Labor Industrial Relations

Download Behind the Label : Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel by Edna Bonacich PDF

By Edna Bonacich

In a learn the most important to our realizing of yankee social inequality, Edna Bonacich and Richard Appelbaum examine the go back of sweatshops to the attire undefined, particularly in l. a.. The "new" sweatshops, they are saying, must be understood when it comes to the decline within the American welfare country and its robust unions and the increase in worldwide and versatile construction. clothing brands now have the motivation to maneuver construction to at any place low-wage exertions are available, whereas holding arm's-length contractual relatives that guard them from accountability. The flight of the has ended in a tremendous upward thrust in clothing imports to the us and to a decline in employment.

Los Angeles, even though, continues to be a confusing exception in that its employment has endured to develop, to the purpose the place L.A. is the most important middle of clothing creation within the kingdom. not just the supply of low-wage immigrant (often undocumented) staff but in addition the focal point on reasonably priced, fashion-sensitive women's put on makes this attainable. Behind the Label examines the avid gamers within the L.A. clothing undefined, together with brands, shops, contractors, and employees, comparing the maldistribution of wealth and gear. The authors discover executive and union efforts to remove sweatshops whereas restricting the flight to Mexico and in other places, they usually finish with an outline of the transforming into antisweatshop movement.

Los Angeles occasions top Nonfiction booklet of 2000

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Extra resources for Behind the Label : Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel Industry

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Retailers have also gained power by engaging in their own direct offshore sourcing. Recently, their power has been consolidated by a series of mergers; by 1996 the four largest retailers in the United States accounted for two-thirds of the total value of national apparel retail sales. Consolidation has increased the ability to demand more from manufacturers in terms of price and speed, demands that reverberate all the way down the system to the workers, who bear the brunt of lower wages and faster production.

The contracting out of apparel production can be seen as an instance of flexible production. It allows apparel manufacturers to deal with fluctuations in fashion and seasons by hiring contractors when they need them and letting them go when they do not. In this respect the apparel industry is at the cutting edge of the new global economy: It has used contracting out for decades and has developed this flexible production system to a fine art. Moreover, the contracting system has been extended to global production.

Consolidation has increased the ability to demand more from manufacturers in terms of price and speed, demands that reverberate all the way down the system to the workers, who bear the brunt of lower wages and faster production. 17 However, the very word “fashion” is deeply associated with the garment industry. It can be seen as the first industry that developed the notion of constantly changing styles. And as we have seen, its highly flexible production system is the most advanced of any industry.

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