Synopsis by Mark Deming
In a bid to keep costs down and profits high, a growing number of Western corporations have been "outsourcing" the manufacturing of their products to factories in other nations, often in Asia and the Third World. However, some firms have found themselves struggling with a moral dilemma, knowing that while it costs less to use overseas labor, the workers are often not protected by the same sort of regulations applied to laborers in America or Europe. In A Decent Factory, filmmaker Thomas Balmes follows Hanna Kaskinen, the newly appointed Ethical and Environmental expert for Nokia (the Finnish electronics company best known for their cellular phones) as she travels in China to inspect manufacturing facilities under contract to Nokia. Kaskinen and her colleagues examine both the physical conditions and the labor agreements under which the employees are working as they attempt to strike a balance between profit and fair play in their Chinese plants.
big-business, business-ethics, China, dilemma, electronics, Finland, global-economy, globalization, labor [work], labor-issues, moral-conflict, plant [factory], responsibility, worker's-rights, workplace-safety