In a significant development, the General Brotherhood of American Apparel Workers (GBWAA), a union for garment workers at American Apparel’s southern California manufacturing facilities has called for a boycott of the brand’s merchandise, pointing to mass layoffs and reduced compensation and benefits that have intensified since new management in January 2015 began a process of post-bankruptcy restructuring throughout the corporation.
Currently, GBWAA is awaiting a certification election date from the National Labor Relations Board, and workers with the union say they are calling for the boycott because American Apparel consumers must know corporation is not the high-wage, sweatshop-free company once marketed itself to be, especially since Paula Schneider replaced American Apparel founder Dov Charney as chief executive officer of the corporation.
According to the Union president Stephanie Padilha dos Santos, if people are used to buying American Apparel and think that the company is great and that the whole concept of paying fair wages in industry was what made the company a huge success, then we invite you now to boycott the brand because it is no longer sweatshop-free.
Padilha alleges that the company has been outsourcing production to other ‘sweatshops’ around Los Angeles, while reducing the once relatively high wages earned by production workers at the company, which were the highest in the world, according to the company.
Meanwhile, in another round of layoffs, over 500 workers are reported to have been laid off this April as part of what Schneider has called a ‘redesign of production process.’