Ortiz Outraged At Treatment of Sean John Workers

October 31, 2003
Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (D-51st A.D.) was outraged when hearing of the treatment received by garment workers for the Sean John clothing line owned by performer Sean “Puffy” Combs. It was learned recently that the Sean John clothing line had been using a “sweatshop” in Honduras to produce many of its garments.

Women were employed to produce articles of clothing that sold for upwards of $40 in a retail store but received less than fifteen cents per garment. Factory managers would verbally abuse workers, refuse to pay overtime, fire women who became pregnant and blocked efforts for workers to unionize stated the New York based National Labor Committee. It is believed that owner Sean Combs was unaware of the treatment in Honduras.

Ortiz has introduced several legislative initiatives (A.3005, A.3006, A.3008, A.3250, A.3277, A.3838, A.4058, A.6005, A.6006 and A.6284) to deal with problems such as these in New York but feels more needs to be done. The Assemblyman is calling for public hearings to be held to fully discuss the issue at hand.

“No one deserves to be treated the way these hard working women were treated, it disgusts me that acts such as these are still taking place in this day and age,” said Ortiz.