Labor Practices - Sweatshops

In: Business and Management

Submitted By avargas83
Words 542
Pages 3
Labor Practices - Sweatshops
Astrid Vargas
PHL/320
April 6, 2015
Jennifer Stephens

A “sweatshop” is defined by the United States Department of Labor as a factory that violates two or more labor laws. The use of questionable labor practices, popularly knows as “sweatshop labor”, is widespread in the production of consumer goods (Paharia, 2013). Major international brands such as Nike and Apple are some of the high-profile companies that have been exposed to such labor abuses.
Most members of society automatically consider sweatshops as an unacceptable source of labor because they are known for subjecting employees to dangerous and unsanitary labor conditions. Research organizations have consistently found that while economists and activists disagree about the costs and benefits of such practices, consumers have a strong preference to purchase products made without sweatshop labor. Mostly because consumers are concerned and often disturbed when labor abuses occur but the demand for products that guarantee favorable working conditions remains low.
Unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons that explain why this is an ongoing, conflicting situation. While surveys and research suggest that people do not endorse the use of sweatshop labor, actions speak louder than words. If consumers really cared as they stated, there would be more demand for sweatshop free products and companies to profit from such products. Consumers may not really disapprove of these practices and instead turn to economic justifications. Just like economists, these consumers may feel their participation is necessary, as it will provide economic development in the long run. Also, it is easier to ignore harm that occurs away from us than those occurring in our backyard. It is easier for people to hire a company to manufacture goods using sweatshop labor versus hiring the workers directly,…...

Similar Documents

Nike and Sweatshop Labor

...NIKE AND SWEATSHOP LABOR Do you think the critic of Nike is fair, considering that the host countries in dire needs of creating job? It seems to me that critic of Nike is fair. It is because that If all places , mostly in dominating countries, are dominated by such an inappropriate and unconventional working environment, including overtime working without getting paid as well as hiring under-aged workers. Majority of those developing countries are in the midst of industrial transformation from agricultural to manufacturing industries. Also, many kids in poor families happened to be not going school because parents either have no money to support them or do not think it is important to educate their kids. So, Kids in these situations are mostly working for living and support their families. What do you think Nike’s executives might have done differently to prevent the sensitive charges of sweatshop labor in overseas factories? Before having a contract with local retail shops and manufactures, Nike might have made a strong contract policy that enhances the right of local workers as well as maintains a good working environment. Do firms need to consider the so-called corporate social responsibilities in making investment decision? I think that even though social responsibility has always been an ultimate goal to majority of foreign companies, this value seems to be avoided or less-considered when it comes to making investment decision. Firm can help them......

Words: 401 - Pages: 2

Child Labor Practices and Policies: Industrialized Nations Versus

...Running Head: CHILD LABOR PRACTICES OF UNINDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS Child Labor Practices and Policies: Industrialized Nations versus Unindustrialized Nations Abstract Today we will discuss the child labor of America’s yesterday in comparison with current third world customs: In order to understand the similarities I will first offer a brief overview, then specific examples of each. Next, we will cover the beliefs of Americans followed by the after effects of child labor elimination. I truly hope and believe that my review will enlighten readers to the naked truth; opening minds to certain changes that need to take place. Encouraging at least one person to reach out and make a difference. Child Labor Practices and Policies: Industrialized Nations versus Unindustrialized Nations 218 Million Children between the ages of five and seventeen are involved in child labor: 8.4 million are forced into slavery, trafficking, armed conflict, prostitution, pornography and other illegal activities (Antislavery International, 2009). In reference to child labor practices of unindustrialized nations: The average individuals of an industrialized nation believe that child labor should end, but many families depend on this income to survive; instead, we should fight for workers rights and rethinking child labor abolition. Today we will discuss child labor practices and policies of such nations versus United States (U.S.) practices of the early 1900’s, the average person’s......

Words: 1495 - Pages: 6

Case Study in Unfair Labor Practice

...Case Study in Unfair Labor Practice Labor unions have been in decline over the last few decades. However, labor unions in the healthcare industry have been in the news recently, in particular, large and well-funded nursing unions. Sanders and McCutcheon (2010) point out that there is a sense of urgency among nursing unions in large numbers and that nurses in these unions aren’t just concerned about wages, hours and benefits, but patient care and nurse patient ratios. This issue is a key factor in the 2013 case of New York State Nurses Associations v. Olean General Hospital. In this case, the union, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) filed a complaint that Olean General Hospital (OGH) had violated Section 8(a)(1) in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which is the interference with employees’ Section 7 rights and Section 8(a)(5), failure to engage in good faith collective bargaining duty with certified unions. This paper will look at the case, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision and why it had merit. New York State Nurses Association v. Olean General Hospital In 2013 NYSNA filed charges against OGH alleging that the hospital had violated Sections 8(a)(1) and (5) by implementing the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU), a program where nurses in the bargaining unit acted as clinical teachers for Alfred State University. The main issue with the program was that the union believed it was significantly different than other programs the hospital had......

