ESPN On Sweatshops in the College Apparel Industry

Kudos to ESPN journalists Mark Fainaru-Wada and Justine Gubar on their well-done new piece on the sweatshop labor the Dallas Cowboys are using to manufacture their new line of sports apparel. They profile Kol Malay and her co-worker, who languish under horrible working conditions to make pricey clothing for US consumers.   From the article: Malay and her colleagues work harder than perhaps most people you know, logging regular 60-hour work weeks, sewing 10 hours a day, six days a week. They fear the wrath of their supervisors if they talk to a co-worker sitting next to them or take too long at the bathroom. They say they are essentially forced to work overtime daily and describe a hostile work environment in which supervisors yell and insult them. They work while sick because either they can’t afford to go to the doctor or fear they will be fired if they miss work. They rent small rooms with sometimes as many as three other workers, eat substandard food and have irregular water and electricity. All of this to make the clothes on your back, which just might include the Dallas Cowboys Sideline Kickoff Midweight Jacket you scored for Christmas, the one that sells for $100 — or about what Malay will earn in one month. You should read the whole thing.

Read More →