Sweat Shops Essay

Submitted By Lona-Beavers
Words: 931
Pages: 4

May 8, 2013 America the Wretched
Sale, Price reductions, and bargains are all words that Americans like to hear but how far will citizens go to ensure a continued supply of merchandise? Many Americans are willing to look the other way while corporations force dehumanizing and cheap labor. Throughout history Americas government have traded fair wages and good quality workman ship for cheap merchandise and dehumanizing labor from immigrants. From indentured servitude to the Bracero Program to modern day sweatshops the sacrifice of human rights is made in exchange for inexpensive commodities. In 1865 slavery in America was abolished with this movement involuntary servitude was illegal leaving hundreds of Plantation owners without working, resulting in an economic downfall. Many of recently freed slaves were poor and in need of work so wealthy businessmen hired them as indentured servants. For four or five years men would work to pay off loans given to them by landowners. Housing meals and simple necessities were supplied to them but their boss still had the right to forbid marriage or kids or any other types of “misbehavior “ that might take place. With indentured servitude almost the same amount of work was done at the property then during slavery. This tactic was different from slavery because all the workers were there by choice. Although in major debt with the Land owners the laborers’ had all chosen to be in that debt; so because it was not a forced action it was not slavery regardless of the conditions the men were forced to work in. Through the scorching heat of summer and the cold dead of winter the men were forced to work; the boss who held their debt held their freedom and with a tight grip. Many men did not make it out of their servitude to stand independently before they died. Because of the second Great War starting in 1944 President FDR was forced to find cheap workers that would do back breaking labor. At that time many people were crossing the southern border trying to escape Mexico and accomplish all their hopes and dreams that America held. Because of the growing illegal immigration problem and the lack of workers FDR made an act called the Bracero Program. Through this program Mexican families could move to America on time cards and work in crop fields the labor was extremely difficult and all the workers were mistreated. “We worked from sun to sun and we didn’t get many breaks” (…). Even after the mistreatment that the Mexican workers endured they were still eager to work in the fields, “I was so blessed just to have a job in America” (…). Many were severely devastated when their monthly pay showed. “We had gotten $3.95 an hour-that’s less then half of minimum wage,” (…) Because of America’s selfish ambitions innocent hopeful workers suffered. Over the next sixty-eight years America failed to see much progress in their production process. Hundreds of students each year travel to America with hopes and dreams of becoming successful. They come on exchange visas and are immediately employed by big companies like Hershey’s and Forever 21. This seems like a sweet gesture on their part, trying to help the new immigrants in this big world, however, these students are forced to work in dehumanizing and many times deadly conditions. A Hershey’s worker on strike says, “we are forced to lift many heavy crates-over 60 pounds each and if we don’t the boss tells to get out” (…). A girl working for forever 21 finally spills “I have to always work my best; or else I don’t eat for many days” (…). Many of the workers at apparel franchises are paid by the amount of garments they sew rather then by the hour. “My family was paid $.03 a skirt and