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New York | Revolution Brews For Better Working Conditions In Salons

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The Ed.

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While we are all passionate about the industry that we work in, it's sometimes easy to forget that there is a not-so-beautiful side to beauty. Nepali immigrants working in salons in New York city are teaming up with the non-profit organisation Adhikaar and hoping to regulate certain areas of the industry more effectively.

At the moment, more than fifty have joined with Adhikaar and revealed the true nature of the conditions that they are often expected to work in. Adhikaar are planning to conduct a city-wide survey of manicurists in the hope of bringing some of the shoddy working conditions and safety measures to light.

Hundreds of Nepali women work in salons and the first thing Adhikaar are campaigning for is the right for these women to take the licensing exams in their native language. When you think about it, you can take a driving test in any number of languages...why shouldn't the same apply to licensing exams?

"A lot of people don't have licenses and because they don't have a licenses they become more vulnerable," says executive director of Adhikaar, Luna Ranjit.

Those working in violating salons complain of not getting any time to eat, poor ventilation systems that cause headaches and asthma attacks and improper pay as 'independent contractors' to sidestep labour rules. One worker talks of being paid $75 for a ten hour day.

Shirley Lin of the Asian American Legal Defense and Eduction Fund said labour violations in the city's 3,500 salons are common.

It's an undeniable truth of our industry that standards vary, but if someone is making money from exploiting other human beings surely it's worth fighting?

Until then...geek on!

The Ed.
 

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deanosnana

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My question becomes, are the Nepali LEARNING nails in their native language? If so, where?

I totally agree that no one should work in deplorable conditions.
 

tigi

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surely these nepali women must have a relevant qual from their colleges etc and that could be used to help them get their licence?

tigi
 

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