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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

California governor signs legislation to eliminate ‘exploitative’ peace rate for garment workers

California has become the first state in the United States to pay garment workers by piece or unit and pay them in hours instead.

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsim signed Senate Bill 622, also known as the Garment Workers Protection Act, creating new “nation-leadership” policies that would end the practice that prevented thousands of garment workers from earning the minimum wage.

The new law also extends fashion brand liability for unpaid wages, including wage theft by contractors, and made California the first state to create liability for companies that subcontract with clothing manufacturers.

Because of priceless competition, the California garment industry is violating minimum wage laws, overtime laws, and health and safety standards.

Los Angeles has the highest concentration of garment industry workers in the United States, with an estimated 2,000 manufacturers employing more than 40,000 people, mainly immigrant women, who can spend up to 12 hours a day producing “fast fashion.”

Under the piece work compensation system, workers can earn at least 3 cents per assembly operation, for example trimming an item of clothing, which is much less than the minimum wage per hour.

The current minimum wage in California is ড 14 per hour for all employers, including 26 or more employees. For employers with less than 26 employees, it’s ড 13 per hour.

In a statement on the new bill, Newsom said the state of California is “holding corporations accountable and recognizing the dignity and humanity of our workers, who have helped build the world’s fifth-largest economy.”

“These measures protect marginal low-wage workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrants, pay them their dues and ensure improvement in the workplace. We are committed to supporting them as we work to build a stronger, more inclusive economy.

Lack of job opportunities?

The bill, introduced by Democrat Sen. Maria Elena Durajo, includes workplace exceptions under the collective bargaining agreement.

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“Today we have won justice for the garment workers,” Durajo said. “For a long time, bad-actor manufacturers exploited garment workers for less than 5 5 an hour in unhealthy conditions. I applaud Governor Newsom for signing this important law to protect legal wages and dignified working conditions for these highly skilled workers and to level the playing field for ethical builders who are doing the right thing. ”

But some experts and manufacturers fear the new law could lead to a lack of job opportunities in California, as manufacturers could outsource clothing work abroad for cheaper labor.

“These additional requirements will encourage companies to contract with manufacturers outside of California, thereby limiting the demand and workforce of apparel manufacturers in California,” the California Chamber of Commerce wrote earlier this month.

“Nothing in SB2 will solve the underground problem, the bad actors in the garment industry are evading the law. Instead, SB simply2 simply eliminates the work of the peace rate and allows those bad actors to continue doing business normally while paying companies that have no control over these workers.

The California Chamber of Commerce says the law should focus on educating garment workers about their rights and should strengthen existing enforcement measures if the state wants to rid the industry of “bad actors” operating outside of industrial law.

Among the 18 jobs-related bills signed by Newsom on Monday were Senate Bill 62, SB 639, which prohibits employers from paying disabled workers less than California’s minimum wage, and AB 73, which help protect farm workers from wildfires. Will essential workers, which means they can access the state’s stockpile of personal protective equipment.


Katabella Roberts is currently a Turkish-based reporter. He covers news and business for The Epoch Times, primarily centered on the United States.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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