Words: 1330 - Pages: 6

Nike: from Sweatshops to Leadership in Employment Practices

...HRM522 Ethical & Advocacy for HR Professionals Dr. Jeanette Horner-Smith December 14th, 2014 “Nike: From Sweatshops to Leadership in Employment Practices” The Nike Corporation is a huge brand that targets athletes, colleges, and product manufacturing. The company was founded by Phil Knight and his track coach, Bill Bowerman, in 1964. “The company was renamed Nike in 1978, and has grown to be the largest worldwide seller of athletic goods, with approximately 19,000 retail accounts in the United States and about 160 countries around the world” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2011). Nike built its “good quality” reputation from popular athletic sponsors. Although the brand was growing into a successful sports oriented company, high demand for the product led to thought on how to manufacture more apparel. The founders of the company devised a plan on how to increase manufacturing while not completely blowing their accounts on laboring. The company agreed to take their manufacturing overseas to third-world countries where the cost of laboring is cheaper. “In the late 1980s after going public, the late 1990s began a period composed of combating allegations about labor and human rights violations” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2011). Nike was accused of over working their foreign employees, and providing them poor, unsanitary work environments. It can be said that subcontracting was mainly the reason why the scandals occurred. Subcontracting is the process of reducing cost to......

Words: 1818 - Pages: 8

Sweatshop Labor and Ethics

...Sweatshop Labor and Ethics What is sweatshop labor and is it unethical for clothing companies to engage in such practices? Sweatshop labor is a practice in which workers are taken advantage of by companies paying sub-standard wages and overworking them in difficult situations or dangerous environments. Sweatshops are most prevalent in the “apparel and shoe industries and in toy making.” (Meyers, 2004) Even if such exploitative relationships are mutually beneficial and driven by market demands, manufacturers are engaging in unethical labor practices and companies should forego such conduct “even when the conduct is legal.” (Mayer, 2007) Consumer Demand It can be argued that consumer demand can directly impact how companies make business decisions. Consumer demand can dictate the production of goods, which can cause companies to look towards the bottom line in order to maximize profits while minimizing cost. This can lead companies to make decisions that fall into an ethically grey area. Ethical Perspectives Ethical decision making can be guided by each individual’s ethical perspective. While each perspective has its own strengths, it also has its own weaknesses. Examining the business decisions resulting in the Challenger disaster in 1986 through a behavioral ethics perspective, analysts are able to demonstrate that ethically ambiguous decisions plague companies to this day. At the time, NASA was notified by the contractor that there was statistical information......

Words: 489 - Pages: 2

Labor Practices

...Sweatshop labor to manufacture clothing products has become an increasing issue among companies in today’s manufacturing market place. The problems are greater in developing countries where an estimated 250 million children ages 5 to 14 are forced to work ("11 Facts About Sweatshops", 2013) in sweatshop conditions. Some of the most common products that come from sweatshops are shoes, clothing, rugs, coffee, chocolate, toys, and even food such as bananas. Sweatshops are defined by the US Department of Labor as a factory that violates two or more labor laws. They often have poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor, and a lack of benefits for workers. ("11 Facts About Sweatshops", 2013) In America, there are tougher labor laws than in developing countries, but the US still has its own share of sweatshops that make it beneath the radar of the US Department of Labor. According to "11 Facts About Sweatshops" (2013) “In 2000, more than 11,000 sweatshops in the US violated the minimum wage and overtime laws, while over 16,000 had broken health and safety laws.” Consumer demands affect a company’s business decisions on using sweatshops in order to receive an increased profit for products that are produced. A study showed that doubling the salary of sweatshop workers would increase the consumer cost of an item by 1.8%. ("11 Facts About Sweatshops", 2013) Although there would be such a minimal increase in price the manufacturing company is not......

Words: 590 - Pages: 3

Sweatshops

...Sweatshops are immoral The vast majority of Americans are shocked by reports of brutal conditions in overseas factories. The U.S. itself has a proud practice of unions and human rights groups that work to prevent such abuses like child labor, refusal to pay overtime pay, exposure to poisonous chemicals, and unsafe working environments. Every day, people from other countries come to America for a chance to work hard in return for better treatment, higher paying jobs than the jobs they can find in their native country. Consumer demands affect a company’s business decision in many cases. Fashion being so fast paced with many companies competing for the global dollars. Every company has cut prices which in turn has them searching for ways to reduce labor costs. Unfortunately the first thing companies do is outsource and turn to sweatshops for cheap fast labor in order to make a profit and to be competitive in the market. Different ethical perspectives guide ethical decision making in the right direction, wrong direction, and walking a fine line direction. Some companies use ethical decision making as a tool to keep their company out of trouble by using proper moral judgment. While other companies could care less if they are being ethical. The ones with unethical practices will do anything to make a dollar. There are also companies that walk a fine line when it comes to sweatshops. They usually know what regulations they can bend but not break. All in all the last two...

