WASHINGTON -- While retailers turn their lobbyists loose to kill the idea that they must pay to provide all their workers health insurance, some are finding that their stance can be politically sensitive, especially with their uninsured...
WASHINGTON -- While retailers turn their lobbyists loose to kill the idea that they must pay to provide all their workers health insurance, some are finding that their stance can be politically sensitive, especially with their uninsured employees.
A few have been ducking the spotlight when they lobby Congress.
"As long as they can keep their employees ignorant, they are better off," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.). "I'm sure some of them actually believe the arguments they are making, but for the most part, they are foolish arguments."
McDermott is sponsor of a House health care reform package that calls for the federal government to fund universal health coverage via a 7.9 percent payroll tax. Retailers oppose his idea.
Retail lobbyists Steve Pfister, with the National Retail Federation, and Cecelia Adams, with the International Mass Retail Association, acknowledged that their retail members are sensitive to the difficulties of arguing against employer-mandated health insurance.
"While the issue has such a tremendous bottom-line impact on companies, the Clinton administration has simplified it [so that the] message that health insurance should always be there is a difficult one to disagree with," Pfister said.
Adams added that it's awkward for retailers to oppose mandates when their employee unions are backing the idea. Just last week, more than 100 organizations, including the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, sent a letter to every member of Congress endorsing employer mandates.
This month, Adams organized meetings between some 50 members of the House and Senate with representatives of 11 retail firms eager to convey their opposition to employer mandates. Noting she always encourages IMRA members to be open with the press, some of the retailers did not want any publicity during their Capitol Hill blitz, Adams said, because, "They wanted to speak more openly, and at this point, they did not want the press involved."
Studies show retailing insures just 35 percent of its work force, less than any other industrial sector. Retailers claim that being forced to insure everyone could result in a loss of more than 700,000 jobs nationwide and lower wages. They say it also could change the demographics of retail workers as employers turn to younger people excluded from mandated coverage under the Clinton plan.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews