Think about a job offer that provides unhealthy workplace, long working hours with almost zero bathroom breaks and the wage that is as low as 15 cents. People address such workplaces as sweatshops. More precisely, sweatshops are the workplaces where workers’ fundamental rights are not respected. We often show sympathy to the workers who work in the sweatshops. Sometimes people in the developed countries intend to ban consuming the sweatshop products. So, corporate giants who use sweatshops would raise the conditions for the sweatshop workers. However, sometimes well intended action has undesired consequences. Consumers in the developed countries like United States of America are the significant consumers of sweatshop products. Most of the sweatshops are located in developing countries where labor wage is extremely low relative to the developed world. Therefore, in order to see actual role of the sweatshops one needs to see those workplaces from the eyes of poor workers there. I was born and lived in a country called Bangladesh. Almost my entire life I have witnessed series of events where workers in garment factories died either due to factory building collapse or by the diseases originated from the unhealthy workplaces. More frequently than that, what I have seen in the local media is that more people died by starving or due to cold and natural disaster. Lot of people in developing countries do not even have enough food, clothes or shelters to survive. If we look from the eyes of people under poverty in developing countries, sweatshops appear to them as blessings. Moreover, sweatshops bring tighter competition in the market to keep price of the products as low as possible. Which brings higher competition in the business. If we resist against the sweatshops, not only the poor workers with zero alternatives would lose their job but world could see potential inflations as well. Therefore, this world needs more sweatshops to make sweat free world. Earlier this year, an event occurred where the death of an estimated 360 people in Dhaka, Bangladesh, following the destruction of several garment factories, housed in an eight story building that collapsed. Many people addressed this as the spotlight on the conditions workers in the developing world are subjected to every day and the companies who profit from their labors. UK Companies Primark and Matalan are among the companies claimed to buy from the suppliers housed in the collapsed building, while numerous companies trading in the UK have tied to other suppliers with questionable track records across the developing world. The traditional reaction to such events is to call for a boycott of any company that uses these suppliers. However, in Bangladesh alone, the industry has created jobs for over four million people, many of them are women, which raises the question of whether a boycott would help or hinder their quality of life further. Many people feel wrong about sweatshops and they try to stay away from sweatshop products to push companies to provide better benefits to the poor workers of the sweatshops. Sweatshops generally pay minimal wage to the labors while corporate giants maximizing their profits. If we look at the figures and statistics relative to the minimal wage ruled in the developing countries where most of the sweatshops are located, sweatshops often pay much higher than the minimal wage. According to Bailey (2004) that when economists looked at reams of economic data on wages and workers' rights in developing countries, they found that multinationals generally paid more and often a lot more than the wages offered by locally owned companies. Various student groups and organizations often generate protests against sweatshops push companies to raise the working conditions for the sweatshops workers. Given that problems remain in United States factories, the anti-sweatshop movements’ primary focus on factory working conditions outside of the US (Foreign Perspective)...
References: (1996, July 24). `Sweatshops ' revisited. Christian Science Monitor. p. 20.
Bailey, R. (2004). Sweatshops Forever. Reason, 35(9), 12-13.
Goldberg, J. (2001). Sweatshop Chic. National Review, 53(6), 30-32.
Heintz, J. (2004). Beyond Sweatshops: Employment, Labor Market Security and Global Inequality. Antipode, 36(2), 222-226. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2004.00403.x
New Economics Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/
Powell, B. (2012). In Defense of Sweatshops. In K. A. Ackley (Ed.), Perspectives on contemporary issues (pp. 526-531). Boston: Wadsworth.
Russell, J. (2004). Locating the Publicity of US-Based Anti-Sweatshop Activism. Antipode, 36(2), 217-221. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2004.00402.x
Please join StudyMode to read the full document