Sweatshop Labor: Not Just a Thing of the Past

Essay by tdesando86College, UndergraduateA+, October 2004

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Sweatshop labor is still a major dilemma threatening the world in recent times. From the information I found this type of manual labor is still being used in the countries of Asia, i.e. Vietnam, China, and Bangladesh. It is also common in the Latin American and South American Countries, such as, Nicaragua & Guatemala, and Colombia & Ecuador. There once was a very big problem of low wage manual labor in the United States, and even though the number of cases has grown smaller, there still are cases of this still going on today.

The location that I chose was China, to be more specific the sweatshop workforce of the PUMA corporation. I could not find the exact average amount of money needed for medicine, food & shelter, but most workers on make about 31 cents per hour. Since I could not find the amount of money needed to survive I could not calculate how many hours per week it would it take to pay for the family's necessities.

The working conditions at these PUMA sweatshops are downright sickening. There are constant production line speed-ups and they go through a relentless numbing repetitive motions. The workers are yelled & screamed at and totally humiliated. The workers almost never attempt to unionize, because if they ever dared to speak the truth, they would be fired immediately. After being forced to work up to 16.5 hours a day, from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, six or seven days a week, they return home, exhausted, to a crowded dorm room shared by 12 workers, without hot water and forced to eat food resembling "pig slop." Yet Puma workers in China endure just this, day in and day out, year after year.

These types of jobs are not really good for the...