Teens Lead @ Work Bar-B-Q!
International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, Harpers Bazaar wrote an article that paralleled L.A.’s garment workers campaigns’ to get more workplace protections in the 21st century to the efforts of New York garment workers at the onset of the 20th century to do the same (in the strikes that would become known as the Uprising of the 20,000). Both groups comprised a majority of female and immigrant workers; both faced exploitation, threats, long workweeks, and piecework pay. Though most industry production now takes place abroad, the article explained how an estimated 45,000 laborers continue to work in hazardous workplaces. Citing a 2016 report from the UCLA Labor Center, the Garment Worker Center, and the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health, the article explained that surveys from hundreds of garment workers indicated that a majority of them worked in spaces that were so overwhelmed by dust accumulation and excessive heat from poor ventilation that it made it difficult for them to work – and even breathe. To address these issues, writer Chelsey Sanchez points toward the Garment Worker Protection Act, a piece of legislation that State Senator María Elena Durazo and advocates have introduced in the California legislature as Senate Bill 62 in December 2020. The legislation would expand liability to retailers, prohibit the practice of the piece-rate pay system, and authorize the Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement to investigate and cite guarantors for wage theft.