NEW YORK -- With the U.S. economy coughing along after years of strong growth, pundits have laid blame for the slowdown at the feet of everyone from gullible investors who bought into the dot-com balloon too readily to the terrorists who destroyed...
NEW YORK--With the U.S. economy coughing along after years of strong growth, pundits have laid blame for the slowdown at the feet of everyone from gullible investors who bought into the dot-com balloon too readily to the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center.A recently released study blames another culprit for the U.S. missing out on an average of over $800 billion in economic growth a year for the last 60 years. That culprit is organized labor, which vehemently disputes the charge.The study, titled "Do Unions Help the Economy?" was commissioned by the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative organization, and the John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice & Policy at George Mason University. It claims that unions ultimately push down employment and wages.The study contends that the unionization of industries, including manufacturing and mining, has contributed to job losses in those sectors in recent years. It further suggests that many retail and service fields have a low level of union participation and that has contributed to the growth of employment in those areas."As unions increase wage rates through the use of their monopoly power, job opportunities in the unionized industries and occupations decrease, increasing the supply of labor in the nonunion sector," wrote the study's authors, Richard K. Vedder and Lowell E. Gallaway, both Ohio University economics professors. "This drives wages down in those areas and increases the relative number of lower-wage jobs available to workers engaged in the job-search process."The study contends that unions drive the overall per capita gross domestic product down, more than offsetting the higher wages that unionized workers typically earn compared with nonunionized workers.Ron Blackwell, director of corporate affairs at the AFL-CIO, called the study's claim that unions have cost the U.S. more than $50 trillion in the past six decades "ludicrous.""If you look at the postwar history of the U.S., the period from 1947 to 1973 when union density was the highest, real economic growth was over 5 percent a year, production growth was rapid, real-wage growth came step by strep with productivity growth and real family incomes doubled," he said. Since then, he said, union membership has slipped substantially and real-wage growth has slowed.One factor the study does not directly address is the role globalization has played in the migration of some industries, particularly manufacturing, out of the U.S. to developing nations where wages are substantially lower than the U.S. minimum wage.The U.S. textile and apparel industry in the past year has lost more than 100,000 jobs, largely as a result of the closing of domestic plants as retailers and wholesalers shift more production outside the U.S."Manufacturing has been one of the industries that has been the most heavily unionized and so there has been a great deal of movement because it's harder for manufacturers to stay in business when their labor costs are so high," David Kendrick, an NLPC representative, told WWD.Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education at the Cornell University's New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, who was not involved in the study, said she's found little connection between unionization rates and the migration of manufacturing out of the U.S."I've done a lot of research on the impact of what's happening in terms of production shifts to China and other countries, and the impact on wages, and it's important to note that these industries are doing less manufacturing here whether they're union or not," she said in an interview after the study was released. "There is no way that American businesses are going to win the race to the bottom by lowering wages. Employers are moving regardless of whether the industry is unionized or not unionized.""This isn't a matter of whether they were going to be paid $10 an hour or $7 an hour," she said in an earlier interview. "It's a question of whether they were going to be paid in cents."She cited the wireless-electronics manufacturing business as an example of a nonunionized manufacturing sector that has largely moved overseas.While unions are currently not a major force in the retail industry, labor organizers are trying to change that. UNITE has made organizing workers at distribution centers a major push, and is in the midst of a battle to unionize a Brylane Inc. distribution center in Indianapolis. Similarly, the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union has been working to unionize Wal-Mart Stores locations.Some observers suggested that while unions may in some way be culpable for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, the overall U.S. standard of living may also hold some blame."In a way, the union has contributed [to the job losses] by trying to maintain a living wage and decent standard of living," said Peter Rachleff, a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. "But you have to ask the question, is it worth keeping the jobs if you can't have that?"""
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion