Where Clothes Came from

Topics: Minimum wage, Sweatshop, Wage Pages: 8 (2828 words) Published: September 10, 2010
Who Makes the Clothes We Wear?
We love shopping and buy products in branch name. Normally when we go to shop, we never stop to think where all of those products come from. They come from sweatshop. Sweatshops have existed for over one hundred years; and it still exists today for many reasons. Moreover, some people do not realize that the basketballs children are playing with were made by children and poor workers’ hands. Have we ever known that there are children around the world are working as full-time employment under a minimum legal age? These children are treated like slaves and are paid little or nothing at all. Child labor is recognized as a terrible situation, a social problem. Beside, sweatshop also abuse violates human right and working laws. Workers work long hours at low wages under poor working conditions. That is why adults around the world need to unite and stop child labor. We have to fight against those who support it, do not buy products from a company that is forcing children to work. These children need help. They should be playing games or going to school. They have rights just like everyone here; they should be free.

There is no legal definition for sweatshop; but in a common definition, a sweatshop is a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, arbitrary discipline such as verbal and physical abuse, including the low living wage and benefits. In sweatshops, workers work long hours at low wages under poor working conditions. The word “sweatshop” itself was originally used in the 19th century to describe a subcontracting system in which the middlemen earned their profits from the margin between the amount they received for a contract and the amount they paid workers with whom they subcontracted. The margin was said to be “sweated” from the workers because they received minimal wages for excessive hours worked under unsanitary conditions (Sweatshop Watch). The word “sweatshop” conjures up the images of cramped, dangerous, and filthy New York factories. Immigrant women and children worked long hours in these factories for no benefits and little pay. To make ends meet after fifteen hours workdays, many workers brought more work home in the evenings in order to get work done (Harsh Conditions Create Public Support for Reform). Some sweatshops are owned by the brand name multinational corporations such as Nike, Reebok, Gap, but most are locally owned or owned by middle corporations in slow developing countries like Bangladesh, Honduras, Indonesia, Guatemala, China, Pakistan. Large corporations are taking advantage of workers and making them work in harsh conditions.

Many companies and schools in the United States buy products from factories that have workers working in horrible conditions. Workers at those factories work in overheated and a noisy environment. The temperature gets high in 130 degrees. Many workers become sick and are not able to go home. The factories are not kept clean, safe for any worker. Dangerous chemical, fume, poor lighting, and high temperature cause sick, heat stress, burns, and injuries to worker. The health care requirements for labor conditions have not been met. Many workers do not get to see a doctor when they are ill. They do not receive regular vaccinations that help their body prevent sick such as smallpox, cough, tetanus, polio, and diphtheria. Sweatshops bring a vision of dangerous, filthy, and cramped conditions. In sweatshops, workers work from 5:00 am in the morning until 8:00 pm, with only half hour lunch break, seven days a week (The CQ Researcher Online). Many sweatshops do not pay their workers the right amount. The workers do not get paid minimum wage and extra pay for long fifteen hour working days. In Bangladesh and Myanmar, the workers get paid ten to eighteen cents per hour; in China, Pakistan, Viet Nam, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, the workers get paid twenty to sixty cents per hour (Sweatshop Watch Report). For example,...

Cited: Clark, Charles S. "Child Labor and Sweatshops." The CQ Researcher Online 16.08 (1996).
Hapke, Laura. Sweatshop: The History of an American Idea. New Brunswick: Rutgers
University Press, 2004.
Meltzer, Milton. Cheap Raw Material: How Our Youngest Workers Are Exploited and Abused. N New York: Viking, 1994.
Ross, Adrew. No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade and the Rights of Garment Workers. New
York: Verso, 1997.
Economics. March. 2004: Vol.28, Iss. 2-153. ProQuest. Oxnard College Library,
Oxnard , CA
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