Throughout the past decades the United States has allowed and been faced with sweatshop pro’s and con’s. There have been active sweatshop being utilized and there have also been many protests taking place by concerned government entities, labor boards and student organizations regarding the unethical operations of sweatshops. It is more common for sweatshop to be in operation in Third World countries because sweatshops are considered to be a positive move for economic development in the Third World counties. Consumer Demands
It has been known for an organization from the United States to employee Third World country workers because of supply and demand on a particular product. When these products are manufactured by sweatshops in the Third World countries this ca n help control inflated cost for the products that have to be passed on to the consumers. The Third World countries are producing products for a consent high demand of apparel directly for the United States or through subcontractors for the Unclassified United States. The consumer demands for products continually enable the sweatshops to be a functioning and productive business, so the organizations have no logical reason to make any business decision changes because of the financial profits. Ethical Perspectives
The wages and long hours that the employees of the sweatshops work are considered to be unethical and abusive. It is very common for the sweatshop workers to be paid a general daily pay of $1.00 to $2.00 dollars a day, the employees normally work at least 60-70 hours during a 6 day work week. The employees of the sweatshops are working in dangerous, unhealthy, unreasonable supervision, circumstances causing poor physical and psychological risks for the workers. The sweatshops are commonly known as child and slave labor which creates increasing interest of ethical examination and auditing for these types of inappropriate operating organizations. Sweatshops are considered to be inhuman manufacturing operations.
The workers of sweatshops are highly underpaid, which is much lower than the cost of living and working in very poor hazardous conditions. The lack of institutional regulatory efforts of enforcing the proper working conditions compliance is a problem because the proper laws are not being followed by regulatory enforcement. There are no ethical regulations being enforced on the sweatshops, which allow them to continue to operate without making any ethical decisions to better the working conditions. It is common to see children working in a sweatshop instead of attending school. Company Influences
The sweatshops are overwhelmingly lucrative because of the low wages that are paid, so in turn this allows the sweatshop consumers to purchase products at a very low price and re-sale to produce a much larger profit for the company. The sweatshops managers refuse to employee unionized labor workers and threaten the current workers by termination if they are known to be socializing with a union representative. As long as the company’s continue to depend on sweatshop products for a larger margin of profit, the sweatshops will continue to operate in their unethical environments. If the governments in the Third World countries do not enforce regulations to improve the unethical and unsafe working conditions of the sweatshops, the conditions will never change for the abused workers.
In order control the unethical practices within the sweatshops there would have to be a higher level or protests and the consumers would have to stop purchasing products that are manufactured through a sweatshop. So would the sweatshop workers want a change or do they choose to work in the unethical conditions? The Sweatshops are very unsafe and unethical organizations to be employed with but is it the United States to change it? If so, at this point of our own economic status, how can we save the sweatshop workers in Third World Countries? We could start helping by not purchasing from the sweatshops, then what impact would this have on the U.S. economic, if any?
Foster (2001) “No sweatshops, please. ”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.” January 2007.
Powell (2004) “Sweatshops and Third World Living Standards” September 2004.