"This is nothing less than slave labor and it must end."
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has an idea to tackle a hand sanitizer shortage, The New York Times reports: use prison labor to make more of the stuff.
Cuomo has enlisted the help of Corcraft, New York's prison-based product company to produce about 100,000 gallons per week — a response, he said, spiking product prices.
"You don’t even have the floral bouquet," Cuomo said at a briefing on Monday, as quoted by the Times, referring to Corcraft's reported floral aroma. "So stop price gouging," he added.
Stop to Smell the Roses
And at around $6.10 per gallon bottle, it's cheaper "than to buy it on the open market," according to Cuomo.
"I detect lilac, hydrangea, tulips," Cuomo added after pulling back the curtains on two big jugs of the new "NYS Clean" hand sanitizer at Monday's briefing.
Unsurprisingly, not everybody's happy with the plan. New York inmates only get paid 62 cents an hour, but according to experts, that number can fall all the way down to just 10 cents in some cases.
"These individuals work for less than a dollar a day under threat of punishment — including solitary confinement — if they refuse," the Legal Aid Society said in a statement. "This is nothing less than slave labor and it must end."
READ MORE: Cuomo’s Fix for Sanitizer Shortage: 100,000 Gallons Made by Prisoners [The New York Times]