It seems antithetical as well as hypocritical for Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich to castigate the U.S. apparel industry and retailers for ignoring sweatshops at home, while at the same time the U.S. government allows taxpayer-funded agencies to finance U.S. companies that want to set up shop in foreign countries ("Look who's sweating now," The Workplace, Oct. 16). The reason that most sweatshops exist is in order to give U.S. companies a chance to compete against those that have moved offshore.
If Reich wants retailers to police the apparel industry, he should do whatever is necessary to defund the agencies that support companies that move away to circumvent U.S. labor and wage laws.
Or lower the minimum wage and relax labor and safety laws. Or the rest of the apparel industry could move offshore, and then Reich wouldn't have to worry about sweatshops!
Pennington Gap, Va.