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Exploitation of Children and Women in Sweatshops
Sweatshop is a term used in the description of a place of work whereby there are socially unpleasant conditions of work. The kinds of work might be very hard, lowly paid and dangerous. Employees in the sweatshops might work for longer hours with low wages, notwithstanding the regulations that compel overtime pay or even a minimum wage; this also infringes the child labor laws. There are some factors that demonstrate that sweatshops still exist as discussed below.
Transition to Service Economy
The more advanced an economy is, the increased or higher the service sector’s share. This trend can be referred to as the service economy or even the move to services. The growth in share of services is not only higher in the production, consumption, trade and employment, but also the percentage or fraction of the services in the intermediary inputs of the production of other sectors. Although it is usually common that an economy appears to move to services, as there is an increase in its per capita income, there are various answers to the questions of why the moves happen in the first place and the kind of effect they have, particularly on the development. Apparently, one of the most persuasive arguments concerning the subject might be the Cost Disease Hypothesis, which states that the shift towards services happens primarily as a result of the lower productivity, high expenses of the sector and hence increased relative costs as compared to those in the industry of manufacturing (Kalleberg, 2011).
Similarly, the shift to the sector of services takes place as a result of the service sector being stagnant and not progressive. The concept’s projection of the effect of the shift is as dull as its description of the causes. This is due to the fact that it expects that the development rate of an economy and productivity gains need to fall with time as the services sector’s share rises. Attractive as it may appear, there are plenty of examples, for instance, the United States with the largest service sector worldwide has demonstrated dynamic growth during the 1990s due to support Information Technology and innovative service sectors such as retail trade, finance and communication. In addition, it is apparent in our everyday life that there are some innovative kinds of services providing, like e-banking, retail megastores that are very efficient, e-commerce among others. It is common to come across news stating that the making and exporting of movies is equal to, or more profitable as compared the manufacturing of vehicles (Kalleberg, 2011). All of these latest developments do not appear to fit well with a stagnancy perception of the service sector. With the emergence of BPOs has greatly discouraged unionization as no firm allows for their creation. This makes workers to suffer in silence as they are not able to protest or even strike.
The Changing Nature of Work
There have been significant changes in business offices over the years as materials, management theory and technology have transformed. The speed at which this change is occurring is on the rise, and its nature now encompasses where and the way individuals work together. Offices have experienced changes over the last millennium with notable ones in the technology sector, like computers and typewriters as well as the introduction of cubicles. The core of all these was a model from the industrial age whereby the idea of ‘going to work’ was all about appearing at a particular site and working on a particular task individually or with the same group of individuals (Kalleberg, 2011). Managers operated from the concept of management or leading by seeing, and they regarded workers and work executors, and not as initiators of ideas.
It should be taken into consideration that the nature of work is considerably changing, and this is influencing where and the way individuals work together. Managers should have a good comprehension of the way to lead in this new setting, and workers should also understand better the way to work together with others effectively. Any organization can alter the layout and décor of their office. For the purposes of accomplishing significant benefits, organizations should properly engage and make their workers successful in the new work environment (Hodson & Sullivan, 2011). The world is quickly embracing outsourcing as a new business model and this has proved successful. The major reason for outsourcing is to cut down the costs of operation and this is done by looking for cheap labor. As a result, multinational companies, mainly from the United States, Europe and China look for cheap labor from regions like Africa and India, hence employing the locals in large numbers, as they are able to sustain this because the wage bill is very low as compared to back home. This greatly degrades the working conditions for these individuals, as the companies are able to exploit them by working for longer hours as they really need the job to earn a living.
The Precarious Nature of Low-Wage Service Sector Jobs
There is an apparent proof of a rise in all of the precarious work’s elements in the developed and third world countries, even though the patterns are not consistent from one country to another. Nonetheless, this changing pattern of employment has an impact on the disbursement of the household opportunities together with wages on the labor market occurring between the workers with precarious and standard job. The rise in these employment forms could hence give rise to a new source of income inequality in most areas or parts of the world (Hodson & Sullivan, 2011). This inequality in income forces women and children to seek jobs in the sweatshops so that they can be able to supplement with the little that they get so that they can continue living a better live and even afford school fees. Prom the economic point of view, sweatshops are regarded as an exchange perspective whereby both employers and employees benefit when they willingly enter into a labor agreement, notwithstanding the low wages as seen by observers.
On a daily basis, more and more employees find themselves in precarious works such that they do not have the right and freedom of even joining any union, let alone being in a position of having a collective bargain with their employer. As a result of this, the International Metalworkers Federation’s Secretary General, Marcello Malentacchi, raised an alarm regarding the impact of precarious work on the most critical rights of employees at a forum that took place at the International Labor Office’s headquarters. As such, the women and children who are the mostly affected lot find themselves suffering in silence, as they do not have anyone to protect them. It is as if they are tied that they do not have time to join the important unions that could help them in airing their grievances (Hodson & Sullivan, 2011). However, some unions and groups of workers have been forced consider changing their organizing strategies and tactics. This is because some of them seem not to be influential enough to fight for the rights of the suffering employees or they are dealing with too powerful employers.
The unbalanced demands between family and work interests have been on the rise in the third World countries particularly over the past years. This has specifically been experienced by the women who have to work in order to earn a living and taking care of the needs of their families (Ehrenreich, 2011). These workers go through a lot of stress at work such as having to work for longer hours at a lower pay. They do not have sufficient time to attend to their families and the money that they get from the work is also not enough to take care of all the needs of their families. This also gives them a lot of stress considering that they also do not have good working conditions.
First World Problems versus Third World Problems
It is beyond reasonable doubt that the Third World countries have more problems than the First World countries. For instance, the rate of poverty and unemployment is higher in the developing countries as compared to their developed counterparts. This forces workers in the developing countries to take whatever job that they find regardless of the low pay (Ehrenreich, 2011). This leads to the exploitation for workers who are mainly women and children. The need for cheap labor also forces international companies from the developed countries to seek employees from the developing countries. However, since these companies offer higher pay as compared to the local firms, people tend to scramble for the available opportunities, hence leading to their exploitation, such as working for longer hours and in poor conditions. This should be stopped by standardizing wages and working conditions so that workers can enjoy their work.
Ehrenreich, B. (2011). Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. (10th Anniversary Ed.). New York, NY: Picador.
Hodson R, & Sullivan T. (2011). The Social Organization of Work. 5th edition. Wadsworth Publishing.
Kalleberg, A. (2011). Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s-2000s. New York: Russell Sage.
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