Presentation on theme: "Sweatshops Today. What is a sweatshop? A factory or other place of employment (e.g. agriculture) where workers are forced to work with low wages, no benefits,"— Presentation transcript:
What is a sweatshop? A factory or other place of employment (e.g. agriculture) where workers are forced to work with low wages, no benefits, long hours, unsanitary and cramped conditions. The Shree Jee International shoe factory in Agra, India, caught fire in May 2002 and 43 workers burned to death. Windows and doors were locked and many safety laws broken.
Where can sweatshops be found? Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Vietnam, just to name a few places
Who uses sweatshops? Nike, Keds, Phillips-Van Heusen, Disney, Guess?, the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Levi Strauss, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren, Mattel, Wal-Mart, Roohsing (Hong King clothing company), Kohl’s, Puma
In many places, workers are provided “housing” by the people for whom they work. Often the living quarters are crowded, filthy, and rat-infested. Some of the factories and living quarters are located behind barbed wire fences that are monitored by armed guards.
These living quarters are in Indonesia “...the dormitories are made from breeze blocks and packing cases - when it rains, they flood, there are open sewers and no clean running water..."
Frequently, women who work in sweatshops are not allowed to come and go freely; in fact, they are forbidden from having visitors. “…the women are always under the threat of corporal punishment. They are verbally abused, spat on, and beaten. They are not allowed to take breaks or go to the bathroom during their shifts, and are fined if they do so.” (from “Women and Global Human Rights”)
".. you work 24 hour shift with just a couple of breaks and then two hours later you start another shift... famous brands produced here [Indonesia] include Nike Reebok, Adidas and Gap"
Chinese immigrants working in sweatshop near Los Angeles
Many employees in true sweatshops are beaten, raped or assaulted. This will scare the employees into staying. A 20/20 investigation in Saipan sweatshops discovered that pregnant employees were forced to have abortions in order to keep their jobs. In sweatshops there are no unions. The employers of a sweatshop will often hire children first – they can pay them less.
Women are often forced into indentured service. They are charged “fees” to work, and then spend years paying off their fees. They take the jobs because they are promised wonderful opportunities in foreign lands. Their wages are often only 10 – 20 cents per hour. If they leave without fulfilling their contract, they are blacklisted, fined or arrested.
Phil Knight. CEO and Co-Founder of Nike Corporation, was worth approximately 3,800,000,000 in 2000 (Forbes magazine) In Nike sub-contracting sweatshops in Indonesia, workers made $56-58 per month (2002). A report in The Independent states that Nike has 11 Indonesian factories producing up to 55 million pairs of shoes a year. Only 1 in 50 is sold in Indonesia; the majority are exported to the U.S.