Unmasking Starvation Wages - Kmart Jean Shorts

July, 25 2007 Share

December 2000

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  • Women in Nicaragua are paid just 18 cents for each pair of shorts they sew.

Internal company production documents obtained from the Chentex factory in Nicaragua show that there are 40 steps, or sewing operations, required to complete a five-pocket button-fly pair of blue jean shorts made for Kmart.

The company assigns a piece rate value to each specific operation, breaking the pay per piece down to thousandths of a cent.

The total piece rate pay for all 40 operations comes to 2.3755 cordobas, or just 18 U.S. cents. ($1.00 U.S. = 12.9 Nicaraguan cordobas.)