Sweatshops And Disney Essay, Research Paper

Consumers can play an of import function in shuting sweatshops, and they have a right to cognize what

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companies are utilizing sweatshops to bring forth their merchandise there are simple stairss consumers can

take to assist contend against the usage of sweatshops. Right now many celebrated companies are utilizing

sweatshops readily to salvage money. However, ironically, the companies that use them are the

companies that can afford to pass the excess money for regular labour. Some of these name trade name

companies include ; Nike, Disney, Kathie- Lee Gifford, Gap, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren, and

Wal-Mart. Many people have no thought that these companies are utilizing sweatshops. Disney for

illustration is a really good known company. No 1 would of all time anticipate that their favourite childhood

Disney memory could hold been created through sweatshops and child labour. Disney is merely one

of the many good respected, loved companies with dark secrets. It is difficult to believe as a

consumer that a company that consumers have grown to swear and love utilizations such forced labour,

with underaged sweatshop employees doing consumers favourite characters come to life. Well,

Peter and Rochelle Schweizer makes it clear that it could be a possibility: ? The face of Disney the

maker is non a reasonably 1. All excessively frequently Disney apparels, playthings, and bangles are made by

kid labourers. Disney licensees have been caught utilizing child labour on three continents? ( 245 ) .

Many other companies are practising the same type of labour policies without consumers? s

cognition. If companies feel that sweatshops are a nice and just manner of making concern and

hold no jobs with go oning to utilize them, they should at least do these grounds populace and

face their consumers? s concerns. They should allow their consumers know why they choose to

carry on their concern in this mode. Consumers would so hold the existent information on the

merchandise that they choose, and non merely what the company wants them to

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know. Consumers would so be able to establish their merchandise pick on work topographic point conditions as

good as the over all merchandise information.

Some companies? s usage of sweatshops have been made public. Kathie-Lee Gifford? s

interior decorator apparels company for illustration was widely apparent in the intelligence in 1996. Gifford was

shocked when she heard of the sweatshop conditions her company was utilizing. Since this Gifford

has been involved in forming the Apparel Industry Partnership with the U.S. Department of

Labor. This organisation tries to check down on the usage of child labour. This is one illustration of

where the populace influenced a company to alter its policies. This gives hope that with consumer

support other companies can be influenced in similar ways.

Disney, nevertheless, has non been so notable in their attempts. Disney licensees go out of

their manner to convey their company to states such as Burma, where the pattern of child labour is a

normal mundane event, and they exploit this to make their merchandise every bit stingily as possible.

Schweizer explains how distant the locations that Disney licensees usage, ? For old ages Disney

licensees were fabricating in a state few Americans could turn up on a map. Burma- besides

known as Myanmar, the name given it by the governing military junta- is a poorness & # 8211 ; stricken state

wedged between India, China, and the exuberant mountains of Thailand. ? ( 251 ) . This is an ideal

location because so few people are cognizant of it. This makes it easy for the Disney licensees to

go on their concern without being detected. Another penetration to Burma is that drug Godheads hold

great power and are protected by the authorities. Disney licensees had to acquire the permission to

hold sweatshops in Burma from these drug Godheads. This shows how the drug Godheads are the 1s

with the power in Burma. First companies must win the regard of these drug Godheads before they

are able to work at that place. ? Burma? s attractive force as a fabrication site is obvious: ultracheap labour. ?

( 252 ) .

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When consumers and human rights groups along with labour organisations took action in

1996, they did acquire a response from Disney. The National Labor Committee and other

organisations together made Disney? s engagement in Burma populace with the Free Burma

Campaign. Disney denied these claims. They pretended they had no engagement in Burma.

They knew how the negative public proclamation would ache the company, which is the major

ground why companies hide the facts from the consumers. Schweizer explains that many other

respectable companies have volunteered to supervise their working conditions, nevertheless, Disney is

non one of them. This shows that Disney is cognizant that the job of sweatshop exists in their

licensees operation.

Disney may hold changed its ways refering Burma after public protests, but it

seems less than interested in undertaking the kid labour job. Retailers and

makers have been asked by the U.S. Department of Labor to voluntarily

pledge to supervise their contractors to do certain no kid labour is being used.

Tonss of well- known companies have joined, including Abercrombie and Fitch,

Guess, Lands? End, Lerner New York, Levi Strauss, the Limited, and others.

Disney has non ( 254 ) .

However, Disney continues to be a really hypocritical company by go oning to remain active in

UNICEF activities. Yet, Disney can go on to entertain 1000000s of kids mundane. It is a

shame that the kids that are working for them do non have the same benefits. It is rather

possible that they would love to hold a short interruption to bask a cunning Disney film.

