Notes from the Underground

Millions of illegal workers will not be celebrating Labor Day

The dressmakers' workroom is a small L-shaped area on the fourth floor of a dilapidated building in downtown Los Angeles. Tattered sheets drape the dirt-streaked windows. Seven seamstresses, ages 18 to 45 and all from Latin America, sit in a tight row, huddled over their humming machines, monitored by a stocky Hispanic woman with a shock of bright orange-red hair. On a nearby desk rests a broken time clock. The workers were not paid last week; they may not be paid this week. The...

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