WORKERS in the California garment industry are enduring poor working conditions and insufficient pay, the US Department of Labour has found. More than 1,500 Southern California garment workers are owed over $3 million in unpaid wages, the government department found following a year-long survey – which also concluded that American companies Nasty Gal, Macy’s, Nordstrom and JC Penney, among others, were producing garments in the factories concerned.
The workplaces had “all the features of a sweatshop,” David Weil, administrator of the department’s Wage and Hour Division, told The Fashion Law. Although minimum wage in the state of California is $9 per hour, the report found that some sewing workers were earning nine cents per piece of clothing stitched.
“Fierce competition in the garment industry leads many contract shops to lower the cost of their services, frequently at the expense of workers’ wages,” Weil added. “When workers don’t receive the wages to which they are legally entitled, they can’t afford the basics, like food, rent and child care.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Sweatshops In California Below Minimum Wage Poor Working Conditions (Vogue.com UK).