The Disturbing Use of Sweatshops



No one would want to work 60-80 hours a week getting paid $2 an hour in harsh conditions. It is never okay for big corporations like Nike, Gap, and Wal-Mart to take advantage of people with limited resources. Sweatshops are a growing problem in clothing and textile corporations. Many people may not agree with supporting sweatshop labor by wearing their clothes, but it is very hard to know what clothing brands to avoid. Being one of the most prosperous countries, there is no need for corporations to try and save a little bit of money trying to cheapen the prices for consumers.

A sweatshop is defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as a factory that violates 2 or more labor laws. Although you may think that this is the solution to sweatshops there are ways around this. You may also think that sweatshops are just abroad, which is false because there are some sweatshops that are assembled in the United States. In developing countries there is estimate of 250 million children forced to work. In 2000, more that 11,000 sweatshops in the U.S. violated the minimum wage and overtime laws, while over 16,000 had broken the health and safety laws. Recent studies have shown that if the salary of the sweatshop workers was doubled the consumer cost would only increase by 1.8%. The strategy to decreasing the use of sweatshops are for the government to create a law binding agreement that punishes companies for using sweatshops to produce cheaper clothes. Big corporations should be held accountable for their influence in the sweatshop market. Sweatshops are another form of slavery and it should be abolished.

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