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Thread: Sweatshops, do you care?

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    Sweatshops, do you care?

    I recently watched the documentary "The Corporation" and was astonished to learn about how much harm big companies do to people and the environment. Some big names included Nike, Gap, CitiGroup, Victorias secret and of course Walmart. I couldnt believe the unethical and unmoralistic practices used by these companies. The Gap and Nike using sweatshops to make their product and only paying kids under 15 , 8-12cents per garment. It disgusted me that retailers can charge $100 for a pair of Nikes that only cost less than a dollar to make. How can this be legal and why are people letting them get away with it? If you knew exactly which companies used unethical means to create their product such as sweatshops, animal testing, illegal dumping, and pollution would you still patronize them? BE HONEST.

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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    yuor right and also these people get paid liek 2 dollars per shoe or piece of clothing and they are sold for like 50 dollars. also sweatshops were meant to make money for food and well, if teh sweatshops did pay better, sweatshops wouldn't be all that bad. remember taht people are forced to go to sweatshops because they need to make money for thier families


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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimchi24 View Post
    yuor right and also these people get paid liek 2 dollars per shoe or piece of clothing and they are sold for like 50 dollars. also sweatshops were meant to make money for food and well, if teh sweatshops did pay better, sweatshops wouldn't be all that bad. remember taht people are forced to go to sweatshops because they need to make money for thier families
    I know its a catch 22. These people depend on the big companies for any little amount of money they are willing to pay. It will take huge effort from their governments to fix this horrible cycle. I personally have stopped buying anything that isnt made in the US. THe only problem Ive run into is gas and the fact that I dont know of any major clothing companies that produce their products in the U.S. I think its time to take a sewing class.

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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    But consider this, is sweatshops offer such horrid wages and poor working conditions, THEN WHY DO PEOPLE WORK THERE?!?!. By western standards, the conditions are horrid, but by local standards, sweatshops represent the best wages for people who have no skills and training, and often have long waiting lists for people who want employment. Then only way to stamp out the practice is to raise the level of education and training for the masses, and provide the means of employment with better wages. (But who's going to pay for this???) Simply banning the practice of sweatshops won't provide any benefits for the workers that are laid-off...
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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    Of course I care, however...

    Just because they are being paid less then a living wage here doesn't mean it's not a good wage there. You have to take into account the standard of living in that country and average income. If (as Len Miyata suggests) there is education available then those "sweatshops" could be the first step in a families move to a better life as someone works and pays for the next generations education.

    Now, in countries where they are being taken advantage of by local standards of living then there is a problem. The government workhouses are the ones that disturb me the most. Governments who round up anyone they deem "dangerous" and put them in work camps making goods the government sells for a profit. That is the real sweat shops.

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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    Quote Originally Posted by LenMiyata View Post
    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    But consider this, is sweatshops offer such horrid wages and poor working conditions, THEN WHY DO PEOPLE WORK THERE?!?!. By western standards, the conditions are horrid, but by local standards, sweatshops represent the best wages for people who have no skills and training, and often have long waiting lists for people who want employment. Then only way to stamp out the practice is to raise the level of education and training for the masses, and provide the means of employment with better wages. (But who's going to pay for this???) Simply banning the practice of sweatshops won't provide any benefits for the workers that are laid-off...
    I have to agree with len, we have to realise that people that work there dont decide one day, oh ima work there cuz its good and ima get good pay. people who work there go there as last resort. many kids work there cuz their family members are already working but not enuf income is made. and since giant corperations realise that people who are willing to work here, are on their last thread for money, so why offer alot? because that will force them to work longer to recieve a larger pay, and also, larger pay will deduct from the revenue. len is totally right, banning sweatshops will not help

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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    ^o^ THANK YOU LEN MIYATA AND ARRIANA

    also to add, most workers (especially women in China) DO NOT work in sweat chops for their whole life. They work they're for about 5 years, usually, then return to their home village to get married and raise a family. They do go to those workshopd at a young age, but it's becuz they feel it is their duty to provide for their families.

    however, when those shops are closed down, many of them are stranded in a city they do not know and have no way or money of getting home. This is another down side of closing the shops altogether.

    p.s.: There are plenty of clothing stores that are still manufactured in the US, you just have to look for them!

