Iceland has no minimum wage. Instead, employers negotiate
salaries with collective groups or unions who represent the
employees. You must be 18 to work full-time in Iceland. However,
mandatory school ends at age 16 and teen workers between the ages of 15
and 18 are highly unemployed. Salaries are high in Iceland because of
the small population, universal health care, the high cost of living,
and the fact that 88% of the population lives in and around the capital,
Reykjavik. Still, it is one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Youth unemployment is extremely high. Josh has discovered that if
he hires young people between the ages of (15-18) part-time or no more
than 40 hours a week, he can negotiate a much lower salary. The average
salary amounts to $12.50 an hour.. Josh staffs young people
exclusively and lets them go before they reach the age of 19. Two
recent lay-offs have brought this practice to the attention of the staff
who feel the practice is not ethical. The workers feel Josh is trying
to use the system to avoid paying the workers a decent wage or to gain
full-time employment. If Josh does not settle this issue quickly,
because the workers will go back to the Collective to ask for higher
wages and a guarantee of work after they turn 19.Worse yet, if Jolly Jump’s US teens get wind of the hourly salary difference, they may very well come to expect a large raise.
Are Josh’s employment practices unethical?
Would his actions be considered unethical in the United States?
Discuss the ethics of doing business in another country and cultural relativism.