Words: 360 - Pages: 2

Sweatshop

...Sweatshop is Conflicts With the Moral Standards PMP 400 Quan Zhang ( Lyla) Royal Roads University Elvira Perrella March 9, 2015 Sweatshop is Conflicts With the Moral Standards Green, B., & Norton, S. (2011). Reading. In. W, Anne & M. Laura ( Eds.), Essay essentials with readings (pp. 336- 341). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education Ltd. In the article, before the research, like many people, the author’s attitude was old, but after the research, the author’s attitude changed. The author chose the country of Bangladeshi to illustrate her point that working in a sweatshop can be a positive experience for women in developing countries by focusing primarily on one country. First, she argued that sweatshops offer jobs for women and give them the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. Second, women can experience some independence about managing their finances and choosing their marriages although they have the small income. In this article, the author used others’ opinion, details and facts to develop her topic. The data and cases were enough to prove the argument, and the evidence was very creditable and believable. Although this article argued in the opposite way with me, it gave my article a new perspective about the sweatshop labors. What's more, the author gave me a good evidence about counterargument, which work at the sweatshop is better than no jobs. Then I can refutation this counterargument that the sweatshop conflicts with the......

Words: 1017 - Pages: 5

Labor Practices

...Labor Practices Paper Name PHL/320 Date Teacher Labor Practices - Sweatshops Most members of society deem sweatshops as an unacceptable source of labor. Others claim that many of those individuals living in developing countries, facing adverse circumstances, only dream of being employed by a sweatshop. Although at a bare minimum, sweatshops do provide its patrons a source of income. The wages earned by these workers help bring, maybe, a loaf of bread to their families. Sweatshops exploit its workers through dehumanizing practices, and should not be supported as a viable means of a country's economic development. Sweatshops are known for subjecting factory workers to dangerous and unsanitary working conditions. War On Want, an organization created to fight poverty in developing countries, states that "in 2009, approximately one million workers were injured at work and about 20,000 suffered from diseases due to their occupation" (Klein, 2009). Sweatshop employees work more than 70 hours per week, which is 30 hours more than the average American working full-time. After a day's work, employees head home to their cramped living quarters, with at least six workers to a room. It's almost as if these individuals are treated like cattle. According to an article done by Webster University, more than 55 percent of sweatshop employees are young and uneducated women. One of the biggest concerns for many sweatshop employers are having female workers becoming pregnant, as it...

Words: 565 - Pages: 3

Labor Practices

...Labor Practices Labor Practices A growing demand on consumer goods require goods and apparel to be made quickly. For many consumers, purchasing new apparel or goods is dependent on the price. Consumers want low price apparel items and are usually willing to shop around to find the best deal. Many consumers are not paying attention to where the goods came from and if they were manufactured in sweatshops and clothing companies are not disclosing if their items were manufactured in such facility. Should apparel companies be forced to disclose the work conditions of where their items are made? Yes, apparel companies should either disclose the information or require their manufacturers to sign a fair labor contract. In this paper, Beverly will discuss how consumer demands affect a company’s business decisions, review how different ethical perspectives guide ethical decision making and explain how a company influences their ethical environment. Consumer Demands and Business Decisions Without consumers, businesses would not be able to expand and grow, so businesses try to pay close attention to what the consumer wants. When it comes to apparel, consumers want to know they are getting the best deal and the lowest price, especially with a shaky economy. In order for businesses to maintain the demand of low prices and stay competitive, they have to outsource their manufacturing to low cost companies, many of which are overseas. Some of these companies knowingly use sweatshop......

Words: 726 - Pages: 3

Labor Practices Paper

...Labor Practices Paper Dante C. Dumas PHL/320 Sept. 29, 2015 John Noel Labor Practices Paper In many countries across this world, people are being used and regularly mistreated in warehouses and buildings called "sweatshops." A sweatshop is an atmosphere where people work for very little or sometimes no money, making and manufacturing products for large companies. Along with the hazardous conditions, people who work in sweatshops are often mistreated by the people who run them. Women and children are among the workers of sweatshops and are often mentally, physically and sexually abused. This is what is considered to be modern day slavery to the extreme. In the United States, a "sweatshop" is said to be a factory that violates two or more labor laws, yet American companies still utilize these shops in order to make the substantial profit. In many countries where poverty is high, there are over 150 million young children who work in sweatshops. Most of the population of sweatshop workers is located in Asia and the Pacific region of the world. As consumer demands are raised for products, the more likely the use of sweatshops are put into play. When a company like Nike is expecting to sell a shoe that is in high in demand like the Jordan retro shoe, greed kicks in because these shoes cost two hundred dollars. If a thousand shoes get made per day in a sweatshop by one hundred workers, the profit is huge. You would pay out about two dollars per day to workers plus......

