Sweatshops are job environments or stations that are synonymous with long hours of work, poor pay for employees, and unsafe workplace practices, both literally and economically. Some sweatshops have been confirmed to have rules that limit workers’ rights, with some not even providing for toilet breaks or chatting with coworkers during working hours, and abuse being used at its highest. Such conditions can only be compared to what inmates face behind bars in dirty cells. For years, this pattern has been a force in the manufacture of products all over the world. However, its acceleration and spread have been enhanced by the globalization of business with most of the established companies taking advantage of the low-cost labor in the developing countries. Sweatshop conditions in the United States, especially in the garment industry, has caused outcry internationally by activists, government officials and the labor leaders.
In an article, how sweatshops help the poor, DiLorenzo, Thomas starts to refute the claim that industries employ poor just to lure them out of the streets to low wages since the poor consider the low pay as good money owing to the fact that initially, they had none. He says that the labor unions and activists are driven by self-interest while pretending to be on the watch against working conditions and unrealistic policies. He makes a confirmation that the human rights activists are least concerned with the well-being of the poor in the Third World. DiLorenzo, Thomas argues that if the labor unions and the anti-capitalists crusaders had their way, all the poor will be thrown out of their workstations with most of them relenting to crime thereafter, prostitution or even starve to death. He calls this as the “moral high ground” staked out in the campuses across America who have been successfully recruited into the “anti-sweatshop’ campaigns, protests and seminars.
In DiLorenzo’s opinion, the anti-factory movements are geared to derail the economy of the country by destroying the industrial civilization. He went ahead to support his claim that the workers have never led a protest and questions why the activists are doing so on the behalf of the workers who are directly involved in the environments! He believes that it is the workers who should down their tools and hit the streets against the “harsh” working conditions as claimed. He points out that as a matter of fact it is not only the workers who benefit from the sweatshops but also the people living in those areas due to provision of cheaper consumer goods manufactured and sold by the companies especially if the company deals with consumer goods with the government being the greatest beneficiary due to the amount of investment ploughed into its economy and jobs rendered to its population.
He concludes by facing it off with unions, organization, and the activities who are striving to bring to an end of the business operations carried with the sweatshops. According to DiLorenzo Thomas, American unions have always been at the forefront of anti-capitalists ideologies but have always virtually offered a hand to the all the regulatory policies and the destructive tax policies and considers them as poisons to the American capitalism. He crowns his postulations by saying that anyone who wants to support the Third world poor should only purchase the products they have labored to make in the capitalists’ enterprises.
With the respect to the author’s argument, I tend to refute his claim that the sweatshops are helping the poor. It’s true that the poor find themselves in the shops because they are unable to make ends meet for them and maybe their families. Offered better working opportunities with better pay and working conditions, the laborers at the sweatshops can not hesitate even a second. It’s not their liking but economic conditions forcing them to mind doing such jobs and mute about all the harassment they go through just to retain their bad jobs.
Most of the sweatshops do not have guidelines for their recruitment procedures enabling even the under-aged to seek employment in these companies which is easily granted to them because their employees know that no much wage will be asked for since all they need is to have the workloads cleared. No qualifications are always asked for since these companies major on garment making, bricks, cocoa, coffee, and cotton but still many suffer uncompensated injuries.
DiLorenzo claims that sweatshops can help in poverty eradication which tends to make no sense. The little earnings that these people pocket is nothing compared to the current economic rates. At the end of the day, these people will only be able to buy a light meal with the remaining money so little even to pay rent or for their children’s education subjecting them t poverty more especially when they fell sick owing to the poor conditions in the factories.
Top help save the poor and better the economic conditions, the activists, human rights authorities and all the pertinent movements campaigning against the sweatshops should not give in until the day when proper regulations governing these companies will be implemented with enactment of favorable policies to protect the workers against abuse by the so-called ‘capitalist” and given better wages in healthy working environments.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo., How “sweatshops” help the community., Mises Institute September 2006. Print.