Just Do It

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ramy992
Words 1811
Pages 8
Picture a crowded room in a third world country, filled to capacity with rows of workers crouched over sewing machines. The air is toxic and the environment squalid, yet these laborers toil for up to 65 hours a week (Lormand), piecing together goods that are bought by end consumers like you and I. Such a scene seems reminiscent of the mistreatment of industrial workers that was prevalent during the early 20th century. It is hard to believe then that in today’s day and age the manufacturing sector, primarily in backwards nations, has once again become synonymous with labor rights violations. This phenomenon is largely due to globalization, a movement that has led multinational corporations (MNCs) to invest in cheap labor available in emerging economies. The possibility of this investment has spurred local government to ease regulatory measures on labor rights to lure MNCs as well as pitted local manufacturers against each other in the spirit of competitive pricing. These actions have led to diminished standards in factories that have translated to issues like insufficient wages, forced overtime, suppression of free speech and a hazardous working environment.
Some proponents of sweatshop labor argue that sweatshops bring about economic prosperity, even going so far as to say that the “simplest way to help the poorest Asians would be to buy more from sweatshops, not less” (Kershner). Increasingly, however, the consensus has shifted in support of the fact that employing the poor for “near subsistence wages...generates little self-sustaining economic development” (Moberg). The light that has been shed on cases of abuse and mistreatment of laborers in Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan has mobilized various labor rights organizations and university student groups to take a stance against the exploitation of third world citizens. Groups like Campaign for Labor Rights and…...

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