Labour legislation is common in many areas around the world, they provide some protection to labour. However, there are many swindlers in the world who exploit labour in different ways.
Recently, the serious exploitation in Thailand’s seafood industries was uncovered. Labourers on ships and in factories are required to work long hours for minimal wages, some do not even get wages at all and are treated like slaves.
These factories do not care about their safety at all. Children labourers in shrimp factories are required to work 16 hours a day, but the management give them little rest. Some were irritated by shrimps and got infection, and their hands are full of scars.
These exploitations are far from rare, but these workers have no place to turn to. They tolerate these treatments for minimal wages, or wait for someone to uncover situation. These exploitations are often connected with human trafficking and child labour. The management often take extreme advantage of their age or identity, knowing they have no opportunity to resist.
Even though these exploitations happen far away from us, but this should not stop us from helping them. Besides praying for them, we can be more vigilant in our purchases, and refuse to pay those corporations who exploit their workers. We can help these workers in their fight for a dignified livelihood by boycotting goods and services that involve labour exploitation. [IRIN]
Meditation on Scriptures:
- Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other. (Zechariah 7:10)
- He who despises his neighbour sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy. (Proverbs 14:21)
- Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. (Psalm 82:3)
- He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. (Psalm 102:17)
The Bible often says that our Lord listens to the prayer of the poor, and teaches us to defend the poor, instead of oppressing them. Besides praying, we ought to do more for these exploited labourers who are equally loved by our Lord. We should share their burden in their quest to earn what they deserve.
Pray for those workers who are being exploited:
- We pray that regardless of our job or status, we cannot become the person who oppresses other
- We pray for those who are being exploited, we pray that they will get what they deserve as soon as possible so that they can have a dignified livelihood and security.
- We pray that the oppressor will see their employees as their brothers and sisters who have equal shares in God’s love