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Social Justice: Sweatshops

Nathan Arnold, Connor Carion, Ryan Ward, Callie Welsh, Jaren Yang

Connor Carion

on 6 May 2013

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Transcript of Social Justice: Sweatshops

Ethical Questions Do sweatshops do more harm than good?

To what extent are sweatshops justifiable?

What does it mean to be a consumer with a conscience?

What labor conditions should be considered acceptable versus unacceptable? Consumer pressure/accusations is primary reason that large companies work to improve sweatshops
Footwear and Apparel companies have worked most on improving sweatshop conditions
Better codes of conduct for suppliers Nathan Arnold, Connor Carion, Ryan Ward, Callie Welsh & Jaren Yang Social Justice: Sweatshops Who works at a Sweatshop? People who live in 3rd world countries (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, etc.)

-Majority of the workers are young girls and women

Illegal immigrants

Men who work in sweatshops often work overtime What Major Brands Use Sweatshops? Industries such as American Apparel, Abrombimbie & Fitch, Apple, L.L. Bean, Hanes Burberry, Nike, Adidas, Ikea, Walmart, Kohl's, and Hollister just to name a few.

Basically 80% of your garments are from sweatshops around the world.

Jaren Yang The Man in the Well Challenge with Eliminating Sweatshops What is a Sweatshop? Definition - a shop or factory in which employees work for long hours at low wages and under poor/unhealthy working conditions

Characteristics of a Sweatshop:
low wages
deprivation of basic employee's benefits
unsafe/unhealthy working conditions
child labor Where Are They? The worst sweatshops we hear about are located in Asia; specifically places like Tokyo and Singapore Catholic Social Teaching What can we do to help? Though we can't directly put a direct end to sweatshops, there are many organizations that promote global labor rights, such as:
SweatFree Communities
Clean Clothes Campaign
United Students Against Sweatshops Who's Fighting Sweatshops? U.S. Department of Labor:
Searched for sweatshop solutions in 1997

International Labor Organization:
Targeted certain clothing brands for sweatshop use in 1996

Since the 90's these two major labor rights groups haven't done much to address the issue of sweatshops. Why do workers choose sweatshops? undocumented citizens
no education
poverty-stricken family
to pay off "debts and fees"
no other options Why do corporations use sweatshops? How?
What are the conditions in a sweatshop? 60-80 hours per week
forced overtime
child labor
unsafe working environment
toxic paints, solvents, glues
poor ventilation
Pregnancy rules Companies Improving Sweatshop Conditions Companies Improving Sweatshops cont. Nike, Gap, and Disney have worked with sweatshop monitoring organizations to improve conditions
Found that improved working conditions in their supply chain can be good for business Sweatshop Wages The man in the well is a story about a
man stuck inside of a well. Children find him, but instead of getting him out, they bring him only the bare necessities.

Jaren Yang Major cities in the U.S. have also had a few famous sweatshops. (New York, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Dignity of Work/Rights of Workers: Human Dignity: "All workers have a right to decent and fair wages, and to safe working conditions." "We are required to honor the person, to give priority to the person." Callie Welsh MONEY! cheap labor bigger profit minimized costs Callie Welsh Companies fail to make progress due to the large number of suppliers they use
Major retailer may have over 5,000 supply companies
More supply companies = harder to establish connections/links to work to reduce sweatshop conditions Callie Welsh -Nathan Sources Used http://www.sweatfree.org/organizations
http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/background-sweatshops -Nathan -Nathan
Where can we get involved? -Ryan College campuses are common areas for sweatshop protest
Don't support businesses in your area that are known to use sweatshops
Find alternative vendors in your area
Research online to find sweat-free products - Ryan - Ryan Conditions Simulation Questions Was it difficult to breathe?

How did the cramped space make you feel?

Was it difficult to complete your task with the surrounding conditions?

Do you think the payment system was fair? Homework Questions Before watching this video, had you considered where your apple products were made?

How much are the workers paid per hour?

How does this pay relate to the cost of the products?

How may people does it take to assemble each iPad?

What is your reaction to the lunch break and rest time during the day?

Where do the workers live?

How does this work compromise human dignity?

Would you consider this Apple factory a sweatshop? Why or why not? Interactive Activity Sweatshop Conditions Simulation Jaren Yang Jaren Yang Ryan Ryan Ryan Ryan Ryan Ethical Questions Do sweatshops do more harm than good?

To what extent are sweatshops justifiable?

What does it mean to be a consumer with a conscience?

What labor conditions should be considered acceptable versus unacceptable? -Nathan -Nathan Nike Sweatshops:
Behind the Swoosh Connor Carion Connor Carion
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