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A small factory or shop in which employees are poorly paid and work under adverse conditions. Sweatshops were especially common in the garment industry during the early twentieth century.
To discover by intimidation or harsh questioning (1940s+)
workplace in which workers are employed at low wages and under unhealthy or oppressive conditions. In England, the word sweater was used as early as 1850 to describe an employer who exacted monotonous work for very low wages. "Sweating" became widespread in the 1880s, when immigrants from eastern and southern Europe provided an influx of cheap labour in the United States and central Europe. An increase in industrialization in the 20th century saw sweatshops emerge in parts of Latin America and Asia, a trend that accelerated with increased demand for consumer goods in the West and a lowering of international trade barriers.