Working conditions is the term used to explain the circumstances employees must labor in to earn a living. Our main focus is Asia, and more specifically, China. China's working conditions aren't ideal, and sometimes violate basic human rights. The labor throughout the region is cheap, which is why American countries often rely on their factories to produce their products. China's government does not have the same regulations that the U.S. does, and this leads to mistreatment of millions of Chinese employees.
The current working conditions in Asia are not looking too good. These conditions have not worsened from past conditions, however, they have not improved very much either. Many countries fear the added costs of these safety regulations. Most times these countries are afraid because they fear that if they put in these working regulations then their price of manufacturing products will go up and companies will no longer be interested in employing their citizens as their workers. Due to this, most employers in these countries forbid talk of unions and attack those who try to organize. Workers in these Asian countries have very little hope or freedom to unions and regulations that they desperately need to ensure their safety. Although many companies seek this cheap labor and do not help the workers, some companies have tried to help .A Company that is based in Asia that has tried to make things better for their workers is Phillips-Van Heusen. The company Phillip-Van Heusen “pledged more than $1 million to raise and enforce safety standards” (GlobalPost). Richer countries have also tried to help workers in poorer countries gain their worker regulations and help them be safe in the workplace. Such a country is Great Britain, “… British unions have allied with labor advocates in Bangladesh to protest the conditions under which the London Olympic apparel is produced” (GlobalPost). As one can see, conditions have not improved much and some countries are trying to fix that; however, Asian workers have a long way to go in order to gain the worker regulations they desperately need.
Why This is Important!
As people who are soon going to be entering the working world, this topic is very important to us. Though it may not affect us directly in this particular region of the world, it is the overall idea that counts. Just as we would expect there to be a set standard of rules and regulations for all companies to follow regarding the treatment of their employees, we think it's important everyone else around the world is treated fairly too!
What Can We Do?
As a country that is very proud of it's freedom, we often like to take the opportunity to spread it. However, our policies and helping hands are not always welcome. Therefore, it's important to be careful of the nation's desires when looking to reach out to them. Because China's policy isn't aligned with the ones of the U.S., it is difficult for us to come up with a proper solution. The talk of withdrawing production in China has roared quite a bit, but is unlikely. Though, a negotiation can be offered. If U.S. companies stated that they would not work with Chinese companies unless their workers were taken care of to a set standard, it could help improve conditions. It is all up to the companies that choose to do business with factories, and they are the ones that can truly influence the changes.
A blog that follows working conditions throughout the world very closely. To keep up with this topic, take a look!