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Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief - Nike promotes sport and healthy living but the lives of workers who make Nike shoes and clothes in Asia are anything but healthy

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Introduction

RICH MAN, POOR MAN, BEGGAR MAN, THIEF. Slavery is alive and well in the 21st Century. Ever wondered, as you slipped on your trainers or pulled on a pair of jogging bottoms what life would be like for the person who made them? Nike promotes sport and healthy living but the lives of workers who make Nike shoes and clothes in Asia are anything but healthy. Independent research indicates that they live in extreme poverty and suffer stress and exhaustion from over work. Around the world there are millions of people whose lives depend on global trade. Many are small children between an age of nine and seventeen, working in factories trying to earn just a little money for their families. But working in these factories isn't living. It's sweating. It's exhaustion. It's two meals of rice and vegetables a day. It's two twenty-four hour shifts a week. It's food or medicine, not both. It's a mat to sleep on in a nine by nine cell. ...read more.

Middle

In the U.S.A. and Europe a Nike shirt costs thirty pounds, yet the workers may only get about a quarter of that price per week in wages. The third world kids are victims of poverty. We the consumers are victims of high prices and ignorance. Every time we wear an item of clothing produced by named brand manufacturers we advertise their products. We have been given false hopes, the way that Nike gives false hopes to the workers in their factories. The clothes we buy from Nike are made in factories from China to El Salvador. These factories can only be called sweatshops. The conditions people are expected to work in are nothing short of appalling. Wages are abysmal; hours are long and welfare non-existent. Workers who remained anonymous for fear of loosing their jobs were interviewed by Sarah Strickland in Phonom Penh and are quoted as saying, "Some only earn �20 a month. They have to get their card stamped when they go to the toilet and sometimes they faint from exhaustion and the heat." ...read more.

Conclusion

Well, we could try protesting to companies like Nike. A letter of disapproval might be a start, but will these multi-million pound companies listen to us? I think we should protest to the world trading organisations and persuade them to set standards for all companies around the world. Standards that are fair to everyone; the factory workers, the companies and you the consumer. A world trade mark could then be a sign of quality without cruelty, a guideline for the unsuspecting buyers around the world that the product didn't cost someone more than a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, and doesn't cost us our peace of mind. * Rich man - The executives of the large companies who make their money from us all * Poor man - The consumer who is being conned by these companies and kept in the dark about the way in which their products are produced. * Beggar man - The people in third world countries who have little or no rights in the workplace, slaves to their rich masters. * Thief - The Multi-million pound companies, the "fat cats" of society, making their money from exploiting others. By Vicky Bishop ...read more.

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