Corporate Duty Essay

685 words - 3 pages

If we are to look at this question from an ethical view point then it would not be enough for a corporation to simply follow the laws overseas. They have a moral obligation to ensure their products are being produced in factories that are safe. Additionally, proper supervision to enforce safety standards and working conditions will ensure workers are cared for and not treated as machines to be thrown away or replaced when they break down. Most of what we buy in our own country is made overseas in countries where workers rights are ignored. Walmart, Apple and Nike are three examples of corporations making huge profits from people who have no voice and are usually kept from organizing to bargain for changes in their working conditions. However, from a corporations viewpoint they only want to see the bottom line so why should they care?

Well, not only is it their morally obligated duty to care but if they did it would actually benefit their bottom ...view middle of the document...

When I grow up I want to work for them.”

Take note though, it’s not as if this is only happening overseas. Right in our own backyard workers are abused every day. It’s common knowledge that illegal aliens come to this country in hopes of finding a good job only to be put to work in an agricultural or sweatshop job and abused under threat of deportation or violence. There are numerous children brought over as modern day slaves with little to no pay or sustenance. Read this story: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/12/02/slave.labor.ring.busted/ That’s right! Slavery on American soil, 144 years after the Emancipation Proclamation! There are instances of some companies making an effort to do right; minimum-wage and overtime agreements, cracking down on abuse and setting guidelines for humane working conditions with factory inspections being conducted regularly. However, it’s not that easy to enforce.

Manufacturers, especially the ones in China, know how to get around these regulations. Keeping numerous sets of books, hiding unsatisfactory working quarters, or making fronts for the actual factory itself so it appears to be a happy work place. Read this story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/business/global/superficial-visits-and-trickery-undermine-foreign-factory-inspections.html?pagewanted=all It’s obvious that it will take local government intervention in order for conditions to truly change and these abuses to stop.

As far as making a fair wage, you want the workers to be satisfied because as I noted above; a happy worker makes for a quality product. Looking at a country's standard of living as well as their inflation would be a good start. Additionally, whether it could be an emerging market may influence the amount of money you want to put in a workers pocket as that money may come right back to you when the worker shops. When all is said and done, U.S. companies must be held to the same standard we have here no matter what country they do business in. Ironically the American consumer is partly to blame as well. Our desire for cheap products available NOW has created the incentive for these abusive shops to exist in the first place.

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