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Essay preparation sheet with quotes and stats etc. for essay on sweatshops in North Korea (2017)

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Sweatshops in North Korea- RipCurlTM

What is occurring?:

Chinese manufacturers are establishing factories in North Korea and employing North Korean workers in China to make items of clothing for around half of the wages of a Chinese worker.

How is it allowed to happen?:

The labels on the clothes have ‘MADE IN CHINA’ written on them to prevent consumers from knowing that it is actually Korean workers being exploited as slaves and not the Chinese.

Why is it occurring?:

North Korean people are being manipulated by their government following UN sanctions to stop exports of coal and other commodities to work for their country. Half of their wages go to the Government of North Korea to fund their nuclear missile regime. Chinese manufacturers are utilizing the cheap wages and abundance of forced labour of the Koreans to make items of clothing for brands like RipCurl.

What events / social attitudes caused the injustice?:

They are not paid a minimum wage and after 50% of it going to the government they do not have enough to live on or to sustain their families. The attitudes of the Chinese manufacturers that they can use the workers is a form of injustice towards them because they deserve a wage and shelter and food just as much as any other worker. “In North Korea, factory workers can’t just go to the toilet whenever they feel like, otherwise they think it slows down the whole assembly line. They aren’t like Chinese factory workers who just work for the money. North Koreans have a different attitude -- they believe they are working for their country, for their leader.”

When did it start?:

It has gradually developed over the last 6 months. Ever since the sanctions from the UN on coal etc. it has ramped up.

Who was involved?:

Chinese manufacturers, North Korean workers, the North Korean government and its regime., RipCurl and other clothing companies that rely on the Chinese goods. The entire supply chain is involved.

What is original justice?:

The state before Adam and Eve committed the original sin by disobeying God.

What are the elements that make up injustices?:

Greed. Companies like RipCurl seeking the most profit and using Chinese manufactures at the peril of their North Korean forced employees.

Why is your chosen issue a ‘social justice’ issue?:

Injustice is experienced by the workers because they cannot speak out about it because of their strict government and extreme communist society. They are being used and not cared about and do not have the basic human rights of employees in the rest of the world. They also only get half of their wage which is also unjust.

Why is it wrong?:

The intentions of the Chinese to exploit them is wrong, the intentions of the government to use their pay to launch missiles is wrong, the fact that companies that we buy from use the Chinese knowing that they use the Koreans is wrong, bypassing UN sanctions to use misssiles to threaten other countries is wrong.

Does it go against Catholic Social Teaching? How is it violated?: 


QUOTES:

Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union national secretary Michele O’Neil- "It's based solely on an endless search to find the cheapest possible labour," she said.

Ms O'Neil said the only reason Rip Curl's Chinese manufacturer would have contracted out the work to North Korea was because workers in that country were even cheaper because they had lower pay rates and worse health and safety conditions than those in China.

Finished clothing is often directly shipped from North Korea to Chinese ports before being sent onto the rest of the world, the Chinese traders and businesses said.

 

“North Korean workers can produce 30 percent more clothes each day than a Chinese worker,” said the Korean-Chinese businessman.

“In North Korea, factory workers can’t just go to the toilet whenever they feel like, otherwise they think it slows down the whole assembly line.”

“They aren’t like Chinese factory workers who just work for the money. North Koreans have a different attitude -- they believe they are working for their country, for their leader.”

And they are paid wages significantly below many other Asian countries. North Korean workers at the now shuttered Kaesong industrial zone just across the border from South Korea received wages ranging from a minimum of around $75 a month to an average of around $160, compared to average factory wages of $450-$750 a month in China. 

“Wages are too high in China now. It’s no wonder so many orders are being sent to North Korea,” said a Korean-Chinese businesswoman who works in the textiles industry in Dandong.

Chinese textile companies are also employing thousands of cheaper North Korean workers in China.

North Korea relies on overseas workers to earn hard currency, especially since U.N. sanctions have choked off some other sources of export earnings. Much of their wages are remitted back to the state and help fund Pyongyang’s ambitious nuclear and missile programmes, the U.N. says.

North Korean factory workers in China earn about 2,000 yuan ($300.25), about half of the average for Chinese workers, the factory owner said.

They are allowed to keep around a third of their wages, with the rest going to their North Korean government handlers, he said. A typical shift at the factory runs from 7:30 a.m. to around 10 p.m.

STATISTICS:

The value of all the unpaid labor that North Koreans are forced to perform by their government amounts to around $975 million annually, according to a new report by Open North Korea, a Seoul-based NGO. 

The report, titled “Sweatshop, North Korea,” estimates that 400,000 people are in the lowest class of forced laborers, called dolgyeokdae. The country has a total population of 25 million.

IMAGES:

Workers cutting fabric for Rip Curl jackets in a factory about 100 kilometres south of Pyongyang in North Korea. Photo: Anjaly Thomas

http://www.smh.com.au/business/surf-clothing-label-rip-curl-using-slave-labour-to-manufacture-clothes-in-north-korea-20160219-gmz375.html


 

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