Editor, The Times:
I’m currently listening to my washing machine, which has just filled up with water and is starting to agitate — washing yet another load of my work dirtied clothes.
Seven, or was it eight or longer, years ago I was looking for a washing machine and dryer — on the cheap of course. I was at the local thrift store when I ran into a man who had a washer and dryer he wanted to donate to the thrift store. They didn’t want the machines — too bulky they said. I inquired of him about them. Would he sell me the washing machine — I had already a dryer. He replied, “I tell you what. If you come and get them both you can have them!”
He gave me his address, I drove there — we loaded them on my truck. I brought them home, hooked them up and as far as washing clothes goes — comforters, light sleeping bags, everything goes. I’ve never looked back.
These machines, I’m told were built by a once proud Canadian company. They built appliances that, like the Energizer Bunny, just kept going and going and going.
But, due to glories of NAFTA, some years back the whole works was packed up and, I’ve been told, plunked down in Mexico.
There these machines could be assembled by some overworked underpaid intimidated Mexican workers — perhaps some young women — denied the proper bathroom breaks and fired when pregnant. Also after or before a long shift she has to look over her shoulder as she walks back and forth to work.
Scores, hundreds perhaps, of young women have been raped and or murdered in the time the Maquiladoras have been in operation.
Perhaps a trade deal with the EU which has labour and environmental standards would be much better than NAFTA. It couldn’t be worse!
In the meantime, I’ll continue to listen as my old washing machine wheezes and rattles it’s way through another load of laundry!
When it finally gives out I can buy a modern high-speed washer that will shake and rattle itself to pieces in six months or less.