The paper “Timothy and Thomas Company’s Deontological, Ethical Approach" is a thrilling example of a case study on ethics. Timothy and Thomas (T&T) Company is currently facing a serious ethical dilemma. One of the company’s ethical guidelines concerns child labor. The company does not allow its contractors in any part of the world to employ children less than fourteen years of age (Nichols 12). However, it seems that the company contractors of the Lahore plant in Pakistan do not adhere to the guideline. The ethical dilemma is created by the fact that these underage girls that work with Pakistan contractors do much work and are paid very little. This makes both the contractors and hence the company realizes much profit (Nichols 13).
The stakeholders involved with the ethical issue include; the company’s vice president, the Pakistan contractors, and the underage girls working in the Pakistan plants. As Yusuf Ahmed the T&T sourcing manger in Pakistan explains to Stein, the company’s vice president, the young girls are benefiting from the ethical dilemma. This is because the contractors are giving them a roof, food, and some earnings rather than loitering in the streets to get something to feed on. The use of young girls as cheap labor will eventually make the company lose its reputation when it leaks out, especially in developed countries such as the USA. To the contractors, the young girls are assets to them as they enable them to make much profit as they pay them minimal wages (Nichols 14).
T&T Company is using a deontological, ethical approach. The rule is to ensure that none of the company’s employees is below the age of fourteen. Therefore, using children below this age is immoral. Despite the fact that the children in Pakistan plants are offering labor to get essential necessities such as food and clothing, the company’s vice president still feels uneasy seeing them work in these firms. However, it seems to Yusuf the souring manager in Pakistan has adopted a different approach concerning this ethical issue. He argues that the company has given the young girls an excellent opportunity, as there is no option left for them. Therefore, his approach can be said to be consequential. This is because he judges the act of the Pakistan contractors’ morals based on the circumstances that are facing these poor, young girls and the benefits they are getting because of providing labor in the Pakistan plants.
There are two possible solutions to this ethical problem. However, every solution has its consequences. The company could have opted to force the Pakistan contractors to fire all the children working in their plants. As a result, the contractors would demand more money to cater for increased wages for adults and skilled labor (Nichols 13). The other solution is allowing the contractors to continue keeping these children and document their ages as fourteen and above. The ramification of this option would be a violation of the company’s ethical guidelines, which are in line with the US ethical guidelines where most of the company’s customers are.
In my opinion, Stein should advise the T&T owners to provide on-site childcare and education for the very young employees. The company should also offer vocational training to the adult workers to equip them with up-to-date skills and knowledge required in the industry. In this way, the company will be assured of a skilled labor force in the future. If adult women become skilled, their wages will improve and hence their living standards. In the long run, these families will have enough for sustenance and for providing education to their children instead of carrying them to the plants.