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Chung Hee No

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Chung Hee No grew up in South Korea. She came to the U.S. in 1986 and spent 21 years working in a sweat shop in downtown Los Angeles where she worked long hours for little pay. She eventually became a manager in the factory. She later moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where she works and studies English at Neighborhood House.

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0:03:03

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Chung Hee No Transcription
Most of time I spent making clothes in downtown Los Angeles in California. I was a seamstress and I worked for 21 years in sweat factories. I thought it was good for a women’s job when I got that job. But it wasn’t. I didn’t have time to take care of my family. Also, it was very hard to work for long hours and it was very low income. I met so many people who were illegally working. But the good thing was that I met people from different countries. I learned their language and different culture.
I woke up at 5:30 and left home at 6:10 every morning. We started to work right away when we got there. It was hard to work but we were happy together. Sometimes, we argue with the owner about wages because the owner didn’t want to pay us by the hour. Most of the factories owners’ liked to pay for a piece of work. However, we had to work long hours every day. It doesn’t matter how many hours a day we just mad minimum hours to make money for a week. We had this experience when I worked for several years.
I tried to help illegal workers when I became a manager at the factory because the factory owner abused them, but no one wanted to help them. Anyway, illegal workers and legal workers both were hard pressed to make a little income either way.
However, I didn’t have time to take care of my two daughters, but they didn’t complain much to me. Of course, we had so many problems with my daughters and their parents but they’ve been growing well.
I think my whole life in the United States of America isn’t bad, although I lost my lovely husband. Also, I am able to speak a little Spanish I learned from my co-workers. And I moved to Minnesota. Now, I’ve been studying whatever what I want!