This shows how companies try to apologize what they know is incorrect. Consumers must

know that they are being deceived by the image they have of the company. The company CEO? s

can no longer disregard the state of affairs. Consumers have to allow the companies know that they are

aware of this state of affairs. They need to allow the companies know that they can non go on to conceal

the job. Something demands to be done. Consumers must halt back uping these companies. If

the consumers keep on disregarding this, so the companies win. Consumers have to get down contending

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for those kids? s rights because no 1 else will until person starts. The kids are trapped

in a society that encourages this atrocious state of affairs. After the consumers get involved, so the

companies can non disregard their public. They will hold to look for another beginning of economic

growing. Without the companies there desiring the kids to work, they will be set free from

these conditions. But we do so confront the job of what the kids would make for income. It is

atrocious to believe that the kids have to depend on these occupations to populate. Although that is the ugly

truth, there has to be a manner that these kids can acquire into school where they belong. An even

better state of affairs result would be that the kids could acquire better rewards and working

conditions. That would be the ideal state of affairs.

The grounds the companies have for utilizing sweatshops must be considered every bit good. We

know that they are experiencing force per unit area to happen inexpensive labour in order to drive up net incomes. But if the

net incomes of Michael Eisner are compared to a Haitian worker, as the National Labor Committee

provinces, ? It would take a Haitian worker run uping Disney garments 156 old ages to gain what Michael

Eisner earned in one hr! ? ( sec.2 ) Something demands to be done so that the difference between

these rewards are non so great. The National Labor Committee provides more atrocious statistics

to believe about ; ? Disney reported a record 63 % addition on its first one-fourth net incomes, Disney Television

Stationss reach one out of every four families in the U.S. , one out of every four film tickets

sold in the U.S. is for a Disney movie or for a movie distributed by Disney, Disney wireless Stationss reach

123 million people a hebdomad? ( sec.3 ) . This shows merely a portion of the influence the Disney company

holds on the U.S. populace. It besides illustrates the fact that Disney can decidedly afford to remain off

from child labour and the usage of sweatshops to make its merchandises. Many companies are merely like

Disney this is merely one of the many illustrations.

It is of import for consumers to cognize and understand these facts. Consumers are so

faced with a determination: to acquire involved, or to travel on disregarding the job because they feel there is

nil they can make. But without the assistance of these consumers, organisations? efforts at halting

these companies fail. The organisations rely on consumer support for their motions. It is besides

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of import for these organisations to demo the consumers how easy it is to acquire involved and have

their sentiments and voices heard. All consumers? s thoughts are of import.

There are many little stairss that the consumers can take to do a difference in the usage of

sweatshops. The best manner would be to acquire everyone to take merely one measure. If merely a few people

took a measure a twenty-four hours there would be a enormous difference. But if J

ust a one individual took a measure a

twenty-four hours, the consequence would non be as great. It is of import for the consumers to take the first measure in

demoing their concern. If consumers ne’er voice this concern to the companies, they ( the

companies ) continue to believe that they are acquiring off with utilizing this inexpensive labour. Here are

some thoughts on how consumers can easy acquire involved on a day-to-day footing to guarantee they are demoing

support. Holstein makes consumers cognizant that the procedure of acquiring involved can be a simple

one, ? There is no manner to pick up a merchandise and immediately cognize how it was made. But there are

really practical things you can make over a period of clip to give yourself greater assurance about

what you buy. ? ( par. 1 )

One of the simplest things consumers can make is to look into where the articles are made.

Consumers can make this by looking at the label on the ware. If they see that it was made in

a 3rd universe state that regularly utilizations sweatshops such as: China, Burma, Haiti etc.. , the

possibility is greater that the ware was made in a sweatshop. If the consumer does non experience

comfy traveling by the label entirely, they can inquire a shop director. Shop directors are normally

friendly and willing to portion any information that they know about their merchandises with the

consumer. However, this could both be an advantage or a disadvantage. The shop director may

know less than you do about the state of affairs or could hold even been instructed non to speak about

such an issue with clients. The antonym could be true every bit good. The shop director could hold

been trained with the cognition of all the company? s labour Torahs and issues and would be eager to

portion this learned cognition. It is worth the opportunity to seek either manner.

Once a consumer has found where the merchandise was made, they should be cautious of

certain states. Some of the tactics taken are consumer boycotts. This is the tactic that the

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oppositions of the government in Burma employed. Boycotting is non ever the best action to take, as

explained by a Reebok executive: ? If Americans decided that they weren? T traveling to purchase association football

balls made in Pakistan, a million people would be out of occupations tomorrow? ( par. 3 ) . Simply,

boycotting is non helpful, all this does is do more people lose their occupation. This is non a lasting

solution. A more effectual manner to demo concern is to inquire inquiries about the states of beginning.

Learn more about the merchandises that consumers buy.

If the consumer sees a made in the U.S.A label, they should non presume it is safe. Many

merchandises made in the United States are besides made under less so ideal state of affairss. Consulting a

monthly State Labor Review shows that the United States is still seeking to work against this.

? Child labour continues to be an issue of great involvement at both the Federal and State degree. A mix

of statute law was enacted this twelvemonth, with Torahs passed both to beef up and to loosen up child labour

ordinance. [ in the U.S. ] ? ( Nelson, par. 7 ) . The United States itself is still holding jobs

weeding out these companies who are bring forthing ware in such conditions. The job of

sweatshops is besides apparent in the U.S..

