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Essay on Sweatshops

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Sweatshops in the United States

Americans love to shop. With malls everywhere you go, shopping just might be America's favorite past time! When you are out shopping though, do you ever stop to think where all of those clothes and shoes come from? When I was younger, well, actually until recently, I always thought they were all made by machines. Shirt machines, pants machines…you get the picture. I have learned, however, that for the most part, clothes are still made on sewing machines, by people, and often under circumstances that we can only imagine.
Sweatshops have always been a problem in the Unites States, especially during the past century. Unfair working conditions and pay prompted the formation of the Garment Worker
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In some cases, I've learned, with brute force. On August 2, 1995, the Department of Labor raided a factory in El Monte, California. There they found 72 garment workers, mostly Thai and Mexican immigrants, being forced to work 17 hours a day at wages between $.60 and $1.60 and hour. They were literally held captive at the factory by barbwire and armed guards. Employees were threatened with rape and violence if they attempted escape. The El Monte sweatshop was finally discovered when an employee escaped through a ventilation shaft.
In many sweatshops, however, the workers are there voluntarily. Even the meager wages earned are more than the undocumented immigrants workers would earn in their home countries. As long as there is a supply of willing workers, sweatshops will flourish.
So what can be done? How can the sweatshop problem in the United States be resolved? Is there even a plausible solution? Through my research for this speech I have discovered that everyone seems to have a solution, yet putting the solutions into action is another thing altogether.
Of the many solutions to the problem, the main, and most obvious solution, is government regulation. The Department of Labor monitors the garment industry, but with 800 inspectors for 22,000 garment contractors, in addition to 6 million American
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