CAPITALISM: No justice in a world where Third World workers are as disposable as the cheap garments they make.
Nick Holdsworth
Journalist, writer, author, filmmaker and film and TV industry expert – Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
Published date: March 6, 2020

Such stories come and go from the media’s 24/7 news feed  – a fire or collapsed building somewhere in the Third World crushes, burns, maims, and kills a few dozen or more anonymous poor brown Muslim (or Hindu or some other religion) people. All of them indirectly employed by a rich and powerful Western corporation.

The disasters hog the headlines for a few days and then are gone, forgotten in the relentless grind of non-information that passes for news these days.

Behind the headlines

Christopher Patz and Amir Aziz get behind the headlines and get down low and dirty with the grieving families who have lost children, partners, bread-winners and are fighting – in this case with the backing of the ILO, (the International Labor Organisation, the UN agency for creating decent working conditions the world over) – for compensation and better conditions.

Discount Workers is a grinding tale of poverty and injustice that feels longer than its just over one hour span. Perhaps that is to do with both the grim subject and the plodding nature of international legal cases.

Opening with images of the sweatshop conditions of the rag trade in Pakistan – although these sparse Dickensian workshops could be anywhere in the Indian subcontinent – the film swiftly moves to follow the struggle of the one of the dead machinists family for compensation for their son’s loss, and the loss of many other families.

Discount Workers-documentary-post1
Discount Workers, a film by Ammar Aziz & Christopher Patz

Chaos and filth

The chaos and filth of the sweatshops is little different from the chaos and filth of the dusty streets of Karachi, where plastic rubbish and streets choked with smoke-belching …

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