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    Sweatshops: Developed Country and Countries Essay

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    Think about a Job offer that provides unhealthy workplace, long working hours with almost zero bathroom breaks and the wage that is as low as 15 cents. People address such workplaces as sweatshops. More precisely, sweatshops are the workplaces where workers’ fundamental rights are not respected. We often show sympathy to the workers who work in the sweatshops. Sometimes people in the developed countries intend to ban consuming the sweatshop products. So, corporate giants who use sweatshops would raise the conditions for the sweatshop workers.

    However, sometimes well intended action has undesired consequences. Consumers in the developed countries like United States of America are the significant consumers of sweatshop products. Most of the sweatshops are located in developing countries where labor wage is extremely low relative to the developed world. Therefore, in order to see actual role of the sweatshops one needs to see those workplaces from the eyes of poor workers there. I was born and lived in a country called Bangladesh.

    Almost my entire life I have witnessed series of events where workers in garment factories died either due to factory building collapse or by the diseases originated from the unhealthy workplaces. More frequently than that, what I have seen in the local media is that more people died by starving or due to cold and natural disaster. Lot of people in developing countries do not even have enough food, clothes or shelters to survive. If we look from the eyes of people under poverty in developing countries, sweatshops appear to them as blessings.

    Moreover, sweatshops bring tighter competition in the market to keep price of the products as low as possible. Which brings higher competition in the business. If we resist against the sweatshops, not only the poor workers with zero alternatives would lose their Job but world could ee potential inflations as well. Therefore, this world needs more sweatshops to make sweat free world. Earlier this year, an event occurred where the death of an estimated 360 people in Dhaka, Bangladesh, following the destruction of several garment factories, housed in an eight story building that collapsed.

    Many people addressed this as the spotlight on the conditions workers in the developing world are subjected to every day and the companies who profit from their labors. UK Companies Primark and Matalan are among the companies claimed to buy from the suppliers housed in the collapsed building, while numerous companies trading in he I-JK have tied to other suppliers with questionable track records across the developing world. The traditional reaction to such events is to call for a boycott of any company that uses these suppliers.

    However, in Bangladesh alone, the industry has created Jobs for over four million people, many of them are women, which raises the question of whether a boycott would help or hinder their quality of life further. Many people feel wrong about sweatshops and they try to stay away from sweatshop products to push companies to provide better benefits to the poor workers of the sweatshops. Sweatshops generally pay minimal wage to the labors while corporate giants maximizing their profits.

    If we look at the figures and statistics relative to the mlnlmal wage ruled In tne developing countrles wnere most 0T tne sweatsnops are located, sweatshops often pay much higher than the minimal wage. According to Bailey (2004) that when economists looked at reams of economic data on wages and workers’ rights in developing countries, they found that multinationals generally paid more and often a lot more than the wages offered by locally owned companies. Various student groups and organizations often generate protests against weatshops push companies to raise the working conditions for the sweatshops workers.

    Given that problems remain in United States factories, the anti-sweatshop movements’ primary focus on factory working conditions outside of the US (Foreign Perspective) can seem misplaced. Further-more, critics may wonder how the anti- sweatshop movement will generate legitimacy for the factory standards it aims to implement internationally (Global Perspective). According to the Russell (2004) that voices outside the United States seem rather muted on this point and the standards outed by the campus activists may be far from global in their constitution.

    In that the debate is taking place on college campuses, it is not much more of a global forum than were the streets of Seattle. Most consumers of developed countries even agreed to pay higher prices for the sweatshop products they consume. However, what most consumers in developed countries tend to miss out that products are manufactured in sweatshops to maximize profit of various corporates and even sometimes corrupted government of developing countries associated with the product. Sweatshops are placed mostly in third world countries. Developing countries have more individual with financial hardships than any other developed countries.

    If we try to search for an answer to the question why there are many poor people in developing countries that would allow us to understand why people accept to work in the sweatshops. In developing countries resources are limited. Sometimes those places are heavily populated. In those countries Jobs are few relative to the potential employees. Therefore every people compete with many other for each Job. Unemployment rate is high. How people are going to survive without Jobs or earning sources. Lack of earning sources helped poverty to hit those unemployed people.

    Most workers in the sweatshops do not have better alternatives. If they do not work in sweatshops then they probably would work somewhere with lower wage or they would be left doing nothing. In developing countries like Bangladesh, people die more by starving and cold due to lack of food and shelter than by working in the sweatshops. Those people under poverty would appreciate if they get opportunity to work in a sweatshop and get a chance to survive. According to Powell (2012), sweatshops provides alternatives that help enhance the life of poor workers in the eveloping along with contribution to the local economy.

