Hispanic Workers at Risk for Premature Death in American Factories

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 7th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

In the struggle for women's rights which stems well over a century, some women made great strides in changing the social mores of the day. The plight of the poor is an ongoing topic in women’s issues and women’s rights. This series will look at early sweatshops.


Origin of sweatshops in America – Time line - continued

The sweatshops of 1910 were the most horrendous. By 1950, there was marked improvement and by 1980 the terrible conditions of factory workers and sweatshop practices was on the rise again.

NAFTA and the Labor code


The North American Free trade agreement - NAFTA had paved the way for the relocating of a lot of industries (especially garment) to Mexico and these people work under sweatshop conditions. Other places like El Salvador in South America is notorious for sweatshop conditions, and of course we all know about the conditions in eastern countries.

The Labor Code

The labor Code came into existence in 1935 and it has not been amended in 50 years, regardless of the changing times. The economic factors that produced the modern day sweatshops included globalization and the need to mass-produce for the world economy at the expense of the workers. The low wages given these workers kept the competition stiff.

On a social level there is racism in regards to immigrant workers in America, and there is also the immigrants' reluctance to join unions resulting from fear of retribution by their employers.

Also, the US did not prevent businesses from taking their product to third world countries to benefit from the cheap labor there. The US government did not do anything to stop factory owners from avoiding unionization in America.

Hispanic workers at risk

In 2001, Newsday reported that Hispanic workers are in a high-risk group for getting killed in the workforce.

According to the study by the National Academy of Sciences, the chances of Latinos dying on the job in America are 250 percent higher than other workers.

Jennifer Gordon, the director of the Work Place Project, in Long Island, New York, and associate professor at Fordham University School of Law, explains that companies in America are forbidden by law to hire immigrants without papers, but once they are hired, illegal immigrants are entitled to the same conditions and pay as their legal counterparts.

However, immigrants work illegally in many sweatshops and are exploited. The immigrants of course can do nothing about it. The must accept the horrendous conditions or go home to conditions which are far worse.

To be continued

For more information on the Montreal needle trade and the horrendous sweatshop situation in Montreal
Centre des Travailleurs et Travailleuses Immigrants / Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC)

Some links to previous articles
The horrendous conditions of sweatshops in America, Canada and Montreal then and now

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Garment Factory Workers Go On Strike

Women's lives lost in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory

Factory Standards

Tenement Sweatshops worked outside the factory site

All photos taken from the public domain

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Cheap Labor, Factories, Factory, Factory Law, Factory Safety, Factory Workers, Immigrant Workers, Labor Code, Nafta, Sweatshop, Sweatshop Workers, Sweatshops, Union Workers

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Retired
7th Apr 2015 (#)

Everyone has the right to work in a safe environment. These poor women.

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author avatar Kingwell
8th Apr 2015 (#)

The conditions that some people have to work under are atrocious. Blessings.

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