The 2012 Dhaka fire broke out on 24 November 2012, in the Tazreen Fashion factory in the Ashulia district on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. At least 117 people were confirmed dead in the fire, and over 200 were injured, making it the deadliest factory fire in the nation’s history. The fire was initially presumed to be caused by an electrical short circuit, but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has since suspected that the fire had been arson and an act of “sabotage” due to the occurrence of previous comparable events. This event and others similar to it have led to numerous reforms in workers’ rights and safety laws in Bangladesh.https://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/2012_Dhaka_fireInside America’s biggest prison strike: ‘The 13th amendment didn’t end slavery’https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/22/inside-us-prison-strike-labor-protest Both situations are pretty similar as in both countries, workers are deprived from the rights they deserve and their voice is oppressed. Freedom of choice isn’t present, so the definition of captive employees can be implied to these workers.The central question which this literature review aims to answer is “Are markets based on captive employees (i.e., inmates; people with a cellular phone; people with very limited occupational choice) morally legitimate?” In this literature review we will study the environment and situation of every worker and problems they face and how can it be improved and where is the reluctance coming from.
With the help other academic literature we will have an overview of the conditions and judge between the line of morality and immorality we have created.This paper will consist of 1. Descriptive/analyticPrison labour is legally required in America.
Most convicted inmates either work for nothing or for pennies at menial tasks that seem unlikely to boost their job prospects. At the federal level, the Bureau of Prisons operates a programme known as Federal Prison Industries that pays inmates roughly $0.90 an hour to produce everything from mattresses, spectacles, road signs and body armour for other government agencies, earning $500m in sales in fiscal 2016. Prisoners have produced official seals for the Department of Defence and Department of State, a bureau spokesman confirmed. In many prisons, the hourly wage is less than the cost of a chocolate bar at the commissary, yet the waiting list remains long—the programme still pays much more than the $0.12-0.
40 earned for an hour of kitchen work. [ https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21718897-idaho-prisoners-roast-potatoes-kentucky-they-sell-cattle-prison-labour ]The situation in Bangladesh is no different than the prisoners in USA. Workers in Garment Industry have more or less same condition like a prison. Wages are as low as $38 a month. Sweatshops proliferate.
Labor conditions are so dangerous that an estimated 1,800 garment workers have lost their lives in factory fires and building collapses since 2005. The latest collapse claimed 1,127 lives, the world’s worst industrial accident since 1984. Welcome to Bangladesh. Is this where you want your clothes made? For many well-known global retailers, trying to remain true to their ethical standards, the answer is a resounding yes. One reason? Having profited from the cheap labor in Bangladesh’s 5,000 garment factories, retailers are seen as having a duty to improve working conditions. Given the horrific scale of last month’s collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza building outside its capital, Dhaka, Bangladesh may be ripe for reform. [ https://www.
csmonitor.com/Business/2013/0527/Is-it-ethical-to-keep-buying-clothes-from-Bangladesh ] The Bangladeshi garment sector is a leading garment manufacturing industry in the world that has been growing constantly during the last decades. Today the garment sector represent the 80% of the national export and counts USD 19 billions revenues; these numbers describe the sector as the most important manufacturing industry in Bangladesh. The numbers are also outstanding when it comes to number of workers employed, about five millions, and number of factories about five thousands of different sizes. The cheap labour cost attracted many international brands that chose the Bangladeshi factories to produce their products for the European and US markets that take up to the 60% and 20% of the total export. Despite the impressive numbers presented, the level of working conditions cannot be described with the same positive attitude. In fact to an increasing level of profit and continuous expansion, the new wealth has not been equally distributed and workers are employed in factories that too often can be categorised as sweatshops.
The working conditions do not allow a decent level of living for garment workers that are exploited and forced to meet exhausting production quota for very little level of wage and very low social security. The situation is even more worsened by the very low power that unions have and their limited activities that cannot ensure a proper protection of workers’ rights. [ https://www3.
fairwear.org/ul/cms/fck-uploaded/documents/countrystudies/bangladesh/WorkingconditionsintheBangladeshigarmentsectorSocialdialogueandcompliance.pdf ] 2) Opinion Are markets based on captive employees (i.e., inmates; people with a cellular phone; people with very limited occupational choice) morally legitimate?I would say it is not. It’s not moral for a whole bunch of reasons.
For starters, slavery or indentured servitude is immoral period. Full stop. A lot of people believe slavery is illegal in the United States. It’s not. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolishes slavery with two exceptions: anyone convicted of a crime, and military conscription.
