Sweatshops, Choice, and Exploitation

Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (4):689-727 (2007)

Authors
Matt Zwolinski
University of San Diego
Abstract
This paper argues that a sweatshop worker's choice to accept the conditions of his or her employment is morally significant, both as an exercise of autonomy and as an expression of preference. This fact establishes a moral claim against interference in the conditions of sweatshop labor by third parties such as governments or consumer boycott groups. It should also lead us to doubt those who call for MNEs to voluntarily improve working conditions, at least when their arguments are based on the claim that workers have a moral right to such improvement. These conclusions are defended against three objections: 1) that sweatshop workers' consent to the conditions of their labor is not fully voluntary, 2) that sweatshops' offer of additional labor options is part of an overall package that actually harms workers, 3) that even if sweatshop labor benefits workers, it is nevertheless wrongfully exploitative
Keywords Sweatshops  Exploitation  Consent
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DOI 10.5840/beq20071745
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Exploitation and Sweatshop Labor: Perspectives and Issues.Jeremy Snyder - 2010 - Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (2):187-213.
The Ethics of Sweatshops and the Limits of Choice.Michael Kates - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (2):191-212.
Sweatshops and Consumer Choices.Benjamin Ferguson & Florian Ostmann - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (3):295-315.

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Exploitation and Sweatshop Labor: Perspectives and Issues.Jeremy Snyder - 2010 - Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (2):187-213.

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