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New Rules Will Protect Clothing Makers

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Image: kheelcenter
Although the clothing industry has changed over the years, its hard workers have always made it go. Image: kheelcenter

From now on, many companies that want to sell clothing to the Ontario government will have to provide the names of the people who made the clothing.

The names and addresses will be put onto a website so if anyone wants to check them, they can.

The new rules apply to companies selling more than $5,000 of clothing to the government. If they do not give the information, they may not be allowed to sell the clothing.

Last year, unsafe workplaces in Asia made the news. In one incident, there was a fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh.

It turned out that some Canadian companies were buying products from the Bangladesh factory even though it wasn’t a safe place. In other workplaces, reports came out about children in factories doing the work, which is against the law.

More than 85 per cent of the companies that sell clothes to the government are located in Ontario. The new rules will make sure everyone pays more attention to how the clothing makers are being treated.

(“Clothing makers” are often called “garment workers.” They are the people who cut the cloth and sew the fabric to make the clothes we buy from stores.)

Many groups have been promoting action against companies that don’t give their workers a safe and healthy place to work.

Since the accidents in Asia, many people have spoken out against unsafe companies.

They want to make sure things change and clothing workers are given a safer place to work.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The new rules in Ontario are meant to inform customers about the products they are buying. What other type of information would you want to know on the label of the clothing you buy? What information would you want to see on other items, such as a video game, food, etc. ?

Reading Prompt: Responding and Evaluating Texts
Today’s article dealt with a complex subject: working conditions. How did the author communicate difficult ideas effectively? What strategies did she use to ensure that her readers understood her? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Junior
Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Intermediate
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Synonyms
A synonym is a word that has a similar meaning to another word. For example, today’s story includes the word “garment” which is a synonym for “clothing” and “maker” which is a synonym for “worker.”

Write synonyms for the following words: pleasant, difficult, friend, cute, smart, fast, always, brave, peaceful, cry.