California to require garment industry to pay workers hourly wages
Sept. 28 (Reuters) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a bill that will ensure thousands of workers in the garment industry receive minimum hourly wages instead of piecework.
Newsom signed Senate Bill 62, also known as the Garment Workers Protection Act, and will pave the way for state garment workers to secure a minimum wage of $ 14 an hour for employers in 26 or more employees.
“California holds businesses accountable and recognizes the dignity and humanity of our workers, who have helped build the world’s fifth-largest economy,” Newsom said in a statement.
âThese measures protect marginalized low-wage workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrants, by ensuring that they are paid what they are owed and by improving working conditions. economic, âhe added.
The American Apparel and Footwear Association industry trade group said earlier the legislation would drive clothing manufacturing out of California and result in job losses.
Los Angeles has the highest concentration of workers in the garment industry in the United States with some 2,000 manufacturers employing more than 40,000 workers, according to workers’ rights organization Garment Worker Center.
Many small factories often operate without proper registration and enforcement, which contributes to exploitation in the industry, he said.
About 85% of textile workers do not earn minimum wage and are paid between 2 and 6 cents per piece piecework. Most garment workers work 60 to 70 hours a week with a take-home pay of around $ 300, according to the Labor Rights Group.
The organization welcomed the signing of the bill by Newsom.
Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast
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