Homeworkers’ conditions in the garment industry in Thailand

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Högskolan i Borås/Institutionen Textilhögskolan

Sammanfattning: This study aims to examine how global competition in the textile industry has affected the homeworkers’ opportunities to develop their entrepreneurship and their own businesses. This Bachelor thesis has a qualitative approach with focus on qualitative interviews which were conducted during a field study in Bangkok, Thailand. The textile industry in Thailand has long been known for their cheap labour, however, globalization has now changed the industry and companies outsource production to countries with even cheaper labour. Globalization has increased the role of subcontractors in the textile industry, which tries to produce as cheap as possible. Factories tend to involve subcontractors in order to find the cheapest and most efficient means of production. This has increased the use of homeworkers, who produce the products in their homes. Competition for work is fierce and many people move from rural areas to larger cities to get a job with an income they can live on. This result in an even worse competition and with their low level of education and no work experience, they are forced to accept employment with poor conditions.Homeworkers work between 14-16 hours per day with minimum wage and they are not protected by laws and have no social benefits. They live very crowded in slums and their houses are not suitable as a working environment. Many homeworkers have health problems caused by long working hours. Children are required to help their parents with easier tasks in addition to the usual household chores. Homeworkers have low education level which is an obstacle to their business knowledge. They also have limited access to financial means to help them develop their entrepreneurship. Organizations working to improve homeworkers working conditions are available although homeworkers rarely know how to come in contact with them. Education is important for homeworkers to develop their entrepreneurial and business skills.

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