NIKE SWEATSHOPS: Are Nike’s workers paid a living wage?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCrUZuyZHyk&feature=related

Additional video: Nike Sweatshops – Never say Never

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=9a_D-azUogg&feature=fvwp

Most of the U.S. corporations make their millions by selling products that have been produced in sweatshops. These sweatshops are “substandard work environment where workers are paid less than the minimum wage and are not paid overtime premiums, and where other labor laws are violated” (Eitzen 420). These sweatshops are all located in other centuries; therefore it becomes easier for these hotshot multimillion corporations like Nike to exploit, abuse, and control workers.  “Historically, low labor cost meant that workers received low wager, had inferior or nonexistent fringe benefits such as health care and pensions, and worked in unhealthy conditions (Eitzen 418). Productivity is key for Nike but at what cost.

In this video we see how workers form sweatshop out in Indonesia get paid living wages that are not enough  to survive.  They get paid “one million two hundred and eighty five thousand rupiah per month”, however such necessities like housing, food, water, and transportation are very expensive (video).  A side from the low wages many of these Nike workers are forced to work 16 hours shifts with short or no break time.  Workers are expected to work day in and day out to keep these jobs, which pays them miserably. These sweatshops that are produced and manufactured by multimillion corporations give their workers no choice and no escape from the poverty they live in.  

The core issue at hand is not the quality of the Nike products but the work environment and pay quality in which Nike employees are working under.  Sweatshops are under grown work environments that are unsafe and unhealthy for workers.  The horrible conditions and abuse that these sweatshop workers endure are the reasons why this issue is a social problem. A majority of the population including myself buy Nike products, which fund and allow theses sweatshops to continue to exist.  It becomes a social issue because we allow these hotshot corporations to continue their productivity.  We demand these products and consume products without worrying about where they come from or who is producing them.

Hotshot corporations like Nike care more about paying for low cost labor than their workers. I feel that society in some sense is also to blame. We tend to ignore the fact that sweatshops do exist, however in reality they exist because of our demands.  We as a consumers need to ensure that workers who produce the products we demand are also taken care of.  Strict labor laws that insure proper wages, benefits, and work environments need to be implemented worldwide. Society needs to work together to improve the work environments worldwide because it affects everyone.   

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