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Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education
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Worker safety in China

This video is absolutely phenomenal in the sense that it provides its viewers with a look into what many do for a daily living that is most likely less than $3 a day. (not saying that this is the case here) We also have to see how China is blatantly cutting corners by not implementing worker safety regulations. This alone saves them the money that they would not have to pay for any injuries on the job. Risking lives for a very low income and to live in a bad enviroment hardly seems worth it but for many this is what they NEED to do in order to put food on the table. Now, it isn't only China that has gone through this. Many countries have started off this way and later incorporated regulations that they must abide by. China however, has a booming economy in which it should worry about its workers since they are they ones who are building/demolishing in order to create better locations for companies to occupy. In a government where your whole ambition is to gain money and interest, the lives of a few are not important (or so it seems). -M.Carvajal


Via Seth Dixon
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James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 9:11 PM

(East Asia topic 6)
This video signifies two distinct characteristics of labor in China. First and most obviously is the disregard of safety. One could argue in the past that risks such as these were accepted by workers since China was a largely less-developed country with fewer employment opportunities; however, being a recent video and China  currently making exponential economic and developmental ground, this is definitely one of those 'things which shouldn't be happening'. With all of the nation's so-called "improvements," why are none discernible  here?

  Secondly, traits such as subservient respect are valued more in nations such as China. It is possible that if these workers hadn't have taken the risk and not completed the job, they would've been fired and had a somewhat 'tainted' reputation for not following their orders to demolish the building.

  Though it seems that all industrializing nations have gone through issues of workers' safety and reasonable expectations, China should use it's late-coming as a plus by learning from others which have gone before it, and avoiding the personal, legal, and even some social issues which have been faced before.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:52 PM

China's ability to sweep unjust working conditions under the rug has allowed it to grow economically at an impressive rate. Although I disagree with unsafe working conditions it is important to note the hypocrisy that developed countries display when advocating fro workers rights. In the US for example, our economic growth was contingent on slavery, child labor, and immigrant exploitation. Unfortunately if any developing country wants to compete with countries that are at the top of the global economic hegemony, they must cut the same corners those countries cut centuries ago. What needs to be done is find a way to show developing countries that growth is possible without abusing workers. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.

Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography 400 at ric
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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

--We need to consider many things when we see this video. First and foremost, the mill was a main source for labor and economic growth in this small town. Many generations have worked in this location post- Soviet issues. The fact that in those times it was not considered a source of harm for the wildlife and human life that surrounded it, means a great deal. You have to consider that people were focused on production and exporting what they had in order to maintain a stable place in the trade field. People were not focusing on the long term effects but rather being able to provide food and shelter for their families. Many people to this day put their lives at risk working in less than safe locations around the world. We have to see the need for these people to continue putting themselves at risk. Now, enviromentalists are saying that the waste and the pollution associated with the mill is harmful and can cause devastation to the wildlife and lake. Yes, it is true. However, to what extent can they continue to push this mill to close down and to what extent will their conscience give in and realize that by closing this location down they are contributing to the deaths of many because there will be no way for them to earn money and survive. Of course no one wants to destory a beautiful lake or the wildlife in it, but have enviromentalists considered ways of making the mill more enviromental friendly? -- M. Carvajal

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


Via Seth Dixon, Elizabeth Allen
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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 2:43 PM

The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides".  The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain.  The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy.  This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited.  Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town.  This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 1:42 AM

THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 12:05 PM

The Soviet Union scattered "monotowns" around their territory; these monotowns consist of a job-creating industrial institutions like factories which then allow the formation of towns around them.  They are located all around the former Soviet Union and are very isolated.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these towns continued to run due to the privatization of the industrial center.  Today, Russia's Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water, is home to one of these monotowns.  This particular town's economy is based on their paper mill which uses and deposits tons of chemicals.  Environmentalists are very concerned for the future of the lake while the citizens are only concerned with feeding their families and this is creating social unrest.  Due to the isolation and distance from Moscow, people cannot just pick up and leave.  Also, working with "cleaner" alternatives is way out of this town's budget.  Today, many citizens in these monotowns miss the support that the Soviet Union offered and people are literally stuck in a place where their only income is dirty.