• Bursting the Bubble

    Look at the device you're using to read this blog. I don't mean look at the screen; look at the whole device. Many people worked to build your device. Have you ever thought about them? A person spent hours on a computer designing your device. Another person took the glass off the glass manufacturer's assembly line. Someone connected the back shell to the front. A group of people put the guts together. Perhaps dozens of people have actually handled various sections of the equipment in front of your eyes.
     
    We forget that the goods we use and enjoy every day are the result of the hard work of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. We live in a consumer bubble where we see and use the finished products without much or any thought given to the labor behind the products. But the men, women, or in some instances, children who create our goods deserve our attention, care and gratitude. 
     
    Many of the workers in third-world countries who make our goods are paid less than $2.00 a day. Many work an obscene amount of hours. Many work in terrible conditions, and some die from the terrible conditions while working on the goods that we get to enjoy. And we don't even give them a thought. 
     
    I don't want our company and our customers to be ignorant of the plight of foreign workers in the tea industry. As a company, we try to work with groups that promote the rights of workers. We want to care for the people who spend hours every day picking tea leaves by hand, then lay those leaves out to dry, package them, and ship them to the US. We want to shake those hands with thanks and hold them when worn and hurt. We want them to know that they matter to us. 
     
    So we're simultaneously glad and saddened when we read an article like the one I've copied in full here. (I don't make it a practice to copy and paste full articles from other sources, but I feel this is appropriate and give full credit to Dan Bolton and World Tea News for the article. You can find the original article here.) Dan Bolton, an accomplished tea reporter, tells us about India's Commerce Minister seeking higher tea wages for workers. Think about the workers who picked the leaves for your cup of tea and say a word of thanks for them. Even better, advocate on their behalf. 
     

    India’s Commerce Minister Seeks Higher Tea Wages

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