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Assignment Questions

The Problem of Employee rights and Sweatshops

A proposal argument, written for an academic audience, in which you will identify (and frame) the problem about and then recommend a policy initiative that is either pending or under serious consideration as best the solution to this problem. This assignment builds upon the Update Essay, in which you analyze a problem and how it has changed since the publication of ND. Your primary objective in the Advocacy Essay is to identify what you believe to be the best policy under consideration today to solve this problem and then present an argument about why this policy is the best solution.
6-7 Pages and Works Cited
MLA Format

I have chosen the bill H.R. 4613, which is bellow

A Step-by-Step Approach to Writing Paper

Title: identify the ND problem and the proposed solution

Introductory paragraph(s)

– mention how BE describes the problem in ND
– use some good research data to demonstrate the scope and seriousness of the problem today
– explain why middle-class people should care about the problem (ethos)
– explain why the problem needs urgent attention (crisis)
– identify the best plan now under discussion (or under attack, if you are defending a proposal) to address the problem
– name the person(s) or agency sponsoring the plan
– briefly describe the plan
– give several strong reasons why this is the best plan (thesis). You don’t need 3 reasons, but you probably need more than 1.
– make sure these reasons are in the most logical order (importance or chronology) and don’t overlap

Typical Kinds of Reasons for Proposal Arguments:

– Causal: Your plan best addresses the major root causes of the problem (is not just a temporary band-aid approach).
– Comparison: Versions of this plan have succeeded in other jurisdictions (state, cities, even other countries). This reason must also include a justification for why the plan would also work on the level that you are advocating.
– Coverage: This plan benefits the most people, most effectively and/or fairly.
– Cost/Benefit Analysis: The benefits of your plan outweigh the costs, both in the short and long term.
– Feasibility: The means exist for it to be implemented now, not in some ideal future.

Next paragraph(s)
– describe the crisis in more detail (from good research sources), just like you did in Paper 1

Next paragraph(s)
– describe the plan you are advocating in more detail. Quote from it and from its supporters.

Next paragraph(s): Begin your argument showing how this plan is the best one to address the crisis
– start with a topic sentence that mentions the first reason in the thesis, introduced with an explicit transition, at the least, “The first reason why this plan is the best is….”
– explain what it is about the plan that gives it this superiority (see “kinds of reasons” above)
– quote from the plan
– cite detailed data from good sources to show how the plan would work to justify this reason, that is, how it would address the problem (who exactly would it affect, and how). You may quote the general conclusions of experts, but also give specific examples of the kind of evidence on which these conclusions are based.
– split overly long paragraphs into sub-topic paragraphs.
– help readers follow the logical flow from point to point and from paragraph to paragraph by providing transitions

Next paragraph(s)
– start with the second reason mentioned in the thesis, introduced with an explicit transition, at the least, “The second reason why this plan is the best is….”
– explain what it is about the plan that gives it this superiority (see “kinds of reasons” above)
– quote from the plan
– cite detailed data from good sources to show how the plan would work, that is, how it would address the problem (who exactly would it affect, and how)

More paragraphs like these, depending on how many reasons were announced in the thesis

Next paragraph(s): Counter-proposals
– acknowledge that there are other plans or critics of your plan
– name the other plan(s) or the critics’ position(s) and explain why they aren’t as good as what you are advocating
– discuss these credible alternatives and possible objections fairly and objectively
– you may concede some limitations to your proposal, but try to rebut competing proposals and objections as fully as possible
– show how and why your plan is better than others
– show and how your plan’s benefits outweigh its potential drawbacks

Final Paragraph(s)
– explain what specific steps need to be taken to get your plan working ($, officials, legislation, PR campaign, other)
– give details about costs, agent of change (who or what is going to put your policy into effect)
– explain what readers do to support it.
– explain realistically the plan?s chances for success

Conclusion: Advocacy Statement/Reaffirmation
– remind reader of the crisis and urgent need to do something
– offer hope (the plan you are advocating)

Works Cited
– list all the works that you cite in the paper in MLA format

Also, remember to include a graphic illustration somewhere in the paper. First-hand information is optional.

