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Fresh off the heels of National Women’s Day, the celebration which began in the 1900’s as an initiative by women for  fair compensation in the workplace, among other issues, Gia On The Move is getting a small dose of modern day awareness on the subject.

Now, it’s Fashion Week here in LA.  And a lot of what we see in this city are Indie brands that are gaining ground through not only local support, but local workers and technology breakthroughs that have begun to put newbie designers on a level playing field, according to Csaba Fikke, Publisher and Founder of The Los Angeles Fashion Magazine (more on what Csaba is doing to push that along in a positive way, later).

So it bears understanding the state of the Garment Industry and what we are really up against.  Unfortunately, I’ve begun to receive far too many press releases lately regarding worker injustices.  It’s the down side of selling the dream of beauty and hip/cool.

Below is the latest.  Gia On The Move makes no claims to accuracy or the intention of sending us this information other than to “make it known”, however, this is from the US Labor Department’s website and  linked to the department’s garment industry enforcement actions in Los Angeles from last summer and fall. Following is a blog by Patricia Smith talking about the daily reality of clothing shopping and how it impacts her own family.  Worth the read.

News release:

Federal court orders Forever 21 to surrender supply chain information subpoenaed by US Department of Labor

Forever 21LOS ANGELES – U.S. District Court Judge Margaret Morrow has ordered Los Angeles-based apparel retailer Forever 21 to produce documents demanded by an administrative subpoena issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The order is the latest in a series of actions to arise from the department’s continuing effort to address widespread violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions in the Southern California apparel industry.

“Garment workers historically have been subjected to exploitation and paid substandard wages,” said Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith. “The order underscores that everyone in the supply chain has a responsibility to ensure that workers receive the federal minimum wage and earned overtime, and it demonstrates our commitment to enforcing those protections despite tactics designed to obscure the employment relationship.”

More….

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/whd20130447.htm

Blog:

Fair Garments…Forever

by Patricia Smith on March 14

Parents have a lot on their minds when they’re out shopping for their families. Price is often a big factor, and teens can be especially conscious about brands and style. I’ve spent a long time in government, trying to make sure that workers get paid the minimum wage, so I try to spend some time thinking about the workers behind the clothes, too.

As I’ve written before, the Labor Department is responsible for making the laws that protect workers count. And that means strong, agile, innovative enforcement practices that hold employers accountable for violations of the law. One of our challenges in providing workers with the protections to which they’re entitled is knowing how and where to apply the law by making an assessment of who bears the legal responsibility for any violations that we find. Accurate, thorough information about a business’ structure is critical to overcoming this challenge.

More…

http://social.dol.gov/blog/fair-garments-forever/

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