NEW YORK -- A public hearing will be held Friday at the research office of New York State Ben. Franz S. Leichter to address the issue of sweatshop conditions in the apparel industry.

Organized by Leichter, Assembly member Frank J. Barbaro of Brooklyn and chairman of the Assembly labor committee Catherine T. Nolan of Queens, the session has scheduled 20 witnesses, including State Labor Commissioner John Hudacs, apparel factory workers and representatives from the New York State Department of Labor apparel industry task force.

The hearing will address proposed legislation that would make apparel wholesalers liable for sweatshop conditions at their contracted suppliers. If legalized, some apparel wholesalers could face seizure of manufactured goods and severe increases in fines, according to Michael Skrak, Leichter's director of research.

Leichter's office is at 270 Broadway, and the session is to start at 10:30 a.m.

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