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Old 11-02-2014, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Default Pen Turning Ethics

I have made sure, to the best of my ability, that the wood I use for my pens is absent from both CITES and the ICUN lists. But I am still at a quandary concerning pen kits themselves. I have been filling orders with USA made kits (Desire or Hancock, Liberty, or Eagle Pen kits) but, from I can tell, these all come from the same manufacturer. I've been attempting to find information on Taiwanese labor conditions and nothing I've found so far is enough to assure me that the workers who make these pens are paid fair wages and treated with respect. I have no qualms with purchasing Taiwanese made kits if I knew that they weren't being pumped out in a sweatshop. There is no American contact for the Taiwan Labor Front and very little information short of a BBC article outlining extreme overworking in 2012. Does anyone have any pertinent information regarding Taiwanese made pen kits?
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good question. The follow-up question is what do we do if we find out the conditions are poor, but a "boycott" would displace those poorly treated workers with no employment. Like you, my hope is that all are treated fairly.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? Abraham Lincoln


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Old 11-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome aboard!!!!
Interesting....not a lot to be said one way or the other. What if you find out that "ALL" the kits come from sources that are not 'favorable'?

Scott B
Central Arkansas IAP Chapter Member
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You must have a reason for not letting us know where you are, but, if I needed such information I would check with David at Timberbits. Perhaps he will educate you as to how pen kits are put together!
Barry L Elder
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A big thanks to everyone for the warm welcome and responses. I didn't intentionally leave out my location. It's been a little while since I signed up so I'll update that info. I'm in Leavenworth, KS, actually.

Labor standards have always been the responsibility of the workers themselves and, on paper, Taiwan has excellent labor laws. In practice, from what I'm finding in my research, is that localized corruption is usurping the law. It really sounds like business as usual. Just to be clear it's not my intention to be political. I'm simply far more comfortable in knowing that my small investment isn't contributing to a larger problem.

So far the kits from lazerlinez have been fantastic but the selection is minimal, they are often on back order for months at a time, and the cost is significantly higher. That being said, the Desire (or Hancock) fountain pen kit is one of the finest out there in my opinion.

I know it's really just a grey area and I thank you all again for your responses!
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting topic.

Please keep us apprised as to what you uncover. I would love to know and it would effect my buying decisions.
"And finally, it CAN BE DONE. It HAS been done by more than one member here." -PenMan1
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