Business Ethics: Ethical Ethics In Sweatshops

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Since the rise of globalization and the introduction of offshoring/outsourcing, sweatshops have been an ethical issue in question. In these “sweatshops”, workers slave away for long hours in unsafe work conditions and are paid little in the end. Yet these same sweatshops also employ millions of men, women, and yes—children, drastically improving the economies in the countries they exist in. Sweatshops are a bittersweet necessity for the developing countries of the world, however, it is unethical for corporations to take advantage of the cheap and convenient labor in sweatshops to produce their products on the basis of economic need. As sweatshops are necessary yet unethical, it is imperative that they are rehabilitated over time rather than…show more content…
As unethical as they are, it is not uncommon for large corporations (particularly in United States) to offshore their production to sweatshops. Let’s take Apple for example. The most profitable company in the United States and one of world’s most successful companies is part to blame for employing sweatshop labor. Employees in factories (especially in China) where iPads and IPhones are assembled, work in harsh environments and have to bear some brutal experiences. An article by The New York Times states “Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records” (Duhigg & Barboza, para. 8). Through outsourcing, Apple’s suppliers have commonly disregarded the health and safety of workers in their factories. “137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77” (Duhigg & Barboza, para. 9). In this case, not only do you see the effects of sweatshop labor in its typical form but also that in some cases it has…show more content…
Let’s go back to China. China contains thousands of sweatshop factories, employing millions of personnel. The country currently has the 2nd largest economy in the world, right behind the United States. In addition, the countries with the largest population of sweatshops control about a quarter of global economy. Sweatshops provide employment to millions of workers across the globe, regardless of the pay. It is irrefutable that sweatshops effectively improve economic conditions and provide some opportunity to workers where work may be challenging to find. So, does this make sweatshops acceptable? Although sweatshops are economically beneficial, it would be negligent to ignore what the benefits entail. The same sweatshops employing millions of workers continue to disregard safety and well-being. With conflicting positions towards sweatshops, it is critical to bring change and to identify obligation in the effort to do

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