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Moral and Ethical Dillemas Faces by the Textile Industry in Pakistan- What Lead to Its Downfall

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In 2004 under the leadership of Dr Warren Weinstein, JE Austen created SWOG (Strategic Working Group) to help Pakistan overcome the challenges it faced after the abolishment of fixed quotas (for under developed nations) courtesy the high growth rate and GDP achieved by the Musharraf regime. It was identified that two industries had a bleak upcoming future namely IT and Textile. As a solution it was formulated that the industries would support each other to avoid the collapse by implementing IT solutions to overcome inefficiencies in Textile industry. In this regard a meeting was called with APTMA (All Pakistan Textile Mills Association). In the meeting leading textile groups such as Sapphire, Cresent Bahuman and Nishat Linen to name a few were present. The symptoms of sickness were there but all manufacturers refused to accept the existence of a problem which in my opinion was the first unethical behaviour that was exhibited during the course of this case study. People were putting their time and effort to solve this industry's issue and the industry was not even ready to be honest to honour the time and effort of this group being highly unethical.

SWOG although baffled and disappointed did not discontinue their efforts and decided to tour the manufacturing facilities in order to conduct a diagnosis and identify the problem at hand. This in my opinion was highly professional and ethical behaviour on SWOG's part. But SWOG was in for some serious shockers and more disappointments, this was highly apparent after their first tour of a manufacturing facility.

While touring an unnamed facility, SWOG suggested introducing IT in its manufacturing process it received a rebuttal that the Employees union would call in a protest against automation of the mechanisation of the manufacturing process as it would give key performance indicators. This in turn would minimize their earnings in form of over time therefore the talking point of the employees union was that no form of automation would be accepted. Even in the currently employed machinery all digital panels had been disabled and all function was being controlled manually, making the basic function of the machine redundant. This was highly unethical of the employees as in the long run it proved to be a very bad bargain and the workers were the ones who had to continue to starve to death with hunger as the industry collapsed on its face.

The marketing department claimed it had no use of IT other than internet for communication which it already had therefore, they did not waste any of SWOG's time and SWOG members were introduced to the most tech savvy department of the establishment which was the Accounts & Finance. After studying the functions and procedures, SWOG's team suggested that an ERP system may be implemented for more efficient utilisation of resources and inventory management by the Finance office. This suggesting was rejected by the Finance manager citing tax evasion the reason, as an ERP system would've declared the true income making tax evasion impossible. Not only is tax evasion a religious crime but also a sign of moral bank corruptness, but this was the unethical pretext due to which the whole establishment refused an IT solution to their problems. The only problem that was identified was that the manufacturers did not receive cotton of satisfactory quality from inside Pakistan and were forced to import cotton from China, and would favour an IT solution about cotton availability and its quality from all over Pakistan.

SWOG's team then visited the Ginners that manufacturer to inquire about the problem which caused contaminated cotton to be provided. The ginner claimed that they were not the responsible part, polypropylene (the contaminant) was the fibre used for the bag in which cotton was collected from the fields therefore they could hardly be held responsible for the contamination. But when their facility was checked as to how they cleaned the cotton they received, it was a shocking revelation. In torture some humid conditions women's without any masks worked by hand to remove the contaminated fibre from cotton while both materials were white in colour. When spoken to the Admin they claimed that the installation price of an automated black light fibre remover would be too high therefore they weren't interested in installing it. On a question of the inhuman conditions it was revealed that the humidity was to preserve the cotton as it couldn't be allowed to go dry, they argued that they were providing employment to the women who had no other source of income (masks were introduced later). I find it terribly unethical as not only by not installing an automated system were they providing contaminated cotton to manufacturers rising the cost taking away their competitive edge (polypropylene can only be identified after the cloth has been dyed as it doesn't get dyed and remains a white line rendering the 'Thaan' of cotton cloth useless). Moreover the conditions in which the women worked were inhuman and the wages were extremely low bring another element of unethicalness.

Next stop for SWOG's team was the spinning unit and they found



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