My side notes to help with the ND (nickel and dimed book) and BE (Barbara Ehrenreich)
Barbara Ehrenreich feels low-wage workers are in an upwards battle they can never win. The middle class is what the low class caters to. They make, serve, prepare, and handle all of the middle classes products. This makes the world go ?round, as the middle class feels unaffected by the working conditions of those supporting their selfish and self indulgent lifestyles. Changing the way that the lower class is treated at their jobs would not only improve their lives and self confidence but eventually make the rest of the United States, and American Territories, prosper. If the low-wage worker feels more appreciation for their labor, their may be less need to strike and cause a halt in their particular industry. If the un-safe situations and mistreatment of an American worker, native or foreign, keeps on the current track there could be more problems with better education. The environments in which the products are made affect them and therefore affect the consumer or middle class. The problem needs to be resolved because of the rate of incidents caused in the workforce. Low wage employees do not have the luxury of taking off work when they are sick, or injured, and if they do they might lose their jobs. So these poor low wage workers continue to work through all sicknesses, this can cause problems no matter what the job. When a person is sick they could become dizzy, nauseated, achy, have problems with hearing or vision, as well as becoming lethargic, with constant sneezing or coughing. All of these symptoms can cause interference with any type of work, whether it is to ?infect? food at a restaurant, miss small details on the product line, or create an unpleasant atmosphere between employee and consumer. There are some low-wage workers who are under the impression that they are working for the United States, yet are simply being sent to American Territories, such as Saipan, and are not even aloud to leave their work at an American ?sweatshop?. These workers live in horrible and unsanitary cubicles in shared barracks, located with in the gates of their factory.

A cite I wanted to include was a video clip on Saipan:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7543104430091001172

The Bill:
[109th CONGRESS House Bills]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access]
[Introduced in House]
[DOCID: f:h4613ih.txt]

109th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 4613
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide access to information about sweatshop conditions in the garment industry, and for other purposes.
_______________________________________________________________________
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
December 16, 2005
Ms.Velazquez or herself,Mr.Owens, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr.
Kildee, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Ms. Schakowsky, and Ms. Kaptur)
Introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on
Education and the Workforce
______________________________________________________________________
A BILL
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide access to information about sweatshop conditions in the garment industry, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Garment Consumer’s Right-to-Know Act of 2005”.

SEC.2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) The production of garments in sweatshops that violate labor rights and standards burdens interstate and international commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce by spreading and perpetuating labor conditions that undermine minimum living standards and by providing an unfair means of competition to the detriment of employers who comply with the law.
(2) The existence of domestic and foreign working conditions detrimental to fair competition and the maintenance of minimum standards of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being of domestic and foreign workers are a continuing and growing problem in the garment industry.
(3) Many consumers of garments wish to know whether the garments they purchase in interstate and international commerce are made under working conditions that the consumer deems morally repugnant, indecent, violative of workers’ human dignity and fundamental rights, or otherwise unacceptable. The absence of reliable and available information about such sweatshop conditions impairs consumers’ capacity to freely and knowingly choose whether to purchase garments made in sweatshops and sold into interstate and international commerce.
(4) The Congress concurs in the findings of the Comptroller General that most sweatshop employers violate the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.).
(5) The failure of these employers to maintain adequate records, as well as the lack of access to such records by consumers, employees, consumer and employee representatives, and the public at large has adversely affected and continues to adversely affect the ability of employees and the Department of Labor to collect wages due to workers and to otherwise ensure compliance with the Act’s wage and hour, child labor, and industrial homework provisions.
(6) These failures of recordkeeping and lack of access to records–combined with the inadequacy in the scope of information that manufacturers have been required to record and disclose–also obstruct consumers from freely and knowingly choosing whether to buy garments that are made under sweatshop conditions.
(7) It is necessary to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) to ensure free consumer choice and to promote fair competition and working conditionsthat are not detrimental to the maintenance of health, efficiency, and general well-being of workers in the garment industry.

