Esmeralda Bordales Pay Stub

Esmeralda Bordales was an illegal immigrant working for S&K Fashion, a small apparel manufacturing operation in the Los Angeles garment district. Although her pay stub indicates that she worked 40 hours and received $ 155.30 neither are probably true. Sweatshop workers toil long hours and are almost always paid by the piece.
On August 2, 1995, police officers raided a fenced compound of seven apartments in El Monte, California. They arrested eight operators of a clandestine garment sweatshop and freed 72 illegal Thai immigrants who had been forced to sew in virtual captivity. Authorities also raided the front shop where Esmerelda worked. The 50 to 80 Latina employees in the front shop provided the theoretical source of garment production when representatives from retailers and manufacturers came to inspect facilities and the merchandise they ordered. However, even this shop was in violation of wage and hour codes. Workers, mostly women, finished the garments, put them on hangers, and added tags in preparation for delivery to stores and manufacturers.
Object Name
pay stub
date made
overall: 2 3/8 in x 3 1/8 in; 6.0325 cm x 7.9375 cm
United States: California, Los Angeles
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.