American Apparel factory workers have organized a coalition with help of ousted founder Dov Charney and the support of an immigrant’s right advocacy group to rally about changes they believe have taken place under the company’s new management. American Apparel fired Charney from his post as CEO originally in June 2014, and then released him from his role as a consultant in December 2014.
Nonprofit organization Hermandad Mexicana, joined the hundreds of workers who met last month to create the “Coalition of American Apparel Factory Workers United to Save American Apparel.”
The coalition’s demands include, eliminating the words “Sweatshop Free” from company advertising, and an end to cutting hours, intimidating workers and and laying them off for wanting to organize meetings to address workplace issues.
“The current situation of intimidation by large and gruff security guards directed at workers for having a flyer calling for meetings, and interrogating them about meetings, is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the National Labor Relations Board Act. We are involved in protected activity, and such harassment needs to stop immediately,” the coalition’s spokesperson Maria Luisa Salgado, said. “The current corporate management is estranged from the cultural spirit that existed at American Apparel under the leadership of its founder, Dov Charney. Under the new management, we do not feel safe or dignified.”
Earlier this week, an American Apparel employee, Ana Amador filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. Amador, who has been an employee of the company for many years, claimed the security guards and management violated her civil and constitutional rights.
She complained about being confronted and harassed while in a meeting discussing the reduction of work hours. She said she also observed the same harassment of many other employees at the meeting.
Hermandad Mexicana is working with the Coalition of American Apparel Factory Workers United to “Save American Apparel” to organize future meetings related to workplace complaints and working conditions under the current management.