SubscriptionsGo to the Subscriptions Centre to manage your:My ProfileAnd yet, I’m a Hills junkie. I tuned in for all six seasons of the banal, frivolous reality show, which tracks the (supposedly unscripted) lives of spoiled rich kids living in Los Angeles. That’s 101 episodes of inane plots and idiotic conversations, or roughly 50 hours of ridiculousness.The series ended last night, and I’ve come to understand why I was so obsessed with it why, in the past four years, I spent as much time with the likes of Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Kristin Cavallari and Spencer Pratt as I have with some of my own friends.It has a lot to do with the fact that watching The Hills actually made me feel better about myself.
For example, it says that most Cambodians in Walmart supplier factories work under “highly exploitative” contracts that “leave them susceptible to unsafe working conditions, low wages, denial of benefits and harsh penalties for engaging in union activity including termination of employment.” This includes “forced overtime” during Cambodia’s hottest season, leading to “mass fainting episodes resulting from over exertion, exacerbated by inadequate nutrition.”The report also says that Walmart (WMT) “refused” to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a pact by 190 clothing brands as well as trade unions to inspect factories for fire, electrical and structural safety. Gap didn’t join the accord, either. Instead, Walmart and Gap formed a group called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.Guillermo Meneses, spokesman for the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, said his group has compensated factory workers, trained them in fire safety and provided a factory worker helpline for fire safety and “worker empowerment.”But this has not improved conditions, according to the report.The alliance also targeted Gap (GPS) in a separate report, complaining of forced overtime, poverty level wages and physical punishment or illegal termination of workers in Bangladesh, including pregnant women.”Gap lies far behind other brands in their commitments to decent work and safe workplaces,” says the report.Related: Beyonc fashion line fights sweatshop accusationsGap spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson told CNNMoney that “we recognize that the global apparel industry still faces challenges.” She said the company is working with garment workers, suppliers, unions and governments “to develop solutions that matter most to workers and contribute most directly to improving their lives.”Walmart spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, of which it is a member, and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, of which it is not, “are essentially parallel paths forward,” with “a common goal to improve the lives of garment workers in Bangladesh by upgrading factory fire and safety conditions.”H did join the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, along with Adidas (ADDDF), American Eagle, Fruit of the Loom and Abercrombie Fitch (ANF).