An immigrants rights group said it is working with American Apparel workers to protect the company’s manufacturing jobs in the latest drama to unfold out of the Los Angeles-based firm.
Hermandad Mexicana, based out of Santa Ana, Calif., said it helped establish American Apparel factory workers establish a coalition on Saturday, the same day founder and former chief executive officer Dov Charney reportedly held a rally recounting events leading up to his ouster and urged attendees to organize.
The newly formed group is calling itself Coalition of American Apparel Factory Workers United to Save American Apparel.
A spokesman for the group criticized the company and said “current corporate management is estranged from the cultural spirit that existed at American Apparel under the leadership of its founder, Dov Charney.”
Among the group’s complaints are reduced production hours and employee furloughs at the company’s Los Angeles factory.
“American Apparel is and always has been a brand deeply rooted in social commentary,” an American Apparel spokesman said in response to the group’s formation. “As such, we support our employees’ right to free speech. And we remain committed to our core principles of providing fair wages to employees, and to sweatshop-free manufacturing right here in the city of Los Angeles.”
CEO Paula Schneider was named to the top spot at American Apparel earlier this year and is charged with turning around the troubled company. She recently created and filled the position of chief digital officer and also named a senior vice president of marketing. Those appointments followed the dismissal of creative director Iris Alonzo last month.
American Apparel shares are trading down about 18 percent so far this year to a recent market value of $146.82 million.