Sweatshop Labor

Essay by rach8630 May 2006

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

All over the world men, women, and children of all ages are going to work in "sweat shops". In "Taking Sides" by Marc Street, the issues of sweatshops and the exploitation of foreign workers are brought up. Street explains the recent interest in this global issue due to various protests by student groups across the United States. The recent attention can also be attributed to several high profile American and European firms being linked to global sweatshop practices. According to Street, "In their current manifestation, sweatshops are portrayed as an inevitable outcome of economic globalization." (Street 325). Besides exploiting the workers in foreign countries, sweatshops exploit those here in America and Europe who are losing their jobs due to lower labor regulations in the poorer countries. However, rallying against sweatshops can tend to do more harm than the sweat shops themselves. If a company is linked to a sweatshop in a certain country, they might pull their manufacturing out of that country, taking the jobs with them, even though they are for a minimal wage.

When these jobs are lost in a third world country, the employees are forced to make money using much more dangerous means. For example, they could starve to death, work as prostitutes, or live as beggars. Also, almost every economically stable country today had its beginnings while using cheap labor. Two articles are offered, each referring to sweatshops and poor labor conditions for these third world countries.

In "The Campus Anti-Sweatshop Movement" by Richard Applebaum and Peter Dreier, sweatshops are portrayed as the cause of a wide spread student activist movement. Colleges usually have some sort of licensing agreement with an apparel company which produces their college logo on various types of clothing. In some instances, these agreements can equate to millions of...