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Transcript of Sweatshops
Most companies use contract manufacturing firms.
Even if they are separated from production, they still make a big impact. The Product Most consumers in the US aren't aware they're buying sweatshop goods How far has the problem spread? Many US sweatshops moved to other countries because their labor laws weren't as strict.
Some moved to Mexico after NAFTA made them close their US factories and move south.
"Race to the Bottom" Tax on Imported Goods? It is where workers are exposed to extreme exploitation.
The employers do not provide their employees with benefits.
The employees do not work in acceptable/safe conditions.
They are not paid a living wage. What are sweatshops exactly? Many US politicians and factory inspectors tried to get rid of sweatshops
Criticisms of sweatshops created safety regulation and labor laws
Muckrakers played a large part in exposing sweatshops
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The New Deal The Attempts to Stop Sweatshops When and why did sweatshops become so prominent? Most sweatshops employ children over adults.
One reason is because they agree to work for less.
Children usually do not complain about their working conditions and abuse.
Most children agree to work in a sweatshop to help provide for the family. There is little chance they could get an education. Sweatshops and Child Labor Because of debt bondage, many Thai women are transported to Japan to work until they have recompensed overstated debts with interest.
Those women are physically and sexually abused, and are treated just as bad as other sweatshop workers.
Sometimes, people are tricked into working without their consent.
Despite having many human rights agreements, companies still deal in human trafficking. Human Trafficking Became popular as work on the farm moved to work in the factories.
Very popular to rapid growing cities and attracted immigrants who were willing to work for less.
Employers took advantage of this and made it so it profited them even more
Criticisms came about the poorly ventilated shops, the susceptibility to fires and rat infestation, and the crowded rooms. Sweatshops are most related with the clothing and cigar business. They were most prominent around 1880-1920. People can buy from green and sweat-free companies that have open-disclosure about their supply chains.
Let irresponsible companies know why you are switching.
You can find a list of sweat-free companies on Co-op America's website. What can the consumers do? [Sweatshops] What does that look like? People work about 60-80 hours a week
They make very little, sometimes a couple pennies a day
The working conditions are very dangerous
The workers are abused, harassed, and intimidated by their employers. The garment industry is seen as a start for underdeveloped countries to move into industrialization. There are many big offenders of sweatshop labor.
Some big named companies that use them include: Wal-Mart, JC Penney, and Sears.
The May Company and Federated Department, who owns Bloomingdales, Macy's, Burdine's and Stern's, also use sweatshop labor.
Guess Clothing Co. is known to be one of the worst lawbreakers when it comes to labor abuse. It'll be hard to end sweatshops completely. So instead, we can make companies a bit more responsible in regards to their employees. If we end up importing less things from other countries, eventually exports will fall too.
Countries who see us not buying from them anymore will probably stop buying from us as well.
Many companies we rely on, like Wal-Mart, use overseas sweatshops. They would have trouble finding a way to produce goods again. What should companies be required to do? Companies should disclose the wages, working conditions, nature of production, and location of where the products are made.
Companies should have frequent factory investigations monitoring the working conditions.
Any company that is found to have violated them should correct it within a certain number of days or they can be shut down.