Several Examples of Factories in Third World Countries - Essay Example

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The paper presents political economy-cases and methods of multinational exploitation. Multinational companies principally exploit the attributes of different locations either by following labor laws that do not reflect the current sentiment in the market or by monopolizing the market…
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Several Examples of Factories in Third World Countries
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Download file to see previous pages One case study of the garment industry from around the world is carried out to ascertain the working conditions of those employed in this industry. The industrial term for such factories are ‘sweatshops’ which employ workers at low wages and force them to work in unhygienic conditions for a long period of time. It is said that the garment industry in Central America employs 80% women between the age group of 14-26. At Doall, a Korean company operating in El Salvador that makes the famous LizWear and Liz Claiborne fashions; women are made to work from 6.50 am to 10.30 pm with two half-hour breaks, one for lunch and the other for dinner. (VIDEA, 2000 ) In the rush hour months, they have to work for 7 days week clocking roughly 90 hours. To prevent them from sleeping, the company also encourages them to take a ‘No Doze’ pill which is a highly unethical practice. For the first eight hours, these workers are paid 60 cents an hour and 1.20 dollars per hour as overtime. To sum up, a worker would be paid 8.40 dollars for an arduous 11-hour shift which is considered far below the minimum wage requirement. (VIDEA, 2000) The Liz Claiborne collection is, however, marketed as a very modern, fashionable and sophisticated dress around the world. However, if indications are to show the working conditions at the Doall factory in El Salvador is anything but sophisticated. Apart from low wages, the working conditions are pathetic. Air that is full of dust and lint cause breathing problems, skin rashes and other kind of allergies. Bathroom breaks are limited and workers are obligated to work overtime. Failure to adhere to these norms results in suspension or withholding of ‘attendance’ bonuses. Apart from these excesses, new workers are forced to take blood and pregnancy tests to prevent employing pregnant women. Women in the ironing and cleaning sections are forced to stand all day causing inflammation in the feet and working ambiance is especially unpleasant with supervisors yelling at them for not being able to meet targets. (VIDEA, 2000) Employers know that any kind of trade unionism with the nature of work involved would cause severe problems for the company. Hence any kind of activity to that effect either by way of organization or by distributing trade union literature is considered subversive. Studies carried out by the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice Workers in factories of Lavapant, Vaqueros, and Cantabria indicate that workers were not paid overtime even though they had worked over 60 hours. This is in violation to the Mexican labor law which clearly states that maximum eight hours during the day, seven hours during the night and that the first nine hours of overtime are to be paid at double the standard rates. Reports also show that child labor with pathetic wages was being employed in these factories. Statically tabulating the wages, it showed that while a worker in the third world country was paid 60 cents an hour, the same work fetched a person in Canada 9.77 dollars an hour and 10.06 dollars an hour for someone employed in the US. (VIDEA, 2000) For a Claiborne jacket that was sold around the world at 178 dollars, a worker in the Doall factory at El Salvador was paid 74 cents for the stitching the same. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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