Read Me/Disclaimer

Read Me/Disclaimer: This is a non-political/socio-political blog. It's a running tale of my Saudi Arabian adventure, great, good, bad, and ugly. It is uncensored, and I don't really care what you think of it, read it or don't. I don't care. I did not decide to do this as a means to an end, but rather to document the means with which I occupied my time while waiting for my end... All that being said, I'm an American Expat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opportunity to help build this system and the salary that accompanied it were to good to pass up.-Geoff

"The views presented here are just the views of some asshole named Geoff, they are not necessarily the views of my employer, my co-workers, my family or anybody else. First hand knowledge and second hand accounts were used to compile the information. These are not scientific facts and figures. These views are not necessarily supported, endorsed or even appreciated by the KSA the USA or any other country for that matter and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."**

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bangladesh is Burning

Just in time for US shoppers to hit up all the stores for Black Friday, "the high cost of low prices"* once again reared it's ugly head.  Factory Fires in Bangladesh have again given attention to the fact that you're only able to buy a $5 T-shit in Wal-Mart because someone else, somewhere else suffers.  These $5 shirts and similar low priced clothing are also available here in the KSA.

I don't have a whole lot to say on the issue, but I did think I would forward this link to a petition on  Read it for yourself before you sign it, but it for the most part simply asks the major buyers to push for a worker involved fire safety plan, and the transparency to monitor such a program.  Every year, hundreds of workers die in clothing and textile factories in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Taiwan and elsewhere.  I'm not going to suggest that all of the workers should be paid US style wages, as such a thing is just obnoxious hippy dreaming, however fire safety and fire escapes are basic human rights that should be afforded to all. 

Here's the link to the petition:

*"The High Cost of low Prices" is the Subtitle to a 2005 Documentary.  I doubt that they'd mind me using it in this case, but I have to admit...I didn't ask.  Here's a link to the Film's website:

**UPDATE**  Three managers have been arrested for refusing to allow workers to leave their stations when the Fire Alarm bells rang.

I'd also like to re-write an above sentence, since I fly solo without an editor (obviously!) I think that's allowed.  so:  "Every year hundreds of workers are burned alive in what can best be described as the inferno's of hell, many are overcome with smoke before the fire reaches them, but some suffer the much worse fate of having their skin roasted from their bones by temperatures upwards of 900 degree's Fahrenheit"   I thought that was a little more fitting, a little truer.  I spent a combined total of 9 years as a firefighter.  I think I have some knowledge on the subject. 


  1. Do you know, this year, on Sept 11 fire broke out at one of Karachi's textile factory . Some 300 people died. The main doors had been sealed because own had fear his " precious" stuffs would get burnt . People are still waiting and looking for their love one's dead body.

    The owner is free, factory is running once again in the same way. No doubt there are hundreds of factories like that in Karachi and other part of Pakistan.

    welcome to third world !

    1. I am very aware of that actually. I almost wrote a blog piece about it.

      Somebody had named it once, but I can't for the life of me remember who or what they called it. The "Sweat Triangle" or "Textile Triangle" or something like that, describing where the worlds clothes come from and the worlds worst conditions for laborers. Its something I became aware of in the US as a Union officer...we tried to order American Made clothing and found VERY few places that could provide us with such. Even my Carhardt jacket, the very staple of American farm and country was made in Mexico.

      On a side note, when I buy a lawn mower in the US, I buy a Honda engine. At least they told me where it came from! A Briggs and Stratton American Engine was made in either China or Mexico. Likewise, my Nissan truck was made in Tennessee, USA and my old Ford was made in Mexico!