Sweatshops Research Paper

With America’s constant need for new clothing at cheap prices, it leads companies to use their last resort to finish orders and make a profit. Sweatshops are factories where people who live in developing countries work. Sweatshops are famous for overworking and abusing their employees, having small, cramped work spaces where there is little to no ventilation. American companies use sweatshops to get their products quickly manufactured and selling for the cheapest price possible.

American Companies should not be allowed to use sweatshops and American consumers should stop buying products made by sweatshops in order to keep people in economically developing countries safe. Many people are against sweatshops because they are unsafe and harmful to their workers. Solutions to this problem are currently being made; Sweatshops can be stopped if American consumers stop buying their products. With this solution, sweatshop numbers will surely decrease. Sweatshops are harmful to their workers.

For example, “… New York’s Silicon Alley is known for long working hours, cramped loft workspaces, easily tripped over power cords and non-ergonomic (not safe) keyboards, along with wages that, while “decent are stratospheric” (Olson). The point that this is trying to get across is that people who are forced to work in sweatshops are not only dealing with the nonstop working hours but also with cramped spaces and wages that make the average Mcdonald’s worker’s salary seem incredulously high.

Because sweatshop workers are dealing with the extremely low wages, it not only brings the economic situation in third world countries to light, but it also illuminates the fact that American companies are paying their sweatshop employees an amount that is far too low. Yes, it is true- people spend money every day, but the majority of the things they spend money on come from sweatshops. If Americans want to keep people across the globe safe- they need to stop buying sweatshops made products.

For instance, “In 1999, authorities raided Auckland (the largest city in New Zealand) sewing shop who’s The owner was found to be overworking and mistreating eight of her compatriots…” (Olson). It is important to note that there are many sweatshop owners who typically overwork and abuse their employees. This is obviously not physically or emotionally helpful or healthy. They abuse and hurt their employees partly because they want their employees to be scared to rebel and because they want to have overall power over their employees.

But because of this abusive sweatshop nature, isn’t is ore likely that people in sweatshops would be more compelled to rebel against a sweatshop? Yes- it is more likely that they would be motivated to rebel. But they don’t. Why don’t they? Living on the streets in a third world country is dangerous and that sweatshops most often keep these people from developing countries away from things like poverty or prostitution, many people would back up this opinion, saying it is right. But how right is it really? Not very. See- living on the streets in a third world country is dangerous- but not as dangerous as working in a sweatshop.

First of all, the sweatshop workers have to endure abusive conditions that often times leave scars. Deep scars. Working in a sweatshop does prevent poverty and prostitution, but not by much. Secondly, the sweatshop workers get such low pay- it’s hardly keeping them out of poverty. People who say that third world citizens are safer working in sweatshops are wrong, because sweatshops are causing third-world citizens equal or more harm than poverty, danger or living on the streets ever had or will. Sweatshops do cause many people harm, many people realize the truth of this statement and are driven to eradicate this problem.

Sweatshops can be stopped if American consumers stop buying their products. “In April (2000), Notre Dame… announced it would heed the urgings of its Anti-Sweatshop Task Force and cease allowing manufactured of its licensed goods in any of the 3 nations where laws are considered insufficiently protective of workers…” (Olson). This defines that people can and are trying to put an end to sweatshops. Many people realize the destruction that sweatshops are creating and how abusive it is to human rights.

People are not safe if they are working somewhere that does not respect human rights. Since Notre Dame stopped using sweatshops, it is not only setting a good example but it is also protecting people in developing countries from sweatshops. On the contrary, a number of people believe that if Americans continue to buy from sweatshops, it is boosting the economy and decreasing the unemployment rates in third world countries, making the developing country a safe place for the citizens (of the third world country) to live in.

The best way to help people in the poorest countries is not to campaign against sweatshops but to promote manufacturing there… Among people who work in development, many believe that one of the best hopes for the poorest countries would be to build their manufacturing industries. But global campaigns make that less likely” (Kristof). This points out that putting sweatshops in poor countries will help the people living in them. Wrong! Putting sweatshops in any country is a bad idea.

Sweatshops are not safe for anyone, no matter how much money the country may have. “Today, only 2% of the clothing we wear is actually made in the United States. Only 2% of the clothing we wear is held to the labor standards we have secured in the United States after years of labor rights movements, strikes, unionization and slow progress. Only two percent of our clothing is dependable for having decent working conditions for all of its employees and proper compensation for work.

Meanwhile, the other 98% of clothing we wear is made by women and children working in sweatshops factories with terrible conditions and far too little pay” (Fast Fashion: The Real Costs of Your Cheapest Clothes). This reveals that when Americans, or virtually anyone, buys clothing, merchandise, or any time of product that have been made in sweatshops, they are actually sponsoring sweatshops. The costumer’s of sweatshop-made products are maintaining the bad conditions, abusive and dangerous sweatshops going.

That is, the sweatshop workers have to continue to endure more unsafe and abusive conditions, thanks to the customers and consumers who are buying the sweatshop made products. Sweatshops are very harmful to the children and adults working in them; people need to know how the dangers of sweatshops so that solutions can be developed. Sweatshops are not safe for anyone. The fact that people get killed in sweatshops highlights the idea of putting an end to the terrible factories. Sweatshops factories are not always build correctly- causing major accidents that cost lives.

In 2013, a clothing factory known as Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,129 people. The collapse, now known as the deadliest garment factory accident in history, was due to a structural failure in the building when cracks were discovered in the foundation, but employees were ordered to continue working despite warnings to evacuate. Though workers had complained about the poor state of the building and lack of proper safety exits, owners did nothing. To finish the orders for several companies, over 3,000 people were killed or injured in an event that was totally preventable.

Rana Plaza was a tragedy that brought a horrifying emerging situation to light” (Fast Fashion: The Real Costs of Your Cheapest Clothes). Sweatshop owners don’t always consider fixing the building because it is a lot of money and they have a certain amount of product orders they need finished. This reveals that sweatshops are not safe because they do not ensure workers safety. On the other hand, some people believe that sweatshops are safer than the third world population being on streets, in dangerous conditions where cars and trucks are harmful to people and don’t obey traffic laws and such.

Although people think this- they are partially right. Even though the streets have dangers of their own- so do sweatshops. Truth is people are much safer on the streets than in a sweatshop because then they won’t have to endure such horrible conditions and abuse. “Sweatshops are factories where workers endure unhealthy and exploitative conditions, such as long hours, unventilated work spaces, low pay or exposure to toxic materials” (Sweatshops).

This proves that sweatshops are not safe in the way of they are forcing their workers to breathe (or handle) toxic materials, work in exploitive condition for long hours for low pay. As a result, sweatshops are not safe for anyone. Third world citizens are safer on the streets than in a sweatshop breathing toxic fumes. Sweatshops are factories that companies put in third world countries so that their products could be made quick and cheap for their customers. In the beginning, there was nothing wrong with this idea. But later, sweatshops began putting their employees in hazardous and catastrophic environments.

Companies should not be allowed to use sweatshops and American consumers should stop buying products made by sweatshops in order to keep third world citizens safe. Sweatshops are harmful to their workers in the way of the sweatshop workers are forced to work in places that are not safe. Many of the sweatshops force their employees to work long hours and endure abuse, this is only because Americans continue buying sweatshop-made products. People need to put away their wallets and look at what they are buying, not for themselves, but for the innocent lives they are risking with every dollar they spend.