Should we, as US citizens boycott all companies who
do not respect labor laws and continually repress workers?
Although this would seem like a worthy cause, it is not the answer. If
we stop buying from the companies who produce in EPZs it will only make
the situation worse. The reason these zones exist is because there is
a market for them, and because of the competition in the global economy,
US companies are forced to look for ways to lower the cost of production.
If we stop buying from companies who produce in the zones there will be
no need for them, and the jobs that are provided would be lost.
Should companies be forced to pay workers in the zones
This idea jumps out at me, and I definitely believe that it could be done,
but once again, the reason these zones exist is because they provide companies
with a way to lower costs, and that is mainly by cheap labor. Of course
companies could afford to pay workers more money, but that would defeat
the purpose of US companies moving production to the zones. My fear in
regulating how much companies ought to pay is that they will begin to
move their factories to other countries in the same way they moved them
from the US. That would lead to unemployment in the Dominican Republic,
and that is what we are trying to avoid.
I am not sure if anything can be done. With the competition
as fierce as it is in the world today everyone is looking for ways to
survive. US companies have to take advantage of cheaper labor because
that is one of the only ways they can compete with foreign competition.
Dominican workers have to deal with low wages because if they complain
too much the employment that is provided will disappear. It is a vicious
struggle, and ultimately the strong will be the ones who survive.