ATLANTA—New Era Cap Co. released a statement Tuesday refuting allegations made by the Teamsters Union on Saturday in several cities accusing the cap maker of discrimination against employees. Teamster members protested on Friday and Saturday last week at New Era Cap stores in Atlanta, New York City, and Buffalo in the U.S. and in London and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The union said that black workers at the Mobile, Ala., plant with years of experience had been passed over for promotion in favor of white workers. It also said that all but one managerat the Mobile facility, out of a management administrative staff of more than 20, is white.
The union also said that workers at New Era’s Jackson, Ala., facility have said that sweatshop-like conditions are prevalent there.
New Era said that it had received two claims of racial discrimination prior to the Teamsters organizing the Mobile facility, both of which were found to be of no merit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. New Era said that most recent dates to 2005. The company has operated in Alabamafor nine years and has more than 900 employees in the state.
New Era called on the Teamsters Union to focus on negotiations rather than “resorting to false and irresponsible allegations of racial discrimination. New Era does not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind in its facilities,” a statement said.
Tim Freer, vice-president of global human resources, said, “We take great pride in the work we do and in the people who perform this work. We will not stand for discrimination of any kind in our facilities.”
New Era also said it is a Category A member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and sits on the FLA’s board of directors. The company said an unannounced, third-party audit was conducted at the Mobile facility in September and an FLA audit was held at the Jackson facility through an independent external auditor in July. Neither audit, which included confidential and independent interviews with workers, found discrimination, New Era said.
The cap maker also rejected claims of anti-union sentiment, saying it has a strong relationship with the Communications Workers of America, which represents its manufacturing workforce in Derby, N.Y. The Teamsters represent workers who voted in July to join the union.
Felicia Walker, a union activist and former New Era employee, said in a statement that protesters want New Era to reinstate the more than 20 workers, including herself, fired from the Mobile facility during the course of the union campaign.
@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