Inside The Fight To End Labor Exploitation In L.A. Garment Factories
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the infamous El Monte Sweatshop Case, in which 72 people from the south of Thailand were brought to El Monte, California and imprisoned in a makeshift garment factory. Federal agents, local police and state officials raided the apartment, which was fenced with razor wire and watched by armed guards at all hours. The horrifying conditions they found went on to inform a series of local and federal anti-trafficking and garment industry laws. The case marked a key moment in the United States’ history of labor standards, and challenged the idea that sweatshops were a distant practice never found on U.S. shores. Today, sweatshops persist in Los Angeles, where cut-and-sew garment labor represents the second biggest industry in the city, employing over 45,000 people. Read more at Fashionista.