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Some of Australia’s favourite appliances and brands have been implicated in a report detailing involvement in slave labour. Popular brands

Some of Australia’s favourite appliances and brands have been implicated in a report detailing involvement in slave labour.

Popular brands such as, Thermomix, Nutribullet, Dyson, Whirlpool and Kogan reportedly use materials that are mined and gathered under atrocious conditions for workers, including children, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Many people who use these brands and appliances were horrified to learn they had unknowingly contributed to child and slave labour and have sworn off buying the products again.

The report said the brands had used tin from Indonesia and cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their products.

Indonesia has particularly harsh child labour conditions, with children has young as 10 years old being forced to work in harsh conditions under the blaring sun or scavenging garbage tips.

The companies were all graded on an A to F scale, with Dyson, Whirlpool and Kogan receiving Ds and Fs, while the Thermomix and the Nutribullet both received a D-.

Co-founder of the Ethical Consumer Guide Nick Ray, is urging people to consider the lives and rights of the workers who make these popular products.

“It may not be relevant to us in the first world, if we choose it to be,” he said.

“But it is relevant to us as a global community because there are people at the other end of the process and they’re often working in quite atrocious conditions and it is connected to the things we consume in a daily way.

“For our own sake, we should be encouraging greater responsibility and providing feedback to companies.”

There is no word yet on how these new revelations will hurt the brands financially or how far people will go to take a stand against the brands after such a damaging report.

Do you use any of the brands or products? Are you disappointed to hear they use child and slave labour? Would you consider boycotting these brands in light of these revelations?

  1. Disappointed but not surprised and I will boycott these brands and tell everyone I know to as well.

  2. pretty terrible ,that these well known companies do this ,but I wonder how many people would even care ,that is even sadder

  3. Dianne Evans  

    Sad ! All companies and goods should be made show us the whole process from start to finish food and clothing and gadgets and everything then we can make informed choices.

  4. Mike here-not only electrical, many food brands use child labour. There is a big stink ATM for people to ban eating halal (which is indeed just a tick like the heart foundation or kosher), banning the eating of cadbury & nestle in their own houses. For years the taste of chocolate has been sweetened by the tears of the child labourers who slave away picking beans for sometimes a pittance mostly nothing but to pay off their parents- debts? Thankyou to the unknown author of the moving line about childrens tears. Unfortunately so true.

  5. Sorry, but I have to say that at least they have work. It’s like clothing made in sweat shops in Bangladesh. If we don’t buy these products and factories close there is no work and these families go hungry. Yes it is terribly sad. Because by luck of birth we were born in a privileged country does not mean we should stop supporting those that a forced to work hard for a living.
    Yes I have been to poor countries. Like those in West Africa where people are forced to eat their pets as they are hungry. Pet dogs and turtles etc. if they had jobs, no matter how onerous they would do them.

    • Most companies could actually afford to pay these workers more but choose not to so they can maximise their own profits. How much better would the economies in many of these countries be if wages were even slightly increased. It is in poor economies like these that the “trickle down” economic theory works, money brings spending power and more spending can create jobs. It is the deception by so many companies who charge top dollar for their goods and pay little or no wage that is sickening. If I buy a $4 kids Tshirt I am guessing it’s maker was probably paid little if I pay $40 I am miffed to know it was made in the same place.

    • Barbara you are right. Unfortunately I have seen firsthand the corruption from the top in these countries. Dishonest police, army etc to the Government. As I said. We are blessed

  6. SBS had a great series from the BBC called Blood, Sweat and Luxuries. Other shows in this same format were called Blood, Sweat and T Shirts and Blood Sweat and Takeaways. This was one of the few reality TV shows I’ve seen that has really been worth watching. Each series picked a group of young English people and plonked them down in various places around the world to work as the locals did. It was a real eye opener. They covered clothing, food, luxury items among I think a couple of other areas as well. Conditions were dangerous, split families for months on end, pay was poor or non existent and the hours long. The truly shocking thing beside the exploitation of the workers at the bottom of the chain was what these end products cost the consumer. The brands involved also an eye opener. The series on luxuries showed miners, many children working in terrifying conditions, for long hours with slave like conditions of employment. Needless to say the English teens and twenties were horrified and sickened by the experience and left a lot wiser.

    • It’s shameful and I worry when ppl say well at least they are earning money. It’s about securing the said job and our companies insisting on better treatment and conditions and customers paying more. But we have to also ask why is there manufacturing off shore.

  7. We live in a global society. We want the best value for money so that we can maintain a top spot in the highest private debt stakes in the OECD. B|

  8. We know the brands that we shouldn’t buy. What are the brands we should buy? Are they that much better?

  9. I have a Thermomix and a Dyson vacuum cleaner, but had no idea that slave labour was used in the making of these products when I bought them. I will say I don’t think much of the Dysons and I would never buy another Thermomix. They are not worth the money you pay for them.

  10. Ian  

    If modern appliances and products that you want to buy were NOT made or the materials mined caught or farmed by slave labour but by equitably paid workers YOU wouldn’t be able to aford to buy them . if you are so concerned then don’t purchase those products.

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