CALIFORNIA – The Garment Worker Protection Act, also known as SB 62, has passed through California’s Assembly Judiciary Committee, as workers’ rights activists again try to tackle poverty pay across the state’s apparel manufacturing industry by way of legislation.
SB 62 is the reincarnation of SB 1399, a bill that failed to come up for a vote at last year’s legislative session. It sets out to end ‘piece-rate pay’, through which factory staff are paid based on the amount of stock they produce, rather than the state-wide minimum wage of almost US$15 per hour.
“Today’s vote means California is one step closer to respecting the dignity of our garment-industry workforce, which has been exploited for far too long,” state senator Maria Elena Durazo said in a statement. “Many of LA’s garment makers work 60 to 70 hours per week while receiving far below state minimum wage with no breaks. We want LA’s fashion industry to be prosperous but not on the backs and at the expense of hardworking men and women.”