Sweatshops discovered in California
The US Department of Labour yesterday concluded their survey into insufficient pay amongst the Californian garment industry and ruled that more than 1,5000 workers are to be compensated over $3 million in unpaid wages.
The year-long survey established that 221 Los Angeles-based companies, including high profile brands such as J C Penney and Macy’s were producing clothing in the factories in question.
Administrator of the Wage and Hour division at the Department of Labour David Weil said that the workshops “had all the features of a sweatshop…Fierce competition in the garment industry leads many contract shops to lower the cost of their services, frequently at the expense of workers’ wages.”
Despite the Californian minimum wage being $9 per hour, some workers were found to be earning nine cents per item of clothing produced.
“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” Weil added.
So far the Department of Labour have discovered more than 12,000 workers suffering under violations that has resulted in $15 million in compensatory wages