GIULIANI VETOES SWEATSHOP BILL
NEW YORK — Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has vetoed a so-called anti-sweatshop bill passed by the City Council that would require garment and textile suppliers contracting with the city to show that they engage in fair labor practices. The mayor reportedly called the bill irresponsible, unconstitutional, and based on principles of social economics before rejecting it during a Friday morning hearing.
The legislation essentially said the city would not buy uniforms, garments or textiles from domestic or international manufacturers that do not provide “responsible” working conditions or wages for employees, councilwoman Kathryn E. Freed, a sponsor of the legislation, told WWD Sunday. Responsible wages were defined as those above the federal poverty line for a family of three.
Freed said the bill passed the City Council by a 39-5 margin and is confident she will get the 36 votes necessary to override the veto. Giuliani vowed to take the matter to court in the event of an override. His office could not be reached for comment Sunday.
“His reasons were shocking because I think he misinterpreted what the bill does,” Freed said of the veto. “It does not affect interstate commerce laws, anyone can bid on a contract for x-number of uniforms. It just defines what “responsible” means for the city of New York.”