The garment industry in the U.S. started in the north-east, followed cheaper labor overseas, and eventually, for the most part, jumped our borders. I know that LA is still (in)famous for its garment factories, but I had no idea that the needles were still thumping away in NYC.
“This latest investigation shows that horrible sweatshop working conditions are still present in New York City and that the apparel industry is still not taking this issue seriously,” said Bruce Raynor, General President of UNITE HERE, the apparel and textile workers union. “The major apparel brands that were using this factory all have social responsibility systems that have failed to detect this major sweatshop operation.”
The factory that was recently cited, Jin Shun in Long Island City, NY, has operated under a number of different names, and was found to have underpaid more than 100 workers over several years. The Department of Labor stated that the contractor kept false records and coached its workers to lie to inspectors. The investigation also revealed that workers routinely worked twelve-hour days, six to seven days-a-week.
Not to belittle a workday of 12-hours or anything, but my dad has been working 12-hours six to seven days a week for about 35 years. Poor fella. Although, I suspect he pays himself a little better than what the workers at the Jin Shun get paid.