The emergence of the 1911 Triangle Shirt Factory fire is linked to poor working conditions. The fire incident is a lesson for organizations to establish laws and policies that safeguard employees within the working environment (Pence et al., 2003). The workers were exposed to an inhumane working environment, as evidenced by the low pays and long-working hours. Also, most of the workers who included young immigrant women were disorganized amidst the poor working conditions. Failure by the management to meet the agreed fundamental worker rights and privileges led to strikes. The fire that broke down in the year 1911 related to the poor working conditions and the workforce’s disorganized status. For example, working long hours could have made the employees tired and unable to pay adequate attention to their respective working areas. Notably, failure to integrate safety and security mechanisms in the factory denied the young women working at the company to escape after the fire broke. The building had one fire escape route where this created a challenge during the escape since it collapsed, leaving the workers under a threat of the raging flames of fire. Thus, the factory failed to develop a conducive working environment for its staff, exposing them to grave danger.
The Sweatshop business in the 21st century has seen a large segment of the American clothing manufacturers shift from organized labor to non-unionized operations. The move was linked to the prevailing hostility in the political environment. The lack of support from global leadership continues to affect the sweatshop business in the 21st century. Miller (2003) reveals that sweatshops should not be easily tolerated in developing nations. Such a notion significantly interferes with the establishment of sweatshop business in the advanced countries across the world. However, most of the entrepreneurs have reached out to populations like Asians and Latin American immigrants as a workforce in the sweatshop businesses. These establishments also moved their operations offshore as they sought cheaper labor and supportive conditions such as free trade and limited tariffs. The integration of sweatshops in the 21st century contrasts with the 20th century in line with the use of minority populations. During the two centuries, manufacturers utilized Asians and Latin Americans as their key workforces. During the 20th century, sweatshop businesses also relied on increased demand and low trade barriers in expanding their establishments. Sweatshops flourished in the 20th century amidst deindustrialization (Warner, 2011). Therefore, sweatshops progressively grew and developed in the 20th and 21st centuries since they relied on immigrant populations for the labor force.
Sweatshops are a key challenge across global countries. These businesses portray cruelty towards a workforce. Corporate issues such as monotonous operations, long working hours, minimal pay, and dangerous working environment tamper with employee productivity. These are potential threats to the health and well-being of employees. However, nations can adopt and implement appropriate policies, plans, and strategies that dictate how sweatshops should manage their corporate operations. These approaches guarantee adherence to worker safety and security. Over time, reviewing these measures helps strengthen the approaches put in place to meet the health and welfare of all workers based in sweatshop establishments.
Overall, sweatshops are common businesses worldwide. As they continue attracting a large segment of the workforce, especially among the immigrant populations, it is essential to cater for the interests and welfare of these workers. Developing and implementing potential measures with a greater capacity to meet their well-being exists as a critical mechanism for eliminating issues linked to poor working conditions.
Miller, J. (2003). Why economists are wrong about sweatshops and the anti-sweatshop movement. Challenge, 46(1), 93-122. https://doi.org/10.1080/05775132.2003.11034187
Pence, P. L., Carson, P. P., Carson, K. D., Hamilton, J. B., & Birkenmeier, B. (2003). And all who jumped died: The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. Management Decision. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740310468135
Warner, A. J. (2011). Sweatshops Labor. Slavery in the Modern World: A History of Political, Social, and Economic Oppression, 60-68.