Winds of Change

WHILE debate on the contradictions of capitalism, its ruthlessness and vulgarity, gains momentum on the margins of global discourse, capitalism glides smoothly along on the back of its modus operandi: the global supply chains. Termed as the foundation of 21st-century trade, global supply chains account for 80pc of global trade, benefitting Western populations through the availability of cheaper products manufactured by the low-wage, abundant labour of developing countries.

Pakistan is one of the low-cost production centres in Asia. In this country, Sialkot is a hub of several industrial clusters producing surgical instruments purchased by the healthcare industry in the West through global supply chains. According to a 2012 report by the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan, 2,300 units in Sialkot, employing 150,000 workers, produce 150 million surgical instruments every year. Sialkot manufacturers sell to suppliers at a very small margin of profit; the suppliers then sell to the end users at much higher rates. For example, according to an estimate quoted in the 2010 report of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a pair of surgical scissors costs $1 to produce, is exported from Pakistan to Germany at a price of $1.25 and, probably, sold to a hospital for about $80.

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Labour Standards in Football Manufacturing Industry: A Case Study of a Nike Vendor in Sialkot, Pakistan

This research report was written for Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Karachi and was published in June, 2009.

This report is the result of a PILER Project on the terms and conditions that retrenched football stitchers worked under, as well as their present circumstances. It stresses on providing football stitchers with legal aid and capacity-building support, as well as facilitating the emergence of a tripartite institutional mechanism for labour standards compliance and monitoring in Sialkot.

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Labour Standards in Football Manufacturing Industry: A Case Study of a Nike Vendor in Sialkot