Dear Next President,
Imagine you are a young kid, maybe 10 or 12 years old. Imagine you wake up early in the morning, not getting a healthy amount of sleep. You go to work, not school, so you can help your family. You work in horrendous conditions, violating working standards in the United States. This is the reality for many people in developing countries, including kids, in sweatshops. In sweatshops, workers spend long hours in horrible conditions manufacturing products that we buy in the United States. Due to this, United States companies that have sweatshops in other countries should create better and safer working environments with better pay.
The name sweatshop comes from how the workers sweat in the hard conditions. One of the earliest sweatshop was in Ecuador, where Spanish conquerors forced the natives to make goods. In the 1880s with immigration to the United States popular, sweatshops also came along. Immigrants were grateful for the jobs, but didn’t realize the poor conditions they were in. Eventually, labor laws forced sweatshops out of the United States.
In America, there are many strong labor laws, however, the same can not be said for developing countries. Even if there are strong labor laws in the United States, that does not change the fact of United States companies using sweatshops. Labor violations in sweatshops get passed the United States Department of Labor. How can the nation be against bad labor conditions but allow companies in the United States to have sweatshops? Plus, according to DoSomething.org, an estimated 168 million children ages 5-14 are forced to work in developing countries. Think about what would happen if kids this age in the United States were forced to work; it would be stopped.
Some people may say that sweatshops are good for the American people. People may like how they can buy items produced in sweatshops for a really low price. Plus, according to Benjamin Powell at Forbes, “In the grand scheme of things, they are better off with the factories than they would be without them; the benefits outweigh the risks.” Although they may be better off with the factories than without them, they still deserve a better pay and working standard. If something were to happen to them, such as an accident while working, how could they continue to work? They would go through rough times without a job, but wouldn’t have the problem if the factory had safe and fair working standards.
Many people in developing countries are affected by this, and not enough people in the United States recognize the problem. The way to solve this problem is not necessarily getting rid of the shops entirely, since they produce so many goods and supply many jobs, rather the way to solve this problem could be to raise the payments for the workers, and create safer and more fair standards in the workplace.
Sincerely, Nic K