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Report: N.Y. Authorities Raid Alleged Sweatshops

New York City An investigation conducted by the New York State Department of Labor Wednesday morning uncovered serious violations by factories that manufacture garments for Macy’s, Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Victoria's Secret, Limited and Coldwater Creek, according to an article in WWD.com.

Jin Shun, a garment contractor operating in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y., allegedly underpaid more than 100 workers, mostly immigrants, by nearly $3 million in minimum and overtime wages since 2005. Upon raiding the two factories, officials tagged more than 10,000 garments with a label stating that the merchandise was unlawfully manufactured, the article said.

The DOL’s Apparel Industry & Fair Wages Task Force found factory employees worked 12-hour days, often six or seven days a week. Workers, who were paid on a piece-rate basis, were instructed to fill out two time cards. One was for Monday through Wednesday, and a second card for the remainder of the week. This practice ensured that no more than 40 hours of work would appear on any card, the article reported.

According to the timecards and the factory's production, workers were completing an entire item of clothing in less than a minute.

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