Against Sweatshops

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Some companies have acceded to public pressure to reduce or end their use of sweatshops. Such firms often publicize the fact that their products are not made with Anti-globalization activists and environmentalists also deplore transfer of heavy industrial manufacturing (such as chemical production) to the developing world. Although chemical factories have little in common with sweatshops in the original sense, detractors describe them as such and claim that there are negative environmental and health impacts (such as pollution and birth defects, respectively) on workers and the local community. Various groups support or embody the anti-sweatshop movement today. The National Labor Committee brought sweatshops into the mainstream media in the 1990s when it exposed the use of sweatshop and child labor to sew Kathie Lee Gifford's Wal-Mart label. United Students Against Sweatshops is active on college campuses. The International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit[20] on behalf of workers in China, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Indonesia, and Bangladesh against Wal-Mart charging the company with knowingly developing purchasing policies particularly relating to price and delivery time that are impossible to meet while following the Wal-Mart code of conduct. Labor unions, such as the AFL-CIO, have helped support the anti-sweatshop movement out of concern both for the welfare of people in the developing world and that companies will move jobs from the United States elsewhere in order to capitalize on lower costs. For example, the American labor union UNITE HERE, which represents garment workers, has only approximately 3,000 garment workers remaining in its base, because some of the larger garment making operations have already been transferred o... ... middle of paper ... ...s are abused in violation of that country's labor laws." The bill would direct the Federal Trade Commission to conduct an investigation, based on complaints, to determine whether a foreign factory was abusing employees producing apparel and other products in violation of core International Labor Organization standards. If such a ruling were made, the FTC would issue an order prohibiting products from the factory from being imported into the U.S. Each violation of that order would carry a civil penalty of $10,000 in addition to other duties, fines and penalties imposed by the FTC. Customs & Border Protection, a part of the Department of Homeland Security, would be required to enforce the penalties. He added the bill would give American companies the right to sue their competitors in U.S. courts if those competitors were selling merchandise produced in sweatshops.[26]

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