Sweatshops Providing Opportunities For Everyone

Topics: Sweatshop, Developing country, Nicholas D. Kristof Pages: 5 (974 words) Published: February 9, 2015


Sweatshops Providing Opportunities for Everyone;
Workers, Women and Companies
Eric Zhu
Centennial College

Have you ever wonder what it would be like to work in a sweatshop? If you worked as a washroom cleaner that made $5 an hour, you would be considered overly well paid. A person from a developed country working in a sweatshop would be considered a hellish job considering the working environment you would be working in, the amount hours that you have to work, and the amount of pay per hour. However, sweatshops are seen as an opportunity for people to work in, beneficial not only to the company, but also to the workers, especially women in the sweatshops would truly see this as an opportunity to create a new self.

According to Clive (2013), “people buy Primark clothes because they’re cheap. Primark buys its clothes from sweatshops, because they’re cheap. The sweatshops are in Bangladesh and India because labours in these places are cheap. If the labour becomes much more expensive, the sweatshops will leave. And the people will be worse off than they were before.” Most companies nowadays focus on figuring out ways to maximize their output while minimizing their input. Using sweatshops is definitely one way of making that happen. This in fact is a way for companies to keep their competitive advantages and their prices low against other companies. In most underdeveloped countries, the rate of poverty is especially high. These are perfect places to build sweatshops in because the country has a high population that is willing to work for any amount of money in order to feed their families, regardless of the long hours and working conditions. Producing a shirt wouldn’t cost much. Let’s say it takes five minutes to sew three shirts, selling them at $10 each while paying the workers 20 cents for the day. Just by looking at the inputs the company puts in and the numbers that come out by producing them and selling them at a high price, you can see why it is so beneficial and easy for companies to make money.

“When I defend sweatshops, people always ask me: But would you want to work in a sweatshop? No, of course not. But I would want even less to pull a rickshaw. In the hierarchy of jobs in poor countries, sweltering at a sewing machine isn’t the bottom.” According to Nicholas D. Kristof (2009, 9). About 80% of a sweatshop is operated by women and children. It is important to know that in most developing countries, women do not have many human rights, especially the ability to have freedom. Men have always been known to be the support of a family while women had to stay home to take care of the children and home. However, what if they didn’t even have a family? What if a woman had no man to support her living? Being able to work to support ones’ self is a dream amongst many independent women. Most women don’t have the opportunity to go out to make money because they have no right to work. Sweatshops were there to provide women the opportunity to help themselves make a living. If there were no sweatshops, women may have had to rely on doing prostitution or other unethical and illegal acts in order to survive. Sweatshops are definitely a better off compared to the other things that they might’ve had to do in order to live through each day even though they had to work for long hours and poor pay.

According to Sachs (1997), “My concern is not that there are too many sweatshops, but that there are too few”. Working in a sweatshop is the better off compared to all other alternatives even if it isn’t the better off in general. Working in a sweatshop is tough since you deal with poor working conditions and poor wages along with long hours. Compared to most alternatives, sweatshops actually pay much more, making sweatshops one of the more outstanding options amongst the alternatives. People will only choose sweatshop jobs if that is the better for them than any other jobs out there....
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