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U.S. Companies Still Using Sweatshop Labor

A National Labor Committee (NLC) report reveals an increase in the use of sweatshop laborers, mainly young Chinese women, by U.S. companies for designer-label clothes. NLC director Charles Kernaghan said, “We found forced overtime, 60-96 hour work weeks, 10-15 hour shifts, six and seven days a week for below-subsistence wages of 13-28 cents an hour, without benefits.” The group also reported that the women were housed in crowded dorms and fed meals that consisted mostly of rice.

The 85-page report , compiled from interviews with workers that were conducted by local Chinese women, listed 18 big-name U.S. companies, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Ann Taylor, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penney. NLC investigated 21 Chinese factories which all produced clothes for export to the U.S.

“Corporate America has taken gross advantage and is exploiting desperate people,” said Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Other companies listed in the report included Adidas, Bugle Boy, Dayton Hudson Corp., Disney, Ellen Tracy, Esprit Group, Federated Department Stores, Kmart Corp., The Limited, May Co., Nike, Ralph Lauren, Reebok International, Sears, and Liz Claiborne.

Feminists Against Sweatshops

Sources:

Nando.net, Reuters - March 19, 1998

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