Cheap Labor

Topics: Sweatshop, Child labour, Labor Pages: 15 (2647 words) Published: April 27, 2014

Cheap Labor & Violation of Workers Rights Continue to Exist


This paper explores the way in which sweatshops, cheap labor, and violation of workers rights continues to exist throughout the world. Providing inside information that the average individual might not know about the products they purchase and use everyday. This paper touches on what goes on in these sweatshops, which the most common workers are, and what countries are receiving the lowest wages for their work. Some of the most popular companies who have been recognized as abusers of labor laws are addressed, along with an update on how they’ve fared since being accused. As the paper draws to a close different solutions to stopping this abusing form of labor are revealed.

If the average individual were to take a look around their home, one would find all sorts of objects and clothing produced in different areas from all across the globe. Majority of the time, these items are taken for granted and strictly valued depending on what they can do for us. This is quite unfortunate when we take into consideration the conditions most of these objects were manufactured in. It’s very seldom that we picture the blistering hands of the child who slaved over our designer tennis shoes as we slide them on as the finishing piece to that new designer outfit. It is ironic how the things we pay the most for in life are often times produced under the harshest working conditions by individuals paid incredibly low wages. Children and women’s rights are violated day in and day out for these companies to save a couple of dollars, yet we continue to ignore the issue and send our hard earned money to these corrupt companies and corporations. According to, a sweatshop is a “shop employing workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions” (Collins English Dictionary). Despite the adversity and embarrassment that some of the most popular companies have received for producing their products in sweatshop, cheap labor and exploitation of human rights still remain prevalent. Some individuals feel that the use of these sweatshops allows for a healthy balance in the economy, or that working for these wages is the best possible option for citizens of third world countries, concluding that we need not tamper with the means of production for the economy’s sake. Many of these ideas are addressed in Arnold D. and N. Bowie’s Sweatshops and Respects for Persons, as they discuss exactly why these allegations or theories are dysfunctional untruths. There are definitely alternatives to sweatshop labor for companies to produce their products. For example in Paron and Reemes’s, “Beyond Cheap Labor” they propose a solution to these countries’ low wages; “to justify higher wages in a globalized economy, middle-income nations must find their comparative advantage” (Paron & Reemes 2005). If these nations find something they can offer, then they can create a job market for their workers, resulting in higher wages. Granted this is a very hard task and may be perceived by many as unachievable, but there is no amount of revenue worth sacrificing our morals or these individuals’ rights as humans.

Cheap Labor & Exploitation
According to the United States labor law, there are certain wages that must be provided to individuals for performing services; when these laws are violated, there are severe consequences to whoever is deemed responsible (DOL, 2009). Cheap labor is when an individual provides labor for unreasonably low wages, long hours, usually under harsh or extreme working conditions, and many of the female workers are subject to sexual harassment along with all the other violating activity that occurs. Unfortunately, many women and young children are victims to these violations of labor laws for a company’s benefit, all to save a buck.

According to Snyder in his article Exploitation and...

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