Essay on The sports shoe industry in China

Essay on The sports shoe industry in China

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The sports shoe industry in China

A sweatshop is a workplace where workers are subject to extreme
exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor
working conditions, such as health and safety hazards , and arbitrary
discipline, such as physical and psychological abuse.

Brief History: There have probably been sweatshops since one man first
began working for another. Although sweatshops certainly existed
before, the term "sweatshop" itself did not appear in common usage
until the 1890s. Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution,
employers began to look for cheap labor in order to fill the needs of
the expanding industries. Sweatshop production came out of hibernation
in the late 1960s from U.S. A combination of forces contributed to
their reappearance: changes in the retail industry, a growing global
economy, increased reliance on contracting, and a large pool of cheap
labor-mostly immigrants in the U.S. Nowadays, with the globalization
of economy, workers around the world-- from New York and Los Angeles
to Bangkok, Spain and San Salvador-- are experiencing the
proliferation of sweatshop conditions. Perhaps the sports shoe
industry in China is one of the most typical examples of sweatshop.

Most of the sports shoe factories, located in the Pearl River Delta in
south China, are set up with Hong Kong and Taiwanese investment. These
factories are contracted by Nike or Reebok and Adidas. Almost all of
workers in these factories are peasant workers (min gong) who come
from rural areas of other provinces, and 90 percent of them are women
age 17 to 23. Workers above 25 are usually regarded as too old. Some
of these factories employ children ages under 16. They have a low
level of education and are unaware of their legal rights as workers.
In general, workers don¡¯t sign any contract with the factory.

Working hour: Long working hours have become standard in the Special
Economic Zone since it was set up at the end of 1970s. Most factories
require workers to work 10-12 hours a day six or seven days a week,
workers get only 2-4 days off every month, not including overtime.
During peak seasons, particularly when there are big orders and more
work has to be done, the workers work longer hours and are given even
fewer days off per month. Workers do not have a choice about doing
overtime. If they refuse th...

... middle of paper ...

...tting worse due to exploitations mentioned above. However, do not
interpret this the wrong way. I love my country and I do not blame the
government for I believe that the government only wants what is best
for the citizens and for the nation. It would be too idealistic to
think that a single paper can come up with solutions that have eluded
government officials at the national level. However, there are some
suggestions that I came up with, and there is a very good example ¨C
the rise of Japanese economy. I think that while attracting foreign
capitals into the country, the Chinese business sector should also
consider how to generate capital in their own country. Government
emphasis in technology and education is one of the methods that could
be employed to increase productivity of the labour pool and thus avoid
exploitation. Technology advances (with little confidence to relate
this topic to technology, since I am truly aware of that the
technology expressed in different terms in real life somehow have
caused fundamental social problems) also allow the country to produce
their own products which attract foreign buyers, as in the case of
Japanese Automobile industry.

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