The Real Minimum Wage is Zero LA Garment Edition

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The Real Minimum Wage is Zero LA Garment Edition

Who could have seen this com­ing:

Last week Amer­i­can Apparel, the biggest cloth­ing maker in Los Ange­les, said it might out­source the mak­ing of some gar­ments to another man­u­fac­turer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs. The com­pany still employs about 4,000 work­ers in South­ern California.

and it’s not just the big man­u­fac­tur­ers who are get­ting hit

Felix Seo has been mak­ing clothes for whole­sale in down­town for 30 years. His com­pany, Joompy, used to count giant retail­ers like For­ever 21 among its clients. But as prices have gone up in recent years, he said, those fast-​fashion ped­dlers are no longer giv­ing him orders.

“I used to pay $5 to get this sewn, and now it costs $6.50,” Seo said, hold­ing up a pat­terned dress. “But my cus­tomer doesn’t want to pay that, so I can’t sell it anymore.”

To sur­vive, Seo, 59, said Joompy may have to start import­ing goods instead of pro­duc­ing them locally. “It will be impos­si­ble to make clothes in Los Ange­les,” he said.

The Unions of course are say­ing it’s all greed

“It’s always, ‘Oh woe is me, If I pay min­i­mum wage at this rate I can’t turn a profit,’” said Nativo Lopez, a senior adviser with Her­man­dad Mex­i­cana, which is help­ing Amer­i­can Apparel work­ers unionize.

Of course that would be more believ­able if the Unions didn’t get exemp­tions from the min­i­mum wage:

Mar­tinez, a 53-​year-​old bell­hop, has hauled tourists’ lug­gage across the flag­stone plaza of the Sher­a­ton Uni­ver­sal in Stu­dio City for two decades. He said he was excited after the council’s vote to raise the min­i­mum hourly wage at large hotels to $15.37, which he expected to boost his pay­check by 71%.

He soon found out he wouldn’t be get­ting a raise after all. Under an obscure pro­vi­sion of the city’s wage hike, union­ized hotels were granted an exemp­tion allow­ing them to pay their employ­ees less. The result is that Mar­tinez, who pays $56.50 every month for mem­ber­ship in the hotel work­ers union Unite Here, now makes less than those doing the same job in non-​union workplaces.

“That’s what really makes me mad,” Mar­tinez said. “I just wanted to be treated equal. Don’t exempt us, because we’re the ones pay­ing union dues.”

I’m old enough to remem­ber when Unions didn’t fight for the right to treat their mem­bers as 2nd class citizens.

But either way the work­ing poor in LA are dis­cov­er­ing that the real min­i­mum wage is always zero.

I won­der if any­one will men­tion this to Hillary or Bernie?

*******************************************************************

Speak­ing of min­i­mum wages, the min­i­mum wage for this job is zero unless you choose to hit DaTipJar




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Who could have seen this coming:

Last week American Apparel, the biggest clothing maker in Los Angeles, said it might outsource the making of some garments to another manufacturer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs. The company still employs about 4,000 workers in Southern California.

and it’s not just the big manufacturers who are getting hit

Felix Seo has been making clothes for wholesale in downtown for 30 years. His company, Joompy, used to count giant retailers like Forever 21 among its clients. But as prices have gone up in recent years, he said, those fast-fashion peddlers are no longer giving him orders.

“I used to pay $5 to get this sewn, and now it costs $6.50,” Seo said, holding up a patterned dress. “But my customer doesn’t want to pay that, so I can’t sell it anymore.”

To survive, Seo, 59, said Joompy may have to start importing goods instead of producing them locally. “It will be impossible to make clothes in Los Angeles,” he said.

The Unions of course are saying it’s all greed

“It’s always, ‘Oh woe is me, If I pay minimum wage at this rate I can’t turn a profit,'” said Nativo Lopez, a senior adviser with Hermandad Mexicana, which is helping American Apparel workers unionize.

Of course that would be more believable if the Unions didn’t get exemptions from the minimum wage:

Martinez, a 53-year-old bellhop, has hauled tourists’ luggage across the flagstone plaza of the Sheraton Universal in Studio City for two decades. He said he was excited after the council’s vote to raise the minimum hourly wage at large hotels to $15.37, which he expected to boost his paycheck by 71%.

He soon found out he wouldn’t be getting a raise after all. Under an obscure provision of the city’s wage hike, unionized hotels were granted an exemption allowing them to pay their employees less. The result is that Martinez, who pays $56.50 every month for membership in the hotel workers union Unite Here, now makes less than those doing the same job in non-union workplaces.

“That’s what really makes me mad,” Martinez said. “I just wanted to be treated equal. Don’t exempt us, because we’re the ones paying union dues.”

I’m old enough to remember when Unions didn’t fight for the right to treat their members as 2nd class citizens.

But either way the working poor in LA are discovering that the real minimum wage is always zero.

I wonder if anyone will mention this to Hillary or Bernie?

*******************************************************************

Speaking of minimum wages, the minimum wage for this job is zero unless you choose to hit DaTipJar




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