Will F&P have high standards in Carmen's hometown?
Carmen wants to know if F&P will continue to have such high standards in her hometown.
The Directors of the Human Rights Film Festival welcome Fisher & Paykel’s commitment to the environment and creating an atmosphere where "All employees are encouraged to contribute to the business. In pleasant surroundings our people enjoy an informal environment where success and failure are celebrated as we challenge the boundaries in every aspect of our work." They certainly would encourage Fisher & Paykel to live up to that commitment and raise the standards of the workplaces in the countries where they are moving their Mosgiel factory to.
Carmen works the grave yard shift in one of Tijuana's 800 Maquiladoras, the multinationally-owned factories encouraged to move there by the promise of privileged access to the markets under NAFTA, low wages and fewer environmental standards than in their home countries. She and a million others like her produce the televisions, electrical cables, toys, clothes, computer keyboards, batteries, and IV tubes that weave the very fabric of life for consumer nations.
She lives in a shack made out of recycled garage doors, in a neighbourhood with no sewage lines or electricity. She suffers from kidney damage and lead poisoning from the years of exposure to toxic chemicals. She earns US$6 a day. But she is not a victim.
Carmen and others like her have had enough and the film Maquilapolis, screening at the Human Rights Film Festival, documents their campaign to bring the multi-nationals to task over unpaid wages and the contaminates left behind to course through their village unchecked when the factories move to even cheaper accommodation in Malaysia.
The Directors of the Festival encourage the Board and shareholders of Fisher & Paykel to come along to the screenings and see for themselves what happens when economics takes precedence over environmental and social cost. They would also like to share with them the contact details for Carmen, so they can assure her that they will be transferring their vision and commitment to exceptional working conditions for their employers in Tijuana. Something for her to look forward to.
Maquilapolis - screening at the Human Rights Film Festival, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin, May 9th -June 6th 2008.