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Business ethic cases - Essay Example

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The article “The Great Non-Debate over International Sweatshops” by Ian Maitland deliberates the merits and demerits of the criticism on the subject of ethics with regard to companies contracting arrangements; exploiting workers in international sweatshops operated by them…
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Business ethic cases

Download file to see previous pages... At which point, he reveals his own convictions on the matter.
Maitland begins by presenting the case made by the critics against the corporations. As stated in the article companies have been accused of pursuing cheap labor all over the world to: get away with paying workers less than living wages; take advantage of child labor; avoid human rights abuse issues; indirectly supporting repressive regimes that denying workers the right to join unions and do not enforce minimum labor standards in the workplace, etc. He describes how the campaign against international sweatshops was exposed on the television, forcing the publicity- shy retail giants to take the defensive1. For example Maitland explains how Charles Kernaghan, who runs the National Labor Coalition (NLC), brought attention to the fact that Kathie Lee Giffords clothing line was being made by 13- and 14- year- olds working 20- hour days in factories in Honduras, and also arranged for teenage workers from Central American sweatshops to testify before Congressional committees about abusive labor practices. Kernaghan, went on to deliver a masterstroke, when one of the workers held up a Liz Claiborne cotton sweater identical to ones she had sewn since she was a 13- year- old working 12 hours days, during one of these hearings.2 Maitland notes that this incident had an extremely damaging effect on the companies that held their public images to be sacred. The media had a field day withimage of young exploited girl displaying the Claiborne logo and making accusations of oppressive conditions at the factory.3
Consequently, the companies for whom their image was sacrosanct and meant everything to them, petitioned for peace to protect their image, which they deem to be their most valuable asset.4 The companies adopted certain codes of conduct on human and labor rights in their international operations to ensure appropriate levels of pay and safety standards in sweatshops operated by them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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