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Sweatshops (Modern Day Slavery)

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Mark Dolores

on 1 September 2010

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Transcript of Sweatshops (Modern Day Slavery)

By Mark Dolores Sweatshops
Modern Day Slavery
By Mark Dolores What is a sweatshop? A Sweatshop can be easily defined as : “a factory or other place of work where pay is low and conditions are poor or even dangerous”. Characteristics of Sweatshops What makes a sweatshop, a sweatshop Sweatshops started during the periods of
1880-1920, in both England and the U.S. Sweatshops were so common at that time that the term "sweater" didn't mean a garment worn for warmth. It was a SWEATSHOP WORKER. The Sweatshop Labor System, during that time, was mainly used for cheap garment and cigar production. characteristics of a common sweatshop: Low wages
Overtime work with no extra pay
Deprivation of basic employees benefits
Dangerous and unsanitary working conditions
Violates many labor laws
And uses child labour (Not all sweatshops) Bangladesh - $0.14 per day in AUD Funds
Vietnam - $0.28 per hour in AUD Funds
Indonesia - $0.37 per hour in AUD Funds
China - $0.48 per hour in AUD Funds
Haiti - $0.53 per hour in AUD Funds
Nicaragua - $0.83 per hour in AUD Funds
Honduras - $1.43 per hour in AUD Funds
El Salvador - $1.50 per hour in AUD Funds
Dominican Republic - $1.76 per hour in AUD Funds
Costa Rico - $2.59 per hour in AUD Funds
Mexico - $3.3 per hour in AUD Funds - Low Wages How much, does the workers earn? From lowest to the highest pay: Sweatshop workers earn as little as ½ to ¼ of what they need to provide for basic nutrition, shelter, energy, clothing, education and transportation? Since sweatshop workers are paid less than their daily expenses, they are never able to save any money to improve their lives. They are trapped in an endless cycle of exploitation. Working to earn just to survive. Theres no Overtime pay in sweatshops. Garment workers spend 60-80 hours a week at their sewing machines to make the clothes and shoes that eventually end up on retailers' shelves. basic employee's rights are violated. For example, when the workers get injured during work, they get absolutely nothing in return. Withholding wages is very common among sweatshops. However, there are also some employers that intend to keep the wages while persuading or even threatening the workers to continue to work, promising to pay in full in the future, but they usually disappear with the money. Normally, the amount will be paid after two to four weeks, sometimes a little bit longer. And even when they are sick, they still HAVE to go to work. In sweatshops... Let's take a look at the working conditions in the sweatshops... The factories are surrounded by barbed wires and armed guards that are always on patrol, to make sure that the workers doesn't try to do anything "funny". The workers are made to do their jobs in dangerous and unhealthy environments, even while sick. Inside the plants, workers are usually made to handle toxic chemical paints, solvents, and glues with their bare hands. Also, in many factories, workers are not given masks to put over their noses and mouths, exposing them to tiny cloth fibers that get stuck in the lungs or dangerous glues. The sweatshop owners also doesn't trust their employees enough, to let them work freely. To prevent workers from stealing the items they are producing, factories usually lock the plant's doors and windows, creating fire hazards. The thing that makes sweatshops more serious is that it accepts children, despite the horrible working conditions. It utilizes Child Labour You have to remember that, not all the work that children do is child labour. There is a difference between a child being forced into labour and a child's willingness to work. Vs. Helping with the housework or in the family business, or earning pocket money during school holidays are all positive steps in a child's development.
These are all kinds of work that would be good for the children, as it provides them with skills and experience. The work done by children is not considered as labour if it doesn't harm their health, interupt their education, or disrupts their personal development. Sweatshops use Child Labour mainly for these reasons: They can pay the children less (sometimes even nothing at all)
Children are less likely to complain.
And because children are fast learners. ? So why would a child work in the first place? Children work mainly because poor families need to keep as many family members working as possible to ensure income security and survival. Children choose to work because their poor families need to keep as many family members working as possible to ensure income security and survival. They want to be able to support their families financially. How are the workers being treated? Workers in sweatshops face different kinds of abuses. Verbal, physical and sexual abuse is very common in the sweatshops. Verbal abuse is particularly common, and workers regularly report being harassed and bullied by shop managers. Workers who managers think are not working fast enough are usually the target of shouting and yelling. Physical abuse is also not unusual. Workers in sweatshops have said many times before that managers there have regularly beat them and slap them. Sexual abuse is also widespread. Mostly because garment workers are women. 90% of all the sweatshop workers are women.
The workers can't do anything about their low pay and long hours of work... Are there any opportunities available for people working in the sweatshops, anywhere else? Before the company even sets up a sweatshops, their location scouts looks for an area with no record of job employment. So that means the employees have no choice but to work there because they want to be able to provide for their families. People who work at sweatshops had no choice but to take what is offered because they lack proper education and professional skills. They are prevented from forming Labor Unions are organizations of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. Labor Unions That means the workers can't do anything about it. If they protest for better pay and improved working conditions, the retailers will either look for other workers willing to do the job or move to another country. They would rather work than watch their families starve on the streets. How does this whole process of "Sweating" work? Well... It starts off with the company designing the product. And Since the company wants to make as much money as possible, avoiding paying taxes and customs, they make a deal with a sweatshop (to make their products cheaply). The sweatshops starts hiring workers to do the jobs. The sweatshops then return the finished products to the company. After the companies receive the finished products, they later ship it to be distributed and sold. The company then receives huge profits, from the hard work of the sweatshop employees. The companies use sweatshop labor just because it enables them to increase their profits enormously and boosts their stock value. Did you know that... So What kinds of businesses are involved with sweatshop labour? While the shoe industry is very infamous for their involvement in sweatshop labour, unfortunately they are not the only culprits... Common sweatshop goods include: Tires Auto parts garments toys computer parts electronics and nearly every other kind of manufactured goods... These are Notable companies that use Sweatshop Labour: And MANY, MANY more... Now that we know the sweatshops from the inside... It's all about the money. So basically, it's slavery Did you know? The workers in the sweatshops are forced to lie about the working conditions and their low wages when the work inspectors come over. So what can we do about about the sweatshops? Petition the companies exploiting sweatshops to improve working conditions and raise wages, and get the children out. Boycotting wouldn't be a good idea when it comes to sweatshops. Because it can cause the wages to fall even lower than they already are and force people to lose their jobs. Buy union-made, local, and secondhand goods Educate others about sweatshops
As we learned earlier, people would want to work, rather than watch their families starve on the streets. You can: Buy fair trade "When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery."
- Maxim Gorky Everyone deserves the right to live a happy, and fulfilling life. It's up to you... To make a difference In someone else's life The workers are not provided with the protective gear, they have to buy it for themselves. Don't forget that they don't even earn enough money to make a living for themselves...
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