‘Confessions of a Sweatshop Inspector’ Shows Need for Standards in Trade Deals
Both Democratic presidential candidates and a majority of the American public believe U.S. trade deals should include assurances that workers are paid a decent wage and can work in safe conditions. But until such provisions become part of trade agreements and are enforced, private corporations who contract with foreign suppliers hold the reins.
In response to press reports and demands by consumers, workers, students and human rights groups, many major companies created codes of conduct to try to ensure their products are produced “ethically.” But do those codes really work?
In this month’s Washington Monthly magazine, T.A. Frank, a former sweatshop inspector or “corporate social responsibility monitor,” describes what it’s like on the ground for those who are charged with enforcing codes of conduct.