Results from a U.S. Department of Labor study on compliance with labor laws at L.A. garment factories’ show that the overall rate of compliance with Fair Labor Standards Acts requirements is 39%, the same rate recorded in1996. The findings were announced Wednesday at an L.A. Stakeholders Forum that included contractors, manufacturers, retailers, worker’s rights groups, academics, and others.
The study also showed that factories which pay “off the payroll” were less likely than other factories to comply with labor laws, and that monitoring contractor shops can force the lawful treatment of employees. Garment factories that underwent thorough monitoring of employee conditions had compliance rates that were almost three times that of factories with no set monitoring procedures.
Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman commented, “The results of this survey show that much more work needs to be done; we need greater cooperation from all levels of the industry. We are, however, encouraged to find compliance rates in contractor shops increase as the degree of the monitoring by manufacturers is enhanced.” Herman also stated that the current rates of compliance are “obviously unacceptible” and reinforced her commitment to finding “long-lasting solutions.”
Information on the Dept. of Labor’s “No Sweat” initiative can be found at http://www.dol.gov./dol/esa/public/nosweat/nosweat.htm.
Feminists Against Sweatshops