Tommy Hilfiger is a world’s chief, premium lifestyle brands that deliver best styling, quality and value to clients internationally. The brand offers a revitalizing twist to archetypal, American fashion. Regardless of the alluring facade, labor concerns exist at the rear the closed doors of Tommy Hilfiger, which is an American fashion industry. This can be attributed to the fact that the Company does not uphold Western business standards, in other regions of its operation.
Tommy Hilfiger does not ensure safety standards, when dealing with its establishments that are outside the Western world, due to lax regulations in these countries. This is evident because the factories of the Company, such as in Bangladesh, continued with their operations even after the many disasters and frequent warnings, by labor groups. Record shows that, in the last five years, almost 500 Bangladeshi garment employeesbecame blazed to death in preventable fires (Sauers n.p). In 2006, February, 84 garment employees, who were mostly young girls passed away in a fire inside a locked factory. In 2010, four years later, 29 people lost their lives in a factory after electrical wiring, which became clogged, by sewing machine sparked the flames in the apartment building (Ross, Matthew and Cindy n.p). Many employees, who had gone for lunch at an improvised canteen, on the roof, became trapped in the ladder trucks, and they could not descend stairwells that were full of smoke. Similar to most factories in Bangladesh, the house did not have sprinklers, fire escapes and other up to date safety tools.
Besides, minor and less fatal fires occur even more often. Despite the many deaths, the Company continues its operations with hazardous conditions such as locked gates and substandard wiring. Conversely, Tommy Hilfiger observes safety standards in Western countries. This could be attributed to the fact that nearly each U.S. employer and the employee is under OSHA authority for occupational safety and health standards (OSHA) in the place of work or somewhere else on the occupation (Karwowski 425). Any worker who has concerns regarding job safety, in Western countries, can contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for rescue, directly. Employers have a responsibility, under the OSHA Act, to offer their workers occupations and a places of work that are free from any identified hazards (Guerin 323). OSHA supports continual enhancement in safety and health, at the place of work (Karwowski 425). OSHA implements the Act through inspections and examinations at places of work. Similarly, Tommy Hilfiger can implement these safety standards in factories that are in other parts the world. This will ensure that workers feel secure at the workplace, and this can enhance productivity.
Again, Tommy Hilfiger does not bother about business standards in other countries of its operations due to economic pressure from other competing brands. While the building at Bangladesh was on flames, more Bangladeshi employees were losing lives as they prepared clothes for PVH and other famous, American brands. On one occasion, an employee passed after an elevator cable broke. At another factory called Eurotex, smoke from a boiler flare-up made a panicked crowd of employees scuffle for the factory doors. However, the employees found the door locked, while two workers were compacted to death. If Tommy Hilfiger operated with no economic pressure from other competing brands, the Company would pay more attention to the welfare of employees.
In addition, Tommy Hilfiger overlooks the poor, working conditions of their factories in overseas countries. News report by ABC indicates that Tommy Hilfiger and other brands like Kohl's and Gap are still obtaining their products from a Bangladesh factory, which experienced a massive fire, which led to a loss of 29 workers, despite the unsafe environment (Ross, Matthew and Cindy n.p). Since 2010, when the fire occurred, the hazardous environment has continued, and, yet, the factory makes clothes Tommy Hilfiger (Krupnick n.p.). If a similar situation had occurred in a Western Country, Tommy Hilfiger would have considered enhancing safety working conditions before continuing with the factory’s operations. Hence, Tommy Hilfiger should consider enhancing safety working conditions before continuing with its operations in Bangladesh.
Furthermore, the factories of Tommy Hilfiger in Bangladesh offer the lowest, minimum wages for employees in the clothing industries, in the globe, with about $40 per month (Saura n.p). This can be attributed to laxity or lack of seriousness in the implementation of labor standards, in overseas countries, as opposed to practices in most Western countries. Most Western countries practice The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which stipulates standards for wages, in both private and public ventures (Whittaker 1). The Wage and Hour Division governs the FLSA, in most Western countries (McConnell 2). Tommy Hilfiger should implement this Act in all its factories, in order to ensure that the needs of the employees, in terms of pay, are met.
Latest reports indicate that the Company has agreed to concentrate on safety standards, through investing almost $1 million in a self-sufficient fire inspector (Sauers n.p). This has happened due to much pressure from labor agencies and ABC. Thus, Tommy Hilfiger is obliged to demonstrate care concerning the rights of employees. In case, the Company will implement this plan workers will experience enhanced safety standards. However, the Company will not have fully conformed to Western business standards as the Company does not promise do anything on other areas, such as wages and other payments. Western business standards require that employees are fairly compensated, and they have regulations that govern the entire process. However, most countries that have Tommy Hilfiger factories are developing states that have lax regulations.
In conclusion, Tommy Hilfiger should uphold Western business standards in all their factories around the world, in order to enhance the safety and general working conditions of employees. Besides, upholding Western business standards in all factories around the world will make employees more comfortable at the place of work, and this can result to increased productivity. Lastly, adopting Western business standards in all factories can enhance the image and reputation of Tommy Hilfiger’s brand through showing care to employees.
Guerin, Lisa. The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws. Berkeley, CA Alexandria, Va: Nolo Society for Human Resource Management, 2009. Print.
Karwowski, Waldemar. Handbook on Standards and Guidelines in Ergonomics and Human Factors. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. Print.
Krupnick, Ellie. Tommy Hilfiger Bangladesh Factory Exposed As Unsafe, Designer Agrees To Pay For Improvements. The Huffington Post, 21st March 2012. Web. 16th Aug. 2012. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/tommy-hilfiger-bangladesh-factory_n_1370602.html)
McConnell, Charles. The Health Care Manager's Legal Guide. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.
Ross, Brian, Matthew Mosk and Cindy Galli. Workers Die at Factories Used by Tommy Hilfiger. ABC News, 21st March 2012. Web. 16th Aug. 2012. (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/workers-die-factories-tommy-hilfiger/story?id=15966305)
Sauers, Jenna. Tommy Hilfiger Pledges $1 Million After Factory Fire Kills 29. Jezebel, 16th August 2012. Web. 16th Aug. 2012. (http://jezebel.com/5895350/tommy-hilfiger-pledges-1-million-after-factory-fire-kills-29)
Whittaker, William. The Fair Labor Standards Act. New York: Novinka Books, 2003.Print.