Words: 547 - Pages: 3

Labor Practices

... Labor Practices Paper PHL 320 October 24, 2015 Joseph Aguirre Labor Practices Paper When the word sweatshop labor is mentioned people associate it with poor working conditions, child labor, unfair wages, unreasonable working hours, and unfair benefits for employees. The According to "The State Of California Labor And Workforce Development Agency" (2010), “ Sweatshop is defined as a factory that violates two or more labor laws. Sweatshops often have poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor, and lack of benefits for workers.” Companies think they are doing the citizens in these other countries a favor by giving them and their children a job, giving them income. The companies still need to follow rules and regulations. Consumer demands and the effect on a company's business decision The more product a consumer wants, the more demand is put on the company to produce the product. The company will do whatever they can to produce the product and try to keep the cost down for the consumer. "A study showed that doubling the salary of sweatshop workers would only increase the consumer cost of an item by 1.8% while consumers would be willing to pay 15% more to know a product did not come from a sweatshop," ("Dosomething.org," 2014). If consumers are willing to pay more for the product, the factory would not be considered a sweatshop if they paid their employees had a salary increase. Sweatshop labor is a cruel way of forcing people who are desperate......

Words: 670 - Pages: 3

Labor Practices

...Labor Practices Jonathan Newberry PHL 320 12/1/2014 Wayne Moore Labor Practices According to the US Department of Labor, a “sweatshop” is a factory that violates 2 or more labor laws. Just using this definition, I’d say that using any means of production that is defined as a sweatshop is unethical. The US has a much stricter set of labor laws than many developing countries. We have higher standards for our working conditions, salaries, breaks, etc. Perspectives Manufactures that use overseas factories to make goods are just trying to maximize profit. They want to make the most money that is possible, with the least amount of effort. It isn’t ethical at all, but that is how capitalism works. “Many corporations use contract manufacturing firms to produce their goods. By separating themselves from the production of their goods, they can claim that they are not aware, and consequently not responsible for the conditions under which they were made” (Background). Pretending the problem doesn’t exist just goes to show that in most cases, making money is more important to the company than making an honest product for an honest price. Ethical perspectives here are either pay the people the right wage, or just pretend that they are being paid the right wage and ignore the fact that they are not only getting underpaid, but working in extremely poor and hostile conditions that no one would want to work in. Consumers Customer’s always want the best deal. The companies are......

Words: 729 - Pages: 3

Sweatshop Labor

... Sweatshop Labor Tiffany Carter PHL 320 April 18, 2016 Douglas Reed Sweatshop Labor Sweatshop labor is used to increase production and profitable revenue within a company for the least amount of extra time and money. Using sweatshop labor is often times used to keep up with consumer demands, while the ethical perspectives of the company are jeopardized leaving the company's ethical environment extremely questionable. Sweatshop labor is against more than two labor laws and is a environment which is prevalent all over the world. Laws have been created to help eliminate and punish companies which use sweatshop labor. Consumer demands often times drive companies to utilize sweatshops for production. When demands from the consumer increase companies look for ways to increase production at the lowest cost possible. They fail to see the unlawfulness and ethics violations that go along with labor law violators. The rise in revenue for companies which use sweatshops is very benefiting if the company is not found to be using sweatshops. Decisions like these normally come from high ranking officials who are only thinking about the bottom line of revenue and not the violations and fines the company will have to pay for. Different ethical perspectives guide decision making when the gains are better than the current situation the company may be experiencing. The unethical decisions which are made normally benefit a few select members of a company for only their personal......

Words: 499 - Pages: 2

Unfair Labor Practices

...1920’s were years of relative prosperity in the United States, the workers in industries such as steel, automobiles, rubber, and textiles benefited less than they would later in the years after World War II. While shop floor environments were often hard and authoritarian, the mass-production industries expended great efforts to prevent the growth of unions, which under the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had enjoyed some success during World War I. State legislatures at the time, reflecting the views of the American middle class, supported the concept of the "open shop" which prevented a union from being the exclusive representative of all workers. This made it easier for companies to deny unions the right to collective bargaining and block unionization through court enforcement. Between 1920 and 1929, union membership in the United States actually dropped from about five million to three-and-a-half million. The large, unskilled or semi-skilled industries remained unorganized (America.Gov, 2008). With the passage of a few federal laws, especially the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act or NLRA) in 1935, unions were on a much better footing. This was during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and it was part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to help bring about an economic recovery to put more money in workers’ pockets so they could spend more (Clark, 2007). However, as laws improved workers’ conditions and rights, there was less and less need for unions, and......

Words: 1138 - Pages: 5