Barbed wire. Barracks. Unsanitary, overcrowded. 12 hour work days, seven days a week. What am I describing? Sounds like a scene out of a work camp from the holocaust, or maybe some sort of strict jail. Clearly, this doesn’t describe anything in the United States, right? Wrong.
The above describes the life of over 40, 000 workers on a small island called Saipan. These people sew clothes for companies like The Gap, Levis, and Abercrombie and Fitch. And it’s all done inside the United States. Saipan is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a US territory (like Puerto Rico).
Normally, this would mean that federal labor laws apply.
But in this case, the US let the people of Saipan set their own policies. That includes a minimum wage of $3. 05, compared to our minimum wage of $5. 15. These people are tricked into coming. They are recruited from countries like China and the Philippines, brought as “guest workers” under one-year contracts.
They can be fired and deported at any impulse; and that is what happens if they complain or try to organize a union. Many are forced to sign contracts that give up their rights, including the freedom to practice their religion and even fall in love. Many workers aren’t paid the money that they were originally promised. Threatened by deportation, they are forced to donate work time and prevented from reporting problems. Payment for food is taken straight from their salary. But why do the companies use Saipan? Surely, they could pay lower wages to workers in other countries.
... pride in what you do and enjoy the people you work for.' People can provide the best in customer service only if ... Acknowledge all verbal and non-verbal messages from employees, co-workers, partners and spouses. Listen to and hear what the ... training and development, tuition fees for night courses, seniority systems, wage incentive plans, profit-sharing plans, insurance, pensions, medical / dental ...
Well, the answer lies in the label. The next time you see an Abercrombie and Fitch tee-shirt, check the label. Chances are, it proudly sports “Made in the USA.” If anyone ever really notices it at all, this label usually leads them to think, albeit subconsciously, “Oh, it was made in the USA. That means that they followed all labor laws to make it.
And I’m supporting the Americans who made it by purchasing this. I think I’ll buy it. Plus, it looks nice.” The “Made in the USA” label is an important selling point for many companies. Take, for example, Juicy Couture.
Their whole selling point is the phrase “Made in the glamorous USA.” Needless to say, this marketing tactic compensates for the money lost on salary. These companies have also saved money by not having to pay the taxes required for importing something into the US. In 1998, the factories saved an estimated $200 million by not having to pay these taxes. This essay was not designed to stomp out all breakage of labor laws.
I took a survey, asking if you knew that a company broke labor laws to make its products, would you still buy things from that company? At first, I thought most would say no, I would stop buying, but the results turned out to be 50-50. Most of the people that said yes gave reasons quite similar to that of Amy Rodriguez, “Even if I did stop buying from them, other people would still be, thereby defeating the purpose of my boycott of that store. Why should I inconvenience myself if it will have no effect on the situation itself?” I know that many companies use underpaid, overworked workers to make their products, and I’m not trying to wipe that all out. I think that these companies shouldn’t lie to the consumers and say that their products are made in the US; although they technically are, these companies have an unfair advantage over the companies that get that label the right way.
... , and smart. In the quality section they have made changes by buying the best quality parts possible and standardize the components ... 03 Oct. 2014. . Senna, Alvin. “COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE FORD MOTOR COMPANY.” NEWS WEEKLYLOGISTIC. 2013. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. . Ford. ... ;Year in Review.” – Sustainability 2011/12. Ford Motor Company, 2011. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. Zboch, Heather. “ ...
It is manipulating the consumer. So next time you go to a clothes store, check the label. And really check. Don’t be fooled by a “Made in the USA” mask. If you ” re someone who makes a point to buy clothes that you know for sure is made in the US, you’d better check on it.
Or if you ” re not that kind of person, think twice before you buy whatever it is; think about who really made it.