Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio and others have helped turn Toyota's Prius into the environmental "equivalent of those popular rubber issue bracelets in yellow and other colors-it shows the world its owners care." In fact, 57 percent of Americans who purchased a Prius said they did so because "it makes a statement about me."  Toyota's Prius, the best-selling hybrid in the world does get 48 miles to the gallon.  (New York Times, July 4, 2007)

But what do these celebrities and the rest of us know about the labor practices and working conditions under which the Prius and other Toyota cars are made in Japan?  Really nothing.  Why is the commitment to protect our environment so often divorced from a similar concern to protect human and worker rights?


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