Even today, many people are either tricked or trafficked into sweatshop labor. One such case that made headline news was sweatshop labor in major sports company Nike. Nike has received many allegations of using sweatshop labor, but none of them were ever proven true. In the investigation, it was reveled that the workers working there were not Malaysian, but from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Allegations[ edit ] Nike in Washington, UK in the s or early s Nike has been accused of using sweatshops since the early s, when it produced goods in South Koreathe People's Republic of Chinaand Taiwan.
As these countries' economies developed, workers became more productive, wages rose, and many moved on to higher paying jobs. Nike found cheaper labor in the People's Republic of China and Vietnam, which prohibited labor unions.
When workers demanded additional rights and benefits in these countries, the Nike factories closed and moved to a different location that would enable them to continue operating at a low cost.
They originally denied claims against them. However, inNike director Todd McKean stated in an interview that the "initial attitude was, 'Hey, we don't own the factories.
We don't control what goes on there. We had people there every day looking at quality. Clearly, we had leverage and responsibility with certain parts of the business, so why not others? Many anti-sweatshop groups were student-led, such as the United Students Against Sweatshops.
While Keady was conducting his research about Nike at St. Keady publicly refused to support Nike and was forced to resign his position as soccer coach in Since resigning, Keady has done original research into the conditions in Nike's Sweatshops.
Throughout the s, Nike experienced rapid growth after they moved their primary branches of production overseas. The employees were commonly the poor inhabitants of the area surrounding the factory looking for any sort of income. The heads of the factories were Nike contractors who often lived in United States or Europe and did not have any sort of relations with their employees.
The duty of supervision was given to an upper-level factory worker. The authority of the supervisor included enforcing rules the workers must follow and making sure that they were performing to optimal standards.
The laws protecting the workers are ignored in favor of cutting costs and lowering health standards. This is possibly because political leaders are paid off by factory supervisors in order to limit governmental interference.
The leaders relayed messages to military and police units to overlook the conditions in factories so that the illegal environment could remain open and functioning. They also were warned to watch for signs of labor activism near the factories to prevent workers from aligning with one another for better conditions.
They are severely limited in the amount of time they can take off and are forced to work overtime on several occasions during the week.
Advocacy efforts[ edit ] The goals of transnational advocacy groups working on behalf of Nike factory workers are to allow workers to obtain higher wages, improve the working conditions of the factories, enable them to organization, and gain the respect of their employers.
Countries such as the NetherlandsGermanyFranceand Belgiumwhere no Nike factories exist, have branches of organizations that work to better factory conditions.
In countries like IndonesiaThailandMexicoand Cambodiawhere factories are common, non-governmental organizations push anti-Nike efforts by informing the public through the media of the work environment within the plants. Advocacy groups function through donations, fundraising, and in some cases governmental funding.
There has been a rapid increase in the use of the Internet as a means of distributing information between advocacy groups.
The spread of news across national boundaries allows the groups to mobilize and unify campaigns. When laws in Indonesia were lifted in the late s, factory workers and non-governmental organizations staged many strikes at Nike factories protesting the poor working conditions.
These allies provided aide for the workers who were not paid while on strike. Counter-criticism[ edit ] William Stepp, of the libertarian Mises Instituteargued that minimum wage is arbitrary and causes unemployment. Stepp continues further, stating that the workers were not exploited and clearly received benefits from working at the factories "by showing up for work every day, and by accepting a paycheck based on mutually-agreed-upon terms.
However, Stepp did criticize Nike for its association with the World Bankwhich says is the real exploiter of third world countries. Further, they felt that the factory offered a more stable career and higher income than farmwork.Sweatshops are generally characterized as places of employment that have low pay, poor working conditions, and long hours.
Most economists view so-called sweatshops as a benefit to Third World workers and recognize that the anti-sweatshop activists’ activities could reduce Third World employment and investment, thus making workers worse off. Sweatshops in countries like China, Bangladesh and Haiti have been known to produce clothing for the company, with Chinese labour workers in particular being paid 33 to 41 cents an hour, with numerous employees being as young as 14 years of age with no health benefits or .
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Sweatshop slavery has been around since the 19th Century. Even today, many people are either tricked or trafficked into sweatshop labor. One such case that made headline news was sweatshop labor in major sports company Nike.
Nike has received many allegations of using sweatshop labor, but none of them were ever proven true. Nike, which came under heavy criticism a decade ago for its use of sweatshops and child labour, has taken steps since then to improve conditions at its 1, overseas factories.