Gap Sweatshops Case Study

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Gap’s sweatshops (1995)

Gap is a huge worldwide corporation, one of which most of us are familiar with. In fact, some of our clothes we are wearing right now might have been made by Gap, or by the companies that are owned by them. But even huge, successful companies like Gap mess up.

A sweatshop is a factory that “violates 2 or more labor laws”3, these sweatshops tend to pay their workers only a fraction of the minimum wage in their country, and force them to work for long hours in bad and often dangerous working conditions. The workers also tend to be abused both physically and verbally. Sweatshops are commonly found in LEDCs, where the education isn’t the best, and very few jobs are available in LEDCs, which sometimes forces the people
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After their so-called ‘investigation’ they said that "Based on our investigation, we have determined with confidence that the Mandarin factory treats its workers well and meets our standards of fairness and decency." "Despite this intensive effort our investigation has not uncovered any significant evidence supporting the allegations or indicating that there has been any serious violations."2 But this was later exposed as a cover-up by human-rights-activists and human-rights-experts - The Gap did not know that while they were running the ‘investigation’ the NLC were interviewing the fired workers and were gathering testimonies. But not only that, but earlier in the year, when the NLC (national labour committee) started raising awareness of what was going on behind the scenes, Gap decided to threaten them, saying that they will sue them, if they don’t stop. But the NLC didn’t, and made it clear that if they were actually sued, it would give them legal access to gap's company records. Gap changed strategies and decided to make and distribute a code of conduct in all 500 factories in all 50 countries. However, it was later pointed out again by the NLC that even though Gap did write up a code of conduct, the problem was that the workers in central america had no knowledge of it at all. Faced…show more content…
And Gap’s excuse? They ‘forgot’ to translate the english code of conduct to spanish.

However, even though Gap’s initial responses were not good, in the end they made the right choice. In november of 1995, a campaign was made to encourage Gap to do the right thing, and on december of 1995, Gap made an agreed to allow third party/independent monitoring of their factories. But Gap had the choice to either make the agreement or to ignore all of the protests and campaigns, and sure, there company was being pressured from a large number of different people, but in the end, Gap was the one who made the choice.

In conclusion, I believe that even the Gap has made the wrong choice by attempting whitewash the whole thing when they were first faced with the problem at the factory, they did the right thing in the end. Gap was also the first retailer to allow independent monitoring in 1995, so I also believe they were successful at being a good ‘example’ of handling gaffes.

How successful was

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