Sweatshops are not in style.
Fashion star Alexander Wang, famous for his understated designs, is accused of running a sweatshop in Chinatown and his employees are fighting back.
Queens resident Wenyu Lu, 56, who has worked for Wang since 2008, is suing Wan on behalf of some 20 workers, who say Wang repeatedly violated state labor laws at their factory on 386 Broadway.
Lu is demanding $50 million dollars for the injuries, illnesses, lost time from work and lost sleep he and his coworkers allegedly suffered at the hands of Wang.
Lu says he and others crowded into a 200-square foot, windowless room with 22 sewing machines operating at all hours. On average, Lu says he worked 84 hours per week with no overtime.
When Lu finally complained about the conditions on Feb. 16 of this year, he was fired, the complaint alleges.
“In the Chinese community, there are a lot of new immigrants that work in sweat shops like this,” said Lu’s attorney, Ming Hai told Metro. “The working conditions fall short of the standards set by the law.”
In one instance, Lu claims to have worked 25 hours straight. He says he passed out and had to be taken to the emergency room, but his employers were upset that he took time off work, the complaint alleges.
“There are only 24 hours in a day, but he had to work 25 hours,” said Hai.
Lu says he was constantly berated by his employers, called “lazy” and “stupid” on a regular basis.
Wang opened a 4,000-square-foot flagship store in Chinatown just last year and is planning to reportedly open 15 more stores by the end of this year.
Requests for a comment from Wang have not yet been returned.
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