Bill Sheehan has a great observation
of today's Republican party, taken from a source even the Grand Old Partiers might very well renounce in the coming election, The 2012 Republican Party Platform
. As Bill pointed out, the platform itself reads (on p. 29), "The Pacific territories should have flexibility to determine the minimum wage, which has seriously restricted progress in the private sector." Bill elucidates:
The Territory referred to is the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, located in the Western Pacific. Because it's an American territory, garment manufacturers can attach the prized "Made in USA" label to garments made for American retailers like Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne, and The Gap. But the garment workers were not until recently covered under U.S. minimum wage or immigration laws. ( Collapse )
The workers are mostly poor rural Chinese women who have often paid thousands of dollars to obtain transportation and a year's work contract, renewable at the employer's discretion. Some have borrowed the money from Chinese loan sharks. They also must pay the company for their food and housing. A Department of the Interior report found that women were subject to forced abortions and women and children were forced into prostitution.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I might try to stomach reading the rest of the GOP platform. What better way to spend a Labor Day weekend than to go straight to the source material written by those who blatantly state they would act to remove any legal protections guarding laborers everywhere in this country, protections earned by those who are remembered on this holiday. I'll share any gems I find.