SEC. 3. RECORDKEEPING AND DISCLOSURE IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 11 the following new section:

“recordkeeping and disclosure in the garment industry

“Sec. 11A. (a) An apparel manufacturer shall maintain, for not less than 3 years, the following:
“(1) The same records and information with respect to the employees and home workers of each contractor engaged by the apparel manufacturer that the apparel manufacturer is required to make, keep, and preserve with respect to an employer’s employees and home workers under section 11(c).
“(2) Records of the following, with respect to the apparel manufacturer and each contractor engaged by the apparel manufacturer:
“(A) The address of the headquarters, principal places of business, and place of incorporation (or other legal registration) of the apparel manufacturer and each contractor.
“(B) A full description of each production run of the apparel manufacturer and of each production order placed by the apparel manufacturer with the contractor, including descriptions of the items manufactured or otherwise transformed by the apparel manufacturer or contractor, and of the attendant processes of manufacturing and transformation, that are sufficiently detailed to enable consumers, employees, consumer and employee representatives, and the public to readily identify–
“(i) the type, brand, style, or other identifying features of the particular final retail product to which a production run or production order applies;
“(ii) for each process of manufacturing or transformation, the quantity of items manufactured or transformed by that process, the date of work performed, and the location of the facility where work was or is performed by employees of the apparel manufacturer fulfilling a production run or of the contractor fulfilling the production order;
“(iii) the class or type of employees that performed each process of manufacturing or transformation;
“(iv) the age of each such employee; and
“(v) for each such employee, identified by a unique number divulged only to that employee, the regular time and overtime hours worked (as determined under section 13), the wages and benefits paid, and the method of calculating any piece rates or incentive rates paid.
“(C) The names and addresses of all persons who are financially invested or interested, whether as partners, associates, profit sharers, shareholders, or through other forms of financial investment, in the apparel manufacturer and each contractor engaged by the apparel manufacturer, together with the proportion or amount of their respective investments or interests, except that in the case of a publicly traded corporation a listing of principal officers shall suffice.
“(3) Identification of–
“(A) all applicable labor laws; and
“(B) every charge, complaint, petition, or other legal, administrative, or claim submitted, filed, served, or in any other manner brought by any party, and every action taken by any public authority or private arbitrator during the previous 5 years, pertaining to compliance or non compliance by the apparel manufacturer and each contractor with the applicable labor laws.
“(b) Prior to, or concurrent with, an apparel manufacturer’s placement of a production order with a contractor to manufacture apparel, the apparel manufacturer shall enter into a contract with the contractor that requires the contractor to provide to the apparel manufacturer, in a timely manner, the records and information required under subsection (a).
“(c) An apparel manufacturer shall diligently enforce any contract specified in section 11A(b), including initiating legal action against the contractor in an appropriate court.
“(d)(1) Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, an apparel manufacturer shall submit copies of the records and contracts required under subsection (a) and (b) to the Secretary, who shall make the information contained in those records and contracts fully and freely available to the public, through printed and electronic databases that are available via the Internet and readily searchable by content.
“(2) Not later than 1 year after enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations indicating the specific categories of data an apparel manufacturer and each of its contractors shall submit. The Secretary shall ensure that those categories are sufficient to ensure that the database required under paragraph (1) is readily searchable by name of apparel manufacturer and contractor, address of apparel manufacturer and contractor, date of each production run of the apparel manufacturer, date of each production order or purchase order between named apparel manufacturers and contractors, job categories of each apparel manufacturer and contractor for each production run, purchase order and production order, categories of violations and other information for each apparel manufacturer and contractor specified in subsection (a)(3)(B). The Secretary shall provide for the submission of such data through a standardized electronic means that is freely available to all apparel manufacturers and contractors.
“(e)(1)(A) Any employee of an apparel manufacturer, or of a contractor engaged by such manufacturer, any organization representing the interests of consumers in the United States, and any labor organization representing employees in the garment industry in the
United States or in the country in which the respective contractor does business may bring an action against such manufacturer or contractor for violation of such manufacturer’s obligations under this section in an appropriate United States district court.
“(B) An apparel manufacturer or contractor found liable in an action under this paragraph shall be subject to an award of compensatory, consequential, and punitive damages, as well as equitable relief. Any such damages shall be awarded to, and apportioned among, the employees of the contractor as to which the apparel manufacturer has failed to maintain information required under subsection (a) or has failed to enter into or enforce contracts as required under subsection
(b).
“(C) Plaintiffs in such actions shall be entitled to a trial by jury and to attorney fees and costs in the same manner as provided in section 16(b).
“(2) The compliance of an apparel manufacturer with this section, with respect to the information and records employees and home workers of each contractor engaged by the apparel manufacturer and the contract and enforcement requirements of subsections (b) and (c), may be enforced in the same manner as records and information the apparel manufacturer is required to make, keep, and preserve with respect to an employer’s employees and home workers under section 11(a).
“(f) For purposes of this section:
“(1)(A) The term `apparel’ means a garment (or a section or component of such garment) designed or intended to be worn by men, women, children, or infants and to be sold or offered for sale.
“(B) Such term includes clothing, knit goods, hats, gloves, handbags, hosiery, ties, scarves, and belts.
“(C) Such term does not include pre-manufactured items, such as buttons, zippers, snaps, or studs.
“(2) The term `manufacture’, with respect to apparel, means to design, cut, sew, dye, wash, finish, assemble, press, or otherwise produce.
“(3)(A) The term `apparel manufacturer’ means any person, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, that–
“(i) manufactures apparel or engages in the business of selling apparel; or
“(ii) engages a contractor to manufacture apparel.
“(B) Such term does not include a contractor.
“(4) The term `contractor’ means–
“(A) any person who contracts, directly or indirectly, with an apparel manufacturer to manufacture apparel (including any subcontractor of such person) for such manufacturer; and
“(B) any agent, distributor, or person described in subparagraph (A) through which homework is distributed or collected by such an agent, distributor, or contractor engaged by an apparel manufacturer.
“(5) The term `applicable labor laws’ means the Federal, State, or international laws or regulations to which an apparel manufacturer or contractor is subject in the area of labor and employment, including wages and hours, child labor, safety and health, discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, work-related benefits and leaves, and any other workplace condition or aspect of the employment relationship.
“(6) The term `appropriate court’ means, with respect to an apparel manufacturer or contractor–
“(A) an appropriate United States district court;
“(B) a court of any State having jurisdiction over the apparel manufacturer or contractor; or
“(C) a foreign court or tribunal having jurisdiction over the apparel manufacturer or contractor.”.