    Some people also point out how sweatshops workers do not get any ethical benefits. It is also important to understand the culture of different part of the world. Sometimes sweatshop workers all they need is to have a dinner with their family. Even though I mentioned about poverty in Bangladesh, it is interesting to know according to the New Economics Foundation (n. d. ), the country ranked 1 lth happiest country in the world after having so many sweatshop workers. It is important to look at the values of the people working at sweatshops.

    Maybe all they want is a decent time with their family and enough income to survive. Their satisfaction margin is may be different than developed part 0T tne world Low wage laDor attracts corporate glants to manufacture products in developing countries through the sweatshops. This would allow companies to maximize profit, allow low cost products in the market and also it helps developing countries to grow economy by exporting more products. Heintz (2004) argues that manufactured exports have grown from 17. 7% of total exports from developing countries in 1980 t071. 6% in 1998.

    In the world of development policy there has been a change of export-oriented growth, in which access to the markets of the affluent countries has become a key component of the growth strategies for countries around the globe. Because of these developments, the connections between the low-wage manufacturing sectors of developing countries and the consumer societies of wealthy nations have become increasingly more pronounced. Therefore sweatshops allow consumers of developed countries to interact with internationally manufactured products and gain attractions by providing low cost products.

    It helps raise the competition among various vendors and they are forced to attract consumers either with greater quality products or by producing lower cost products. That way companies will face more demand from the market. So, to meet the volume demanded from the market, there would be more requirements for the sweatshops. As number of sweatshops increases, poor workers would have more eligible alternatives to their existing Job. This would result companies to raise working facilities in order to attract workers. This would lead to lower poverty globally and also higher productivity from the workers.

    Sweatshops, the argument runs, don’t pay much (about $40 a month in Bangladesh), but they pay a good deal more than subsistence agriculture, the primary alternative available to poor workers in developing countries. The appeal of a higher wage, steadier hours and for women, independence draws workers from rural areas to urban slums in search of factory work. Globalization and with it the outsourcing of manufacturing labor from rich countries to poor ones, has lifted millions out of extreme poverty defined as living on less than $1 a day. Shutting down sweatshops completely would nly erase those gains.

    According to Christian Science Monitor (1996), we do not support exploitation of the very young or abysmal work conditions. But it’s not fair to demand that developing countries meet all US labor standards. The way to help impoverished people all over the world is by doing business with those people who would hire them or hire their relatives. Looking at the macroeconomic success of China, it’s hard to not be awed by the countrys incredible strides since cracking open its markets to capitalism with Chinese characteristics. Since 1979 about 600 million eople or 10% of the entire population of the planet have escaped poverty in China.

    Whether Western consumers will start to feel guilty and switch off from electronics products made in China remains to be seen. But as thousands lined up for Jobs late last month at a new Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, the spigot of Chinese workers who want to make our iPhone appears in no danger of running dry. According to Goldberg (2001), Sweatshops are not an end in themselves, but the first step on the ladder of success. One needs to see opportunities provided by sweatshops to poor workers by arious companies from the perspectives of the workers who are willing to work.

    If the workplace creates better living for the workers than their existing alternatives, where is the harm? It is important to see the big picture of the global market. Every components In tnls world are nave Interdependency. wnetner we Duy products Trom sweatshops or not this may not have immediate impact on consumers. However, it has effect on foreign workers particularly in developing countries. Impact on foreign workers due to seize of sweatshop products would have global effect. Cost of roduction would rise which would bring potential inflation in developed countries.

    Also rise poverty will be imminent in developing countries. Looking at the current scenario, sweatshops are working towards tighter cost of products. This will help to promote more use of sweatshops as demand for product will be higher. As more sweatshop come in to global market, worker will have more alternatives to pick where they would like to work. This will pressure companies to offer better facilities and salaries to attract worker and eventually world will be sweatshop free. [Word count: 1930] References IYY6, July 2 sweatsnops’ revlsltea. nrlstlan sclence Monltor. p. 20 Balley, R (2004). Sweatshops Forever. Reason, 35(9), 12-13. Goldberg, J. (2001). Sweatshop Chic. National Review, 53(6), 30-32. Heintz, J. (2004). Beyond Sweatshops: Employment, 1467-8330. 2004. 00403. x New Economics Foundation. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http:// www. happyplanetindex. org/data/ Powell, B. (2012). In Defense of Sweatshops. In K. A. Ackley (Ed. ), Perspectives on contemporary issues (pp. 526-531). Boston: Wadsworth. Russell, J. (2004). Locating the Publicity of US-Based Anti-Sweatshop

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