A worker owned, all female sewing cooperative called a maquila, is emerging as a viable alternative to sweatshops for U.S. clothing manufacturers. The Nueva Vida Women’s Maquila Cooperative is the first of its kind in Nicaragua. The worker-owners earn a wage well above the legal minimum and avoid the labor abuses long associated with sweatshops. The Cooperative plans on expanding their numbers to gain free trade status and attract more foreign companies.
See Catherine Elton, The Christian Science Monitor, August 12, 2001