“The work is good because I pay my rent and I can look after myself,” she said, wearing an aqua Huajian polo shirt. “It’s transformed my life.” Taddelech said she wants to work for two more years at the plant and become a supervisor. She eventually aspires to build her own house.
Taddelech Teshome is obviously a proud, hardworking and ambitious individual. But without a miracle, she would have surely been relegated to whatever existence a monthly income of far less than $30 affords.
Taddelech is Ethiopian, and, yes, her salary is $30 per month. And, yes, her job has transformed her life.
Her transformation has nothing whatsoever to do with the good intentions of Western philanthropists. The miracle was wielded by the hands of a most greedy, unabashed Chinese capitalist whose future success hinges upon Taddelech's overall well-being.
That capitalist would be Zhang Huarong, who, armed with three sewing machines, began making shoes from his home in Jiangxi province in 1982. Today, Zhang's company, Huajian Shoes, supplies the likes of Nine West and Guess with shoes and 3,500 Ethiopians with jobs.
As you might imagine, Ethiopian logistics are a hurdle:
Transportation and logistics that cost as much as four times those in China are prompting Huajian to set up its own trucking company.
A trucking company that will aggressively exploit (i.e., strengthen---mentally and physically---to the point where they become productive employees) yet more of the locals.
Here's what's next for Taddelech's community:
A model of a planned new plant at the edge of Addis Ababa is displayed at the factory. The 126-hectare (341-acre) complex, partly financed by more than $300 million from Huajian, will
include apartments for workers, a “forest resort” district and a technical university.
Cheap labor is truly a beautiful thing for the venturesome capitalist (not to mention his customers) who would dare exploit it. Ah, but miraculous are the transformations seen in the lives of the exploited...