SEC. 4. CIVIL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF RECORDKEEPING.
Section 16 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C.
216(e)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
“(f) Any person who fails to maintain or submit information, records, or contracts as required under section 11(c) and section 11A shall be subject to a civil penalty of $5,000 for each employee to whom such records pertain, except that a person who willfully commits such a failure shall be liable for such civil penalty for each pay period in which the failure occurs. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, any person who submits fraudulent information, records, or contracts under section 11A shall be subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 for the first such fraudulent act and $15,000 for each such subsequent fraudulent act.”.

If there is any statistical iformation that can be added as support that is also a plus.

Other information that might be helpful
A D V O C A C Y E S S A Y C H E C K L I S T

? Does my title capture the audience’s attention?
? Does my essay start in a compelling way?
? Do I define a specific problem and outline the range and scope of whom it directly and indirectly affects?
? Do I establish why the reader should care about this problem?
? Do I analyze causes of the problem?
? Do I endorse a specific proposal that attempts to solve, or at least mitigate the problem I?ve identified?
? Does my thesis statement tell the reader why this policy is best, rather than what my policy does?
? Do I clearly identify who supports my policy, and why?
? Do I identify who opposes it, and why?
? Do I specify not only what my policy would do, but also who it would help, and how it would work?
? Do I support my reasons for supporting the policy I endorse?
? Do I adequately acknowledge alternate proposals and/or alternate positions or definitions of the problem I address, and the weakness of the problem I support?
? Do I reasonably counter the alternative voices?
? Have I used enough credible sources, (20+ for a superior paper)? Is there an adequate range of academic, primary, secondary, and organizational sources to establish the depth and currency of my argument, as well as its supporting and opposing voices?

I have a copy of Nickel and Dimed if there is anything that needs to be faxed.
There are faxes for this order.

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