Just as importantly - our own production of goods and food in Australia would be in a better position to compete on a more level playing field.