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Tour Guide Alleges Sweatshop Presence in Tenderloin

Photo via <a href="">San Francisco Business Journal</a>
Photo via San Francisco Business Journal

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Little talked about but definitely present, SF's sweatshops largely go unnoticed. Tucked away inside buildings that blend into a morning's commute, immigrant workers cut and sew for 12+ hours and minimal pay ($1 to $2 per hour). But Tenderloin tour guide Deleano Seymour can easily pick one out in his eight-block-by-eight-block neighborhood. Seymour, who was profiled recently by the Business Times, has lived in the Tenderloin area for more than 30 years and conducts guided visits of the zone. According to him, the above building houses just such an operation, where "women sit in a room all day and sew clothing that's then labeled 'made in China.'"

Little appears to be done about it with no SF ordinance giving preference to local, "sweat-free" factories. And without steady work (SF is too expensive to be a manufacturing hotspot), abused workers retreat, driving sweatshops further "underground"—and yet, they remain in plain sight.Esther Hahn
·The Tenderloin, demystified [The San Francisco Business Times]
·Sweatshop crackdown [The San Francisco Chronicle]
·Nine Local Apparel Companies That Make Products Ethically [Racked SF]
·Gap Investor Meeting Soured by Bangladesh Safety Issues [Racked SF]