Maloney Urges Accountability in Fight for Fair Labor Standards “NYC’s Most Vulnerable Workers Deserve Full Protection Under the Law”

Jul 8, 2004
Press Release

NEW YORK, NY - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) called for greater accountability from businesses that use subcontractors who repeatedly violate fair labor laws, as New York City workers and labor rights advocates held an event in Manhattan to draw attention to the problem.

Specifically, the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops and the Chinese Staff and Workers Association today put a spotlight on the failure of Liberty Apparel Company to demand improved labor standards at garment factories where their products are made in New York City.

Congresswoman Maloney released the following statement in support of the event:

“Just because business executives use subcontractors to do their work does not mean they can turn a blind eye to terrible labor abuses connected to their products. The men and women who make Liberty Apparel’s clothing are being denied pay for months on end, at $3 per hour, under sweat-shop style work conditions.

“Women hold a majority of garment industry jobs and are hit hardest by these unfair work conditions. Women workers face incredibly long hours on the job, and return to their families as primary caregivers, while dealing with a heightened risks of health problems during pregnancy because they are not provided with insurance coverage or adequate medical care.

“New York City’s most vulnerable workers deserve the same protections as all other workers in the city under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers that attempt to skirt the law by subcontracting their production needs to abusive businesses should be equally accountable under the law.”

Background: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined on December 30, 2003 that previously narrow definitions for identifying “joint employers” should be replaced with a broader definition to ensure that businesses do not attempt to evade the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Still, labor-rights advocates face an uphill battle in holding employers who use abusive subcontractors accountable for fair workplace conditions. More information can be found at https://www.cswa.org or www.nmass.org.

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