Ethical Issues with Sweatshops

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Ethical issues regarding Sweatshops
Michelle Rice
Business Ethics
Jacqueline Newkirk

Remember when you were at the mall the last time and saw a pair of Nike shoes that you just couldn’t live without? You had to buy them, for a pricey cost, and just loved them, right? We all have owned a pair or two of Nike shoes in our life. They were the “cool” shoes to have back when I was in school. The thing that we may not have known is that Nike has been using “children as young as fifteen years old” (Jennings, 2012) as employees to make these shoes. In the following report I am going to go over some major ethical issues regarding using underage children and women in foreign countries for labor. I will tell about what the conditions that these people have to work in to get paid barely enough to survive from one day to the next.

The first topic that I would like to talk about is a quote coming from Nike when questioned about the conditions of their facilities and the employees that they had working in them. The quote was “We’re damned if we do because we exploit. We’re damned if we don’t because these foreign economies don’t develop. Who’s to know what’s right?” (Jennings, 2012) Well, let’s answer that question. First of all you are not damned if you make your product out of the country. Sure, as Americans we would like the opportunity to have the business be here where we could benefit from the jobs that it would create, but we also understand the need to help these other countries build and grow. Second, how is it helping these other countries if you are taking their children out of school at the age that they are able to work in a factory? (Jennings, 2012) Wouldn’t the better way to help these countries be to pay them a fair wage and help their children get a good education so that they can grow up to help build their country the way that we are wanting them to? And finally, I don’t know who to say is right in this case, but I do know that Nike was found to “make...
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