Sweatshops in Third World Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2320 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 21  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business


[. . .] A few of the abuses include obligatory overtime, physical violence, union busting and pregnancy tests as a condition for employment (Perrin Pp). It is said that the Taiwanese firms are following in the footsteps of many U.S. owned maquiladoras, which also take advantage of low wages, tax breaks and lax government enforcement of labor and environmental laws, however, U.S. factories tend to be less abusive because they are under constant scrutiny by non-governmental organizations and liberal politicians at home (Perrin Pp). Interestingly, in Taiwan there is little public awareness of the problem (Perrin Pp).

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Within recent years, the U.S. anti-sweatshop movement has brought global attention to Nien Hsing Textile Company, the world's largest manufacturer of blue jeans (Perrin Pp). "The Taipei company has enjoyed spiraling profits from its denim operations in Central America, which supply the huge retail demand in the United States for cheaply produced clothes" (Perrin Pp). However, in 2000 a decision by the Nien Hsing executives to fire and sue union leaders at its Chentex plant in Managua who had demanded better pay and working conditions attracted the attention of the National Labor Committee, renowned for exposing sweatshop conditions in the Honduran factory that produced clothes for the Kathie Lee Gifford label (Perrin Pp). Beyond union busting, Chentex workers alleged that the company paid subsistence wages of $60 a month or 20 cents for every $30 pair of jeans delivered to such major retailers as J.C. Penney, Target, Sears, Kmart, and Wal-Mart, as well as the U.S. armed forces, which sold Chentex-made jeans in stores on military bases nationwide (Perrin Pp).

The apparel industry is paradigmatic, in that it is completely globalized and notoriously exploitative (Ivins Pp). Apparel manufacturers are actually design and marketing firms that outsource production to independent contractors all over the world and has become a model for other industries seeking lower labor costs and avoidance of worker organization (Ivins Pp).

Term Paper on Sweatshops in Third World Assignment

While the governments of Thailand and the Philippines have made efforts to ease the situation, they are limited in the amount of reform they can institute and the social inertia of Taiwanese authorities makes their assistance unlikely (Contract Pp). The ideal situation would require radical rethinking of the entire process of supplying needed workers to Taiwan's economy and can only be brought about with help from organizations outside of Taiwan, namely foreign companies that purchase products made with contract labor (Contract Pp).

Works Cited

Ivins, Molly; Smith, Fred. Symposium: Opposing Views on Sweatshops.

Insight on the News. Nov 29, 1999; Pp. http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1571/44_15/57893725/p1/article.jhtml



White, Heather. Disturbing Trends in GLOBAL PRODUCTION.

USA Today (Magazine), May, 2000


Verite Report on Taiwan


Perrin, Andrew. Critics Accuse Taiwan of Operating Sweatshops

August 15, 2001 San Francisco Chronicle


Contract Labor in Taiwan: Systemic Problems in Need of Reform. http://www.domini.com/common/pdf/VeriteReport.pdf.

Sources Used

This source is on adobe pdf files located at website below: Contract Labor in Taiwan: Systemic Problems in Need of Reform. http://www.domini.com/common/pdf/VeriteReport.pdf.

Disturbing Trends in GLOBAL PRODUCTION.

USA Today (Magazine), May, 2000, by Heather White http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1272/2660_128/62590565/p1/article.jhtml

As U.S. corporations farm out their manufacturing overseas, they are becoming enmeshed in labor conditions that are violations of basic human rights and public relations nightmares.

ON THE U.S. ISLAND territory of Saipan, workers are held in virtual bondage, unable to leave their sub-minimum wage jobs because they cannot repay recruiting fees as high as $7,000. In Honduras, employees at a garment factory told student activists that they earn about $20 for a 60-hour workweek. In China and Vietnam, human rights groups report that workers making shoes are routinely abused physically. In the Maquiladoras along the U.S.-Mexican border, women are tested for pregnancy as a condition for employment, required to take birth control pills, and suffer other violations of their fundamental rights.

Fueled by an abundant supply of labor in the global market, capital mobility, and free trade, many American companies farm out much or all of their production to independent factories in countries with rock-bottom labor costs. The lack of restrictive and expensive government regulations overseas is also very attractive to businesses, reflecting favorably on the bottom line. This lack of regulation allows dangerous work environments to flourish. These rapidly growing supply chains are creating disturbing trends across the globe.

Verite was established in 1995 as a nonprofit organization to address the issues of global human rights and labor standards in factories that manufacture goods for the U.S. market. It offers inspection of labor practices, consulting services, and in-house training to American companies and organizations addressing child labor, hazardous workplace conditions, and sweatshop issues. Verite has an international advisory board and capabilities in more than 30 languages. Its goals are to ensure that goods produced by child labor, prison labor, and sweatshops are not found in the global production chains of U.S. companies; to help consumers make knowledgeable choices about which goods are produced under verified, non-abusive labor practices; and to improve labor standards worldwide [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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