Sweatshops cheap labor
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Sweatshops & Cheap Labor. By: Stefanie Saflor. What are they? . “A sweat shop is a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, and arbitrary discipline, such as verbal or physical abuse .”

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Sweatshops & Cheap Labor

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Sweatshops cheap labor

Sweatshops & Cheap Labor

By: Stefanie Saflor


What are they

What are they?

  • “A sweat shop is a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, and arbitrary discipline, such as verbal or physical abuse.”

  • Because these workers are paid so little, they are unable to save enough money to improve their lives, and are thus trapped in a cycle of exploitation.

  • http://www.veganpeace.com/sweatshops/sweatshops_and_child_labor.htm


Statistics

Statistics

  • With sweatshops comes the issue of child labor. The International Labor Organization estimates that about “250 million children younger then the age of fifteen are subjected to work in such conditions.”

  • 61% in Asia

  • 32% in Africa

  • 7% in Latin America

  • http://www.veganpeace.com/sweatshops/sweatshops_and_child_labor.htm


Sweatshops cheap labor

Cont.

  • Sweatshops, although an extremely brutal means of industry, are responsible for providing many of the products on U.S. shelves, especially clothing, shoes, rugs and toys.

  • Some are even responsible for food exports like coffee, bananas and chocolate

  • http://www.veganpeace.com/sweatshops/sweatshops_and_child_labor.htm


What caused it

What caused it?

  • Being a very competitive consumer market, American chain stores and companies such as Walmart, Kohl’s, etc utilize sweatshops in foreign countries in order to lower the prices of goods and products.

  • This is due to the fact that workers in these overseas factories tend to be paid below minimum wage

  • The low amount of money spent on workers’ wages contributes to the lowered costs of products

    http://www.globallabourrights.org/reports?id=0270

  • http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110502/ts_alt_afp/useconomymanufacturingindexism_20110502152750


Impacts on the united states

Impacts on the United States

  • Many factories utilized by the United States are located in China. Although having goods produced in foreign countries does decrease the overall selling price of a product, organizations dedicated to overseeing working conditions and standards within these factories, such as The Fair Labor Association have become responsible for regulating these factories.

  • http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_48/b4011001.htm


Sweatshops cheap labor

Cont.

  • Many American companies, such as Walmart, are accused of not properly ensuring that such factories are maintaining the appropriate work hours and minimum wage regulations toward workers.

  • Companies such as these are constantly put under fire and expect to perform regular “audits” where they send representatives to make impromptu check-ups at such factories.

  • Besides Walmart, other chain stores such as Nike come under media spotlight for utilizing factories that could/are potentially abusing human labor rights.


Conflicts

Conflicts

  • Overseas trade and production can spark conflict in the actual quality of the product, exemplified through traces of lead appearing in common household objects like toys.

  • http://china.blogs.time.com/2007/08/13/chinas_toy_story_gets_even_gri/


How does it relate to pre 21 st century america

How does it relate to pre-21st century America?

  • American Industrial Revolution – development of U.S. factories

  • I.E - Lowell System

  • Even though these factories increased the production rate and shaped the American Economy, the lack of regulations and workers’ rights when factories first started to develop mimic the structure of today’s sweatshops.

  • - Low wage

  • - Abuse of workers

  • - Extremely high work hours


Sweatshops cheap labor

Cont.

  • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire -

  • • 500 workers, mostly young women, constantly worked at sewing machines, yet earned less then 3 dollars per week

  • • Because the factory was above the sixth floor, the maximum height firefighters’ ladders reached, women had to jump from the windows, especially since the “owners’ way” into the building had been locked due to unwanted theft and security reasons


4 critical questions

4 Critical Questions

  • • Why are workers subjected to the abuse faced within sweatshops?

  • • Why does the United States utilize these factories?

  • • In what parts of the world are sweatshops most prominent?

  • • Name an example of a conflict that arose with the use of sweatshops, especially concerning the quality of exports.


Sweatshops cheap labor

#1

  • • Why are workers subjected to the abuse faced within sweatshops?

  • Because these workers are paid so little, they are unable to save enough money to improve their lives, and are thus trapped in a cycle of exploitation.


Sweatshops cheap labor

#2

  • • Why does the United States utilize these factories?

  • Being a very competitive consumer market, American chain stores and companies such as Walmart, Kohl’s, etc utilize sweatshops in foreign countries in order to lower the prices of goods and products.


Sweatshops cheap labor

#3

  • • In what parts of the world are sweatshops most prominent?

  • 61% in Asia

  • 32% in Africa

  • 7% in Latin America


Sweatshops cheap labor

#4

  • Name an example of a conflict that arose with the use of sweatshops, especially concerning the quality of exports.

  • Overseas trade and production can spark conflict in the actual quality of the product, exemplified through traces of lead appearing in common household objects like toys.


Primary secondary sources

Primary & Secondary Sources

  • http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3044wal-mart.html

  • http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/24/business/wal-mart-disputes-report-on-labor.html

  • http://china.blogs.time.com/2007/08/13/chinas_toy_story_gets_even_gri/

  • http://www.google.com/imghp

  • (Political Cartoon)


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