WASHINGTON — Labor groups ramped up the push on Wednesday for a bill that would make it easier for workers to organize unions, seeking to leverage a new study that found one in four workers was illegally fired during union campaigns.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank here, said 26 percent of union election campaigns from 2001 through 2007 had illegal firings, compared with about 16 percent in the late Nineties.
The Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier to organize by allowing a majority of workers to sign a card in support of a union, is opposed by most of the business community and could be a significant legislative test for President Obama. He cosponsored the bill in the Senate and said during the campaign that he would enact it if elected president. But Obama indicated in January to the Washington Post’s editorial board that he would be open to a compromise.
The bill would also stiffen penalties against employers that illegally fire or discriminate against workers for their union activity during an organizing or contract drive.
“We need the Employee Free Choice Act to fix a broken system that gives corporations far too much power” in union organizing drives, said Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director for American Rights At Work.
Business opponents said the proposal would eliminate management’s ability to argue against unionization and abolish secret ballot elections. Executives also oppose the provision that gives control of a contract to a third-party arbitrator in the event of an impasse.
The legislation, which stalled in the Senate in 2007, is expected to soon be reintroduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.) and Rep. George Miller (D., Calif.).
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast