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Knitters happy with US rule letting them work at home

Home knitters in New England and the rural Midwest were elated - but unions were upset - over news that the Labor Department had ended a 42-year ban on their cottage industry. Independent knitters, using machines, earn as much as $ 15,000 a year by turning out knitted products - mostly ski caps and mittens - that are distributed and sold commercially.

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The AFL-CIO and its International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union have warned that allowing home knitting could undermine factory operations and jobs and lead to exploitation of home workers that include children. AFL-CIO also wants a ban on computer and other clerical work in the home, a developing trend.

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