LABOR ACCORD: Brylane Inc. and UNITE reached an agreement Tuesday on how 1,000 workers at a Brylane distribution center in Indianapolis will determine whether a majority of them want to be unionized. For more than a year, UNITE and the catalog’s management have been at loggerheads over how to decide if there are enough workers at the plant who support the union. The process will entail a secret mail-in ballot that Brylane workers will fill out and send to Paul Deignan, an outside lawyer hired to administer the voting. If at least 50 percent of the workers express the desire to be represented by UNITE, Brylane will recognize the union and begin negotiations on the first union contract for the facility. If they don’t, UNITE said it would discontinue organizing efforts in Indiana and elsewhere for at least one year. In the past year, UNITE has staged protests outside of Gucci and Alexander McQueen stores in New York. Brylane is owned by Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, which also owns a majority stake in Gucci, which in turn owns a majority stake in McQueen’s firm. The mail-in campaign period will start Thursday and run through Jan. 23.
TOMMY HITS THE OUTBACK: Tommy Hilfiger is headed down under with his men’s sportswear line. Tommy Hilfiger Licensing has established Tommy Hilfiger Australia Pty Ltd., a division of Muzza Clothing Co. Pty Ltd. Muzza Clothing Co. has operated the Blazer men’s wear business, one of Australia’s leading men’s sportswear companies, since 1987. Beginning in July, Hilfiger men’s sportswear will be sold in leading department stores in Australia. Hilfiger’s women’s collection is expected to be introduced at a later date. Hilfiger has been selling his fragrances in Australia since 1996.
This story first appeared in the January 8, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.