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Sweatshops

Updated on October 15, 2017

Sweatshops

A globalization topic is sweatshops in countries such as China and India. There are individuals who are working tons of hours for a low wage even children work there even though that breaks child labor laws. The conditions at certain sweatshops are so bad for the individuals that work at those sweatshops that they installed nets so if anyone tried to commit suicide they won’t be killed. Sweatshops are dangerous since working many hours can have a bad effect on workers. Sweatshops are the same as factories except they are in international countries and the health of the workers, working conditions, and the pay is poor. There are many deaths and attempted deaths due to working at sweatshops

All workers at international sweatshops are diverse and different. “Whilst all are ‘sweated labour’, workers inhabiting local sweatshop regimes are socially diverse and experience different patterns of exploitation and reproduction. They embody Bernstein’s (2007) ‘classes of labour’ (Mezzadri, 2010). Some are factory wage workers; others are ‘self-employed’, deployed as a disguised form of wage labour. Some are male migrants; others are local women. Some are urban workers; others are rural workers. For some, the main issue is high factory turnover, long night shifts or hazardous working conditions; for others, low wages, sexual harassment and even physical violence.”(Mezzadri).

A work hour here and a work hour in china is different, and they work more hours than we do. “A Chinese working "hour" is 60 minutes — unlike an American "hour," which generally includes breaks for Facebook, the bathroom, a phone call, and some conversation. The official work day in China is 8 hours long, but the standard shift is 12 hours. Generally, these shifts extend to 14-16 hours, especially when there's a hot new gadget to build. While Daisey is in Shenzhen, a Foxconn worker dies after working a 34-hour shift.” (Blodget)

Sweatshops do not enforce child labor laws and there are tons of children that work at sweatshops. “In the first two hours outside the factory gates, Daisey meets workers who say they are 14, 13, and 12 years old (along with plenty of older ones). Daisey estimates that about 5% of the workers he talked to were underage.” (Blodget)

The pay at these factories are poor and not enough to support an individual or individuals. They either have to find more work, work more hours or they will be homeless. If the workers are not employed then they will not have food, water or shelter and factory will not care about workers if that does happen to them so you do not win at all if you work factory or don’t work at the factory. “The factory’s workers made between 1,879 and 2,088 yuan a month, or roughly $255 to $283, which would be below minimum wage in some parts of China. The average manufacturing employee in urban China made twice as much money as the factory’s workers, or roughly 4,280 yuan a month, according to national data from 2014.” (Harwell)

Many companies such as Wal-Mart, Apple, Nike, and IBM are capitalists and they use sweatshops since it is cheaper instead of having the products produced nationally and they do not care about the workers and want profit. If companies produced nationally they would either go out of business or lose profit which is bad for the company, stockholders, and the economy. “If Apple decided to build iPhones and iPads for Americans using American labor rules, two things would likely happen: The prices of iPhones and iPads would go up, Apple's profit margins would go down.” (Blodget)

In the Foxconn factory suicides have increased due to poor working conditions at sweatshops. “In 2010, Longhua assembly-line workers began killing themselves. Worker after worker threw themselves off the towering dorm buildings, sometimes in broad daylight, in tragic displays of desperation – and in protest at the work conditions inside. There were 18 reported suicide attempts that year alone and 14 confirmed deaths. Twenty more workers were talked down by Foxconn officials.” The epidemic caused a media sensation – suicides and sweatshop conditions in the House of iPhone. Suicide notes and survivors told of immense stress, long workdays and harsh managers who were prone to humiliate workers for mistakes, of unfair fines and unkept promises of benefits.”(Merchant) Since then the factories have prevented this from occurring. “The corporate response spurred further unease: Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, had large nets installed outside many of the buildings to catch falling bodies. The company hired counsellors and workers were made to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves.” (Merchant)

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