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Garment Employee Safety Act Passes California Legislature

Governor Gavin Newsom has till Oct. 10 to signal the invoice into legislation. Shutterstock

The act, aimed toward defending wage theft from garment staff, handed on Wednesday in a 43-12 vote. Its passage was supported by labour activists, staff rights organisations and over 100 vogue companies. It would return to the state Senate for closing approval earlier than being despatched to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Newsom has till Oct. 10 to signal or veto the invoice, which may present a brand new framework for manufacturing requirements throughout the nation if authorised. The invoice would get rid of piece-rate pay — a fee system through which garment staff are paid per merchandise of clothes that may usually quantity to $2 or $5 an hour — in favour of California’s $14 minimal wage. It goals to carry manufacturers accountable for low wages in factories and put an finish to wage theft and fast-fashion practises which have plagued Los Angeles’ garment staff.

The invoice was first launched in December 2020, although strikes in the direction of its eventual passage have been within the works for for much longer. In 2016, the US Division of Labor performed investigations of 77 randomly chosen factories in Los Angeles and located that factories solely obtain 73 p.c of the worth they want from attire retailers and types to have the ability to pay staff the minimal wage. A New York Instances investigation in 2019 discovered that ultra-fast vogue retailer Trend Nova owed $3.8 million in again wages, with staff at its Los Angeles factories being paid as little as $2.77 an hour. On the time, Trend Nova denied the allegations as “categorically false.”

Extra just lately, provide chain constraints through the pandemic have exacerbated the wage theft disaster within the state as quick vogue manufacturers and different gamers practiced nearshoring to decrease prices.

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