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Sweatshops in Orange County

In our small town in the East, there were over 20 unionized clothing factories from World War I to World War II.

In the ‘50s and ‘60s, clothing factories made up of primarily Chinese immigrants started sweatshops in the section of Little Italy.

By the early 1970s, all these (unionized) factories were closed up because our union manufacturers were having the work done in Chinatown.

Our union paid us no heed, and hundreds of other unionized factories went out of business. The mediator whose office was in the union building ignored our association’s grievances, and 95% of the clothing factories in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania had to close down. The New York Times would not print our letters--we could not get any answers, so we were forced out. We were paying monthly dues to our association and a fee to the union.

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Were the manufacturers paying off our association? You tell me. But hundreds of us contractors had to close our doors. Nobody would listen to us and so we went out of business and our operators went on the unemployment list.

BILL BERMAN

Camarillo


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