Special Report: Inside The Scotch Tape Sweatshops
With Kathie Lee Gifford's crusade against sweatshops and recent awareness of unfair labor practices by Nike, including an upcoming visit to East Asia by Michael Jordan to investigate the production of his Air Jordan ©® shoes, the exploitation of cheap labor has been a major concern lately. However, perhaps too much attention has been paid to the Pacific Rim, while the other side of the globe languishes in unchecked corruption.
After graduation, as the members of The Underground realized we really had nothing better to do, we decided to do something about this problem, so we set off on a trans-Atlantic flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, to discover the truth behind the making of Scotch brand tape.
You've probably never even considered how Scotch tape is made. How the tape can be so adhesive yet so transparent and still cost under a dollar for 500 inches. This is just what the slave-drivers at Scotch tape want. You probably thought that the amazing qualities of Scotch Magic tape were really produced by just that: magic.
Well, think again buddy. The dark truth behind each of those rolls of Scotch tape is the shattered lives of thousands of Scotsmen paid next to nothing to manufacture them. Why, if these workers were paid even minimum wage, that nifty plaid design on the front of each roll of tape alone would cost $2.95.
|Another Scotsman's life is taken by the endless needs of the American tape market.|
Instead, the workers are paid pennies an hour, in conditions even worse than the home you just sent your Grandma to. We were able to take a few pictures with our hidden camera as we talked to some of the workers: "Dese bloody wankers dinnae even pay m' enough tae keep the haggis and voddy on the table for me children. Goddamn slags."1
Tipsy McStagger, CEO of Scotch tape's production division, denied any wrongdoing, and even claimed, "These dippet cunts dinnae know what they're talkin' aboot. We give 'em plenty o' poppy n' skag to keep 'em happy."2
|Tipsy McStagger denies any exploitative labor practices.|
Perhaps worst of all horrifying sights in this factory is the sight of small children operating dangerous machinery, inches from disaster. Children so small that their kilts hang down around their ankles like wedding dresses flowing behind them.
Well, I don't know about you, but I plan on doing something about this terrible tragedy in the British Isles. First Wales turns to the dark side, Ireland has always been killing itself, and now Scotland... what's next: will the islands of Guernsey and Jersey soon succumb? I'll get right on this problem and write my congressman, as soon as I come up with the requisite $10,000 campaign contribution to schedule an appointment. Eh, might as well watch the X-Games on ESPN2 instead.
(Scottish translations provided using the glossary in the back of Trainspotting.)
1 "These dumb jerk-offs don't even pay me enough to keep the haggis and vodka on the table for my children. Goddamn bastards."
2 "These stupid guys don't know what they're talking about. We give them plenty of money and heroin to keep them happy."
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