In July, a New York Times investigation revealed that forced Uighur labor is used in the making of some disposable masks sold in the U.S. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every disposable mask online is made by forced labor, even if it’s produced in China. But given the quick expansion of medical-mask production, most people have not had the opportunity to properly scrutinize factory-labor practices—which means the best way to ensure you’re buying a mask that has not been produced by forced labor is to purchase from a U.S. company. We dug into two such U.S.-based companies with seemingly humane labor practices.
This family-owned-and-operated disposable-face-mask business is based in Marietta, Georgia. Most of the current team is paid an hourly rate, and a couple of folks in management positions are salaried employees. One employee said that the factory was “well ventilated” and safe.
Four out of five materials used in this Texas-based manufacturer’s masks are produced in the U.S., save for the plastic-coated metal nosepiece, which comes from a factory in Mexico that’s run by the family member of someone on the team. The factory operates in two ten-hour shifts, with most of the workers (22, with cleaners working between shifts) paid hourly, including overtime.
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