Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Garment Worker Protection Act (SB62) into California law on September 27th, 2021. This implies that more than 45,000 garment workers in California will be paid at least the federal minimum wage, which is present $14 per hour. Garment workers, on the other hand, have been working for decades under a piece-rate system, with some claiming to be paid as little as $2.68 per hour.
The passage of this worker-led piece of legislation is a game-changer for the industry, as the bill's shared liability clause now holds brands liable for their workers' fair and lawful wages.
Worker advocate NGO Remake said that this is a huge win for garment workers all throughout the world. This bill will be a pattern for a more just and accountable fashion industry worldwide, thanks to the efforts of garment workers, allies, and Gavin Newsom.
SB62, on the other hand, means not only equal remuneration for workers but also more transparency and the elimination of any brand's ability to self-regulate. It also includes the Labor Commissioner's Garment Special Account, which is used to disburse funds in the event that wages or benefits are not paid.
Hundreds of sustainable fashion enterprises and allied organizations, the Garment Worker Center, California senator Maria Elena Durazo, who co-authored the law, and Remake and its community were among the bill's numerous supporters.
In a statement, Governor Newsom said that California is holding businesses accountable and honoring the dignity and humanity of our workers, who have helped build the world's fifth-largest economy. These initiatives ensure that low-wage workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrants, are paid what they are owed and improve workplace conditions, and we are committed to having their backs as we fight to build a stronger, more inclusive economy.
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