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    Re: Sweatshops, do you care?

    I stay away from most big name companies, including Walmart, because I disapprove of how they run their businesses.

    Len's right, that there is the element that while they are sweatshops, they do provide a source of income, but there is no real regulation of work code ethics in these areas (depending on where you are).

    However, I don't think it justifies sweatshops in any sort of manner. The reason you have people working there is because families need to work in order to make any sort of living. You don't have line-ups because it's a cushy job. You have kids working because they need the extra income to make it by.
    In that sort of scenario, you're not going to have kids going to get a better education, because the family unit can't afford it (they'd lose a source of needed income).

    A lot of people in these areas take up prostitution as a job. Not because it's a good job, but simply because it's a means of making money. Does it mean that the creeps that travel to these countries to buy sex are doing these girls a good deed? Hell no. But, people are "willing" to do the job...simply because it's a viable option for making money. But it in no way justifies it.

    It's not a matter of raising the education level, or training because they don't have the option of going to that. People in these countries start working young because the family needs the income. They can't just say "well, I'll take a couple months off and get some training," because it takes away from family income.

    Education and training is not as accessable in areas with low wages, especially in the countries where you have sweatshops.

    Here's a good example of this hitting home: I'm currently looking at the education system in BC for a history assignment. In the 1920's, the majority of students in BC who went to school only went till about the age of 14 or 15, before their parents pulled them out to start work. Why? Because the family needed the extra income. The government did enforce schooling, but only until a certain age, and enforcement wasn't that strict. It wasn't that the education wasn't there, it was that the MONEY wasn't there. These families were scratching by, and so the kids were pulled and had to go to work. Now, this is in the 1920's, in a country where you had a stable government infrastructure.

    So, now back to many of these asians countries, where the government infrastructure is a joke. How accessable do you think education is?

    Now, banning sweatshops isn't going to solve the problem. Doesn't mean we should just let them continue though. Here's another solution. Have the companies put MORE money into these sweatshops (they can sure as hell afford to). It's the same principle as over here in North America. The more money people get, the more they spend. The more they spend, the better the economy. The better the economy, the better the standard of living. The better the standard of living, the better access to education.

    As Mistress said, you have retailers charging $100 plus for Nike's that cost a fraction of that to make. They have no problem making a healthy profit. For a company to pay low wages just because the standard of living in a country is low is disgusting. That doesn't justify it at all.

    Another example from here in BC, same sort of thinking, same sort of principle. When asian immigrants started arriving here in BC, they lived in single rooms with about 20 other asian immigrants, even more. They were all cramped up in these tiny little rooms by there employers. The reasoning behind that? Because the employers argued that asian people lived in cramped conditions over in asia, so they can live in cramped conditions over here. Pretty sick thinking (and very much rascist). But that's the EXACT, and I mean EXACT same thinking as saying "well, it's shitty conditions over there, so let's pay them shitty money." That's the standard of living argument.

    It's taking advantage of people, and using sick justification for why it's okay. "People are willing to do it, so why not?" "It's poor standard of living there, so we'll pay them poorly."

    Now, if the company was located purely in these areas, I could understand. The company wouldn't be turning anywhere near as much profit, because it too would be affected by the standard of living, and the economy of the area. But you have huge companies making huge profits, selling overpriced products in one area of the world, while paying minimal wages in another area of the world. That's pretty sick. If we're living in a global economy, you would hope that a company's policy should be global as well. If those workers were suddenly moved over here, they would be making far more money. The only difference is that they're "over there," and not here.

    You're right, banning it doesn't help. But it in no means justifies their continuation. People are willing to do it, because they have to. Prostitutes in these countries are willing to do it, because they have to. Does it mean that these big corperations are heroes for throwing these people chump change? Does it mean the creeps that travel to these countries for the prostitution rings are heroes for giving these girls money? No. They're both just taking advantage of people, and the poor economic situations which have created these areas. And they are keeping, and reinforcing the status quo by doing so.

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