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Sweatshops in the United States Americans love to shop With malls everywhere you go shopping just might be Americas favorite past time When you are out shopping though do you ever stop to think where all of those clothes and shoes come from When I was younger well actually until recently I always thought they were all made by machines Shirt machines pants machinesyou get the picture I have learned however that for the most part clothes are still made on sewing machines by people and often under circumstances that we can only imagine Sweatshops have always been a problem in the Unites States especially during the past century Unfair working conditions and pay prompted the formation of the Garment Worker Union This was the first union of its kind and helped organize campaigns demanding for shorter work weeks fair pay and paid holidays for the garment workers In March of 1911 a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in Manhattan 146 garment workers perished in the fire Days later 80000 people participated in a funeral procession up 5th Avenue This tragedy and its enormous public response prompted the federal government to take action and establish control over the industry In 1938 major legislation passed under President Franklin D Roosevelt The Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA guaranteed a 25 an hour minimum wage prohibited child labor and required that employers keep adequate time and payroll records In 1958 the largest nationwide strike in history with 100000 union members walking out of factories occurred They won more holidays and higher wages Conditions were at an all time high for the workers This soon came to pass however as many manufacturers and retailers begin subcontracting to manufacturers in other countries where according to the National Labor Committee workers would work for as little as 09 an hour Due to the increased foreign competition sweatshops again begin flourishing in the United States Today sweatshops in
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