The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Third World Wages and Sweatshops of Los Angeles

Aug 24, 2020

Online shops such as Fashion Nova are ready to deliver trendy and fashionable dresses to your doorstep with hard-to-believe prices as low as $25 for a dress and even $9 for a silky undergarment. This high-quality but very low-price apparel is manufactured in garment shops located in Downtown or East Los Angeles.

Very profitable companies like Fashion Nova and Nordstrom don’t manufacture any apparel, but contract out their manufacturing to sweat shops. These shops pay workers by the piece, not by the hour. Garment workers typically work 65 to 70 hours a week for $300 to $325, which often corresponds to less than $5 an hour, according to the Los Angeles Times. Thus, they pay wages that are much lower than Los Angeles’s $15 per hour minimum wage.

The Los Angeles garment shops employ roughly 45,000 mostly immigrant workers, forming one of the most vulnerable sections of the working class. This is how and why sweatshops operate in Los Angeles, one of the richest cities in the world.