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Nine-year-old is boss in Bangladesh factory

Meem, 9 years old, works inside a garment factory in Dhaka, in Bangladesh. September 23, 2013.
Raveena Aulakh | Toronto Star | Getty Images
Meem, 9 years old, works inside a garment factory in Dhaka, in Bangladesh. September 23, 2013.

Toronto Star journalist Raveena Aulakh worked four days undercover at a garment factory in Bangladesh with a pre-teen as her supervisor, the paper reported Friday.

Aulakh's boss, a nine-year-old girl named Meem, labored 12 hours a day sitting on the floor and cutting threads from collars. Meem earned $32 Canadian ($30.78 USD) a month for working six-and-a-half days a week without holidays or sick leaves, Aulakh said.

(Read more: Reputations on the Line: Retailers Rethink Sourcing)

While Aulakh said she suffered from backaches during the four days she worked as a sewing helper, trimming threads had become a full-time occupation for many local girls aged nine to 20.

The younger workers have better eyesight, nimbler fingers and better attitudes, which Aulakh said make them more attractive to factory managers.

(Read more: Clothes not to die for: A push for ethical apparel)

Living in a world of factory workers, the girls don't feel they should be in school, Aulakh found. They needed to support their younger siblings and valued the things money could buy.

Read the original story here: I got hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop. Meet my 9-year-old boss


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