Consumers should utilize the resources given to them. One highly utile resource is the

U.S. Department of Labor? s website [ hypertext transfer protocol: //www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/nosweat/trands.htm ] .

Here they can happen a list of retail merchants that are utilizing enlightened sourcing patterns. They can besides

reach the consumer group that they use most regularly and carry them to include workplace

conditions in their study. By making this the U.S. Department of Labor is doing a batch of

consumers more cognizant of a state of affairs of sweatshops, most of these consumers they reach are

wholly ignorant of the state of affairs. This could greatly act upon the manner people shop.

After consumers take these stairss, the companies will see the consequence. Hopefully the consequence

will be great adequate that the company will alter their labour patterns. By doing the

companies change their labour patterns, the consumer has made a difference. Without the

consumer and the assistance of different National Labor Committees, the companies could non be

persuaded to alter their ways.

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Consumer? s kids can besides acquire involved. Childs have a voice and when they are

informed of such activities as kid labour and sweatshops they can be utile tools. Maria Sweeney

proverb this possible in her 4th grade category. Every twelvemonth she has her pupils choose a subject of

societal significance for an terminal of the twelvemonth drama. One twelvemonth her pupils chose planetary sweatshops and

take the Nike and Disney companies to be their focal point ( par. 2 ) . The kids were cautious with

taking these companies.

Nike was at the top of the list, ? Most childs think they can? t live without Nike, ? one

pupil observed. The others agreed that the company holds great sway over

immature people. Several wondered if we could even vie with its power: ? The

whole point of the drama would be to acquire them to fall in the boycott, ? one pupil

cautioned, ? but most childs would ne’er halt have oning Nike material. It wouldn? T be

cool at all to be against Nike? ( par. 3 ) .

The pupils agreed that childs have the right to cognize of the atrocious conditions. These kids

knew that they could do a difference if they informed their equals of the state of affairss that they have

become cognizant of.

The pupils wanted to be able to make all of their intended audience. This is why they

choose Disney as the 2nd company, trusting to make the younger audience. The pupils knew

this was of import intelligence to acquire out. Parents of these kids showed some concern in their

kids non hearing both sides of this issue, so their instructor made the attempt to emphasize the

difference between the ends behind the companies? public dealingss section versus the human

rights groups. The public dealingss section? s end being to advance a positive public image

and thereby enhance net incomes, their motivation here being net income. This would someway explicate to the

pupils why the populace dealingss sections would publically deny any engagement with kid

labour or sweatshops. The human rights groups nevertheless are motivated by morality and justness.

This manner the kids knew the differences between both sides and could do their ain

sentiments. ( par. 15 )

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Once the kids? s drama was put together, the school refused to allow them execute it in

forepart of the remainder of the school as originally planned. The kids recognized this as censoring.

They were being forced to merely execute it in forepart of an audience dwelling of their parents.

However, a newsman heard of the kids? s bad luck and got response from the community. By

utmost luck the pupils were asked to execute their drama on Broadway ( par. 19-20 ) .

Consumers of all ages can do a difference if they are given the opportunity. Everyone can

conveying their ain personal experiences and sentiments to acquire involved. This shows how anyone can

do a difference. The kids? s thoughts would now be heard by a larger audience so of all time

expected. Their feelings are being heard by a more diverse group of people. This means that they

may assist even more people realize the truth to this atrocious state of affairs in these hapless 3rd universe

states, who rely on U.S. companies to put up sweatshops so they can gain a meager life.

In decision, Moberg shows us that consumers can do a difference in the battle against

sweatshops, ? Consumer power propels the thrust against sweatshops today, but most organisers

believe that this entirely will bring forth merely limited advances. ? ( par. 8 ) Consumers must help

organisations in their battle against International sweatshops by acquiring involved, being cognizant, and

being non nescient. Without the consumers the organisations battle is unpointed. They are contending

for what most consumers are nescient about. It is of import to acquire the information out to

everyone about the hapless conditions, our mundane merchandises are being created in. Everyday more

and more consumers are being made cognizant, although they do non cognize how to assist. That is

where the organisations get involved. They provide the information on how single consumers

can do a difference. Everyone is of import in this cause. The information is out at that place, it merely

demands to be accessed.

Moberg, David. Bringing Down Niketown. The State. v268 no21 p15-16. 7 June 1999.

National Labor Committee.Campaign For Labor Rights. Disney Alert # 2. 11 June, 1997.

22 March 2000.

National Labor Committee. Are Human Rights Compaigns Necessary? 28 July, 1997. 22

March 2000

Nelson, Richard R. State labour legistration enacted in 1998. Monthly Labor Review. v122

no1 p3-15 January 1999.

Schweizer, Peter and Rochelle. Disney the Mouse Betrayed. Washington DC: Regnery

Publication: 1998.

Sweeney, Maria. Sweating the Small Stuff: Mickey, Michael, and Global Sweatshop.

Extremist Teacher. no 55 p11-14 1999