Sweatshops Still Exist in Principle in Canada and the United States

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 10th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Montreal women and immigrants have shared the same history as their American sisters, with the advent of sweatshops.


This is the last article on the sweatshops in Canada and the USA. Even though there is legislation, sweatshops are not a thing of the past. Sweatshops are not just in operation in other parts of the world. They are here in America and Canada.

Quebec labour law

According to Quebec labour law, when mass layoffs are orchestrated, the companies must hand out compensation or severance packages. However, the needle trade companies found a loophole in the law and handed out a few pink slips at a time. This way they did not have to pay workers anything at all. No thought was given to the workers or their families they supported. All decisions were based on the almighty dollar. Furthermore, no prior warning was given to the employees; therefore without jobs, or any way to feed their families; these women and men were left out in the cold.

It can take as much as two months before eligible workers can begin to receive unemployment insurance benefits. If the worker just started working and has not worked the required amount of weeks he or she will not qualify. For more information in Montreal, go to the government website:

These sweatshop garment factory workers were already the most vulnerable in Quebec/Montreal society. The women and men were unskilled labourers who no longer could work in the only trade they knew and had no skills to work elsewhere.

Immigrant workers

The Centre des Travailleurs et Travailleuses Immigrants / Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC) aired a movie detailing the “plight of the sweatshop worker then and now” to heighten awareness and has appealed to the government for proper retraining and support for these former workers.

The sweatshops story is a global story effecting workers all over the world and not isolated to Canada, Montreal and American factory workers; though this article concentrated solely on these two countries. Readers of this Montreal Women's Issues Column are asked to support the goals to eradicate horrendous working conditions and exploitation of workers everywhere. The countries may differ, but the hardships on women all over the world is a real problem which requires tremendous public pressure to right the wrongs of the past and current working conditions of our global sisters.

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

Hispanic Workers at Risk for Premature Death in American Factories

Anti Sweatshop Legislation

Greed in the Garment Industry

All photos taken from the public domain

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Factories, Factory, Factory Conditions, Factory Safety, Factory Workers, Sweatshop, Sweatshop Conditions, Sweatshop Legislation, Sweatshop Workers, Sweatshops

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 Kingwell
11th Apr 2015 (#)

Greed and the almighty dollar do so much harm. Good share.

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