Friday, December 18, 2009



Two hundred sewers earn $1.84 each a day, which amounts to $368 in direct labor costs. The 3,500 pairs of Arizona jeans they produce each day would sell for $52,265 at J. C. Penney stores in the U.S. This means that the direct labor cost for sewing these jeans comes to only 7/10ths of one percent of the sales price. In other words, the women in Nicaragua receive just 11 cents; for every $14.99 pair of Arizona jeans they sew.

Since J.C. Penney leaves just 11 cents behind in Nicaragua in direct labor costs, one wonders what happens to the other $14.88- -99.3 percent of the sales price? (14.99-.11=$14.88)

By comparison, if J.C, Penney made these jeans in the U.S., the labor cost would be approximately 10 percent of the sales price, or $1.50.

Could J.C. Penney afford to do better? After all, 23 cents an hour, or $11.04 a week is a sub-subsistence wage in Nicaragua, on which no one can survive.

-Source: Weekly News Update on the Americas * Nicaragua Solidarity Network of NY -

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