December, 01 2000 |  Share

Unmasking Starvation Wages - Cherokee Jeans for Sale in Target

December 2000

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  • Women in Nicaragua paid just 20 cents for each pair of jeans they sew;

  • Wages amount to less than one percent of retail price for the jeans;

  • Cherokee jeans marked up 172 percent.

Internal company documents show that 44,094 pairs of Cherokee jeans sewn on lines 5 and 4 at the Chentex factory in Nicaragua.

Other company production documents smuggled out of the Chentex factory show that there are 38 sewing operations required to complete the standard five-pocket piar of full length

Cherokee jeans. The company assigns a piece rate value to each operation, which is broken down to the thousandth of a cent.

The total piece rate paid for all 38 operations comes to 2.574 cordobas, or just 20 cents. (2.574 cordobas div. by 12.9 exchange rate = $0.19953.)

Given that these Cherokee jeans retail at Target for $21.99, the sewers wages in Nicaragua amount to only 9/10ths of one percent of the retail price of the jeans.

Shipping documents show 3024 pairs of Cherokee jeans made at the Chentex factory being shipped to Target arriving on June 25, 2000 at Port Everglades in Florida, carrying a landed Customs value of $24,444--$8.08 per pair of jeans.

Given that the retail price for these blue jeans is $21.99, this represents a mark-up of 172 percent.

Note: The legally required RN number on the jeans, RN 17730, identifies Target as the manufacturer.)