As far as I’m concerned, slavery is always wrong.On top of that, it creates an economic incentive to pass longer sentences and imprison more people. Creating economic incentives to imprison people leads to corruption. The judicial system has become extremely corrupt in the U.S.
Because the prison system is a for-profit system. An American judge was recently arrested for taking kickbacks for every person he sent to jail: https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2011/08/12/pennsylvania-judge-gets-life-sentence-for-prison-kickback-scheme/#39fbedb44aefAnyone who believes this is an isolated case and he’s the only judge to be paid to put people in prison is seriously naive.A great example of how corrupt prison labor systems make the judicial system happened in California last year. California’s prison systems are desperately overcrowded, with people sleeping in their own filth on the floor. When a Federal judge ordered the state to release some prisoners, the state refused–because the prisoners were cheap labor and releasing them would cost the state revenue.http://thinkprogress.
org/justice/2014/11/17/3592964/how-californias-program-to-have-inmates-fight-wildfires-could-be-keeping-people-behind-bars/Prison labor is also immoral because it drags down the economy. Normal workers can’t compete with forced labor. If a business has the ability to turn to prison labor, it can artificially lower its prices and boost its profits, which means it has a competitive advantage over businesses that have to pay their employees. It’s slavery, it corrupts the judicial system, it creates financial incentives to imprison people, it damages the economy. Yep, I’d say that’s immoral.”“Sure. Forced prison labor is also moral, as long as it’s properly regulated.
What would be immoral is allowing someone to impose a financial obligation on society by breaking the law without providing some means for society to be reimbursed. Say you kill someone. You are tried, convicted, and put in prison.
It costs the taxpayers $35,000 a year to provide you with food and shelter every year for the rest of your life, plus whatever it cost them for your trial. Is it really moral for society to have to support you because you killed somebody? Shouldn’t the people paying for your living expenses be entitled to something in return? We run into problems because of bad laws (war on drugs) and corrupt officials. But expecting prisoners to at least partially offset the cost of keeping them incarcerated isn’t immoral in and of itself.
”“It depends.Unforced prison labour is not intrinsically immoral (not is forced prison labour in my view). Whether a particular system of prison labour is moral or not depends on various empirical factors. Let’s go back to first principles, the justification for imprisonment.There are at least 4 justifications for imprisonment.
i) keeping the public safe, by keeping dangerous people away from themii) a deterrent effectiii) rehabilitation, so that when/if you’re released you are well integrated into society and do not reoffendiv) retributionI happen to think that all 4 play an appropriate role in justifying punishment, but I realise that this is controversial within contemporary moral thought.Now we’ve got the 4 reasons, we must assess whether prison labour comes into conflict with any of them. I take it as read that it doesn’t come into contact with keeping the public safe, deterrence or retribution. I guess it’s possible that if the prison labour is fun, it would detract from deterrence by being more fun than just being locked up all day, but I don’t think that’s a realistic possibility.
In real life, the sort of work prisoners are able to do is boring, monotonous and low status.So, that leaves us with rehabilitation. I think that a work programme in a prison can be compatible with rehabilitation, depending on the nature of the work.
It should seek to instil values like persistence, seeing the benefit of playing by society’s rules (ie. reasonable pay that’s “worth the effort”), taking pride in one’s work etc. I am sceptical to the extent that actually existing prison work fulfils this – rather the objective is to get as much labour as possible at the lowest marginal cost. Effectively, a subsidy to business. It is also true that when prisoners are doing paid work, they’re not doing other forms of rehabilitation (drug treatment, education etc).
If there’s not sufficient time for those other, more important programmes, then that is a bad thing.Matt Wasserman mentions that it helps to recoup the cost of running the prison service. I’m not at all convinced that that’s much of a KPI, at least in Britain. Britain’s politicians, with a few honourable exceptions, seek to make prison as nasty as possible within the confines of human rights law. It’s not obvious to me that long term cost-minimization of our penal system is much of a concern, otherwise we would take more serious looks at the success rates of our rehabilitation programmes, not take it as dogma that drugs must be illegal and so on. I assume the political culture around prisons in the USA is broadly pretty similar to Britain.So yeah .
.. there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with labour in prison. What matters is whether or not it conflicts with those 4 objectives of imprisonment. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t.”However in Bangladesh, instead of only convicted prisioners forced to work, innocent poor people are forced to work at low wages which leaves no debate about whether its immoral or not.3) Research QuestionDoes the immoral behaviour of markets based on captive employees effect customers of these industries? Are we as customers effected by the fact that these industries are producing market products immorally?