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American Apparel caught with unauthorized employees
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laurapalmer



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 1474
American Apparel caught with unauthorized employees  Reply with quote  

good times, as nearly 1/3 of AA's employees were undocumented. my favorite part is that AA mentions that docs can be forged. But...1800 times? Who is in charge of HR there, the guy that sold cigarettes at the amoco near my high school?

article excerpt:


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. federal probe has found that about a third of American Apparel's factory workers in the Los Angeles area had supplied suspect or invalid records and were not authorized to work in the United States.

The findings, from a January 2008 federal investigation, may deal a blow to the corporation's image as a proponent of immigration reform.

But the company said on Tuesday the potential loss of those 1,800 workers would have no significant impact on its results.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency found that some 1,600 current employees at American Apparel's Los Angeles factories appeared to have gained employment due to "suspect and not valid" eligibility documentation, the company said in a filing.

The probe also found that the employment eligibility of an additional 200 workers could not be verified due to discrepancies, it said.

full article here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE55T7TU20090701
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:16 am
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leifkolt



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Where good people go to die.
 Reply with quote  

How fitting that a company called 'American Apparel' is caught doing something like this. It's very American.

As punishment they should have to change their name to 'Sweat Shop Threads'.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:24 am
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Scottie



Joined: 18 Jul 2003
Posts: 2829
 Reply with quote  

Were they getting a fair wages? Healthcare? A safe working environment?

The immigration process is a nightmare I do not fault any business for hiring undocumented workers as long as a company does not take advantage of the status.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:42 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Unless there's proof that they underpaid these employees or attempted to evade taxes or benefits by hiring them then this story is a positive one for AA in my book. I see absolutely nothing wrong with hiring immigrants, documented or otherwise, unless you're employing them in an abusive and exploitative manner. AA's working conditions have been suspect, but so long as the undocumented people receive similar, legal treatment compared to that of the documented ones then how is this not okay?
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:47 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Scottie wrote:
Were they getting a fair wages? Healthcare? A safe working environment?

The immigration process is a nightmare I do not fault any business for hiring undocumented workers as long as a company does not take advantage of the status.


You put that so much better than I did.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:48 am
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leifkolt



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Where good people go to die.
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This is a thin sliver away from exploding into an immigration debate... which I do NOT know the answer for.

I just think that with an unemployment level of around 10% all those jobs could be going to Californians who ARE legitimate citizens first.

Dookie on AA.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:04 am
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 9740
Location: Denver
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leifkolt wrote:
This is a thin sliver away from exploding into an immigration debate... which I do NOT know the answer for.

I just think that with an unemployment level of around 10% all those jobs could be going to Californians who ARE legitimate citizens first.

Dookie on AA.

Argument fail.

Completely agree with Scottie/redball. As long as nobody is being exploited, it's fine with me... and I'd honestly rather have undocumented workers employed there than others who don't have it as rough. At least if you're a citizen you can go get welfare or unemployment... no such outlet for undocumented workers.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:12 am
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Shinigami



Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 275
Location: Midwest
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leifkolt wrote:
This is a thin sliver away from exploding into an immigration debate... which I do NOT know the answer for.

I just think that with an unemployment level of around 10% all those jobs could be going to Californians who ARE legitimate citizens first.

Dookie on AA.



i agree with this. our unemployment is so high right now i'd prefer if these companies employed actual US citizens.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:20 am
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6311
Location: airstrip one
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“You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”
-Malcolm X
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:27 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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leifkolt wrote:
This is a thin sliver away from exploding into an immigration debate... which I do NOT know the answer for.

I just think that with an unemployment level of around 10% all those jobs could be going to Californians who ARE legitimate citizens first.

Dookie on AA.


We can bring it back from that, though it will go there because the immigration debate is at the core of this.

AA -- particularly Dov, it would seem -- wants immigration reform, and presumably they favor legalization of more non-citizen workers. Thus, this can be seen as a sort of civil disobedience. They're probably purposefully ignoring the status of the employees because they don't believe they should have to do otherwise. So long as they are treating the workers fairly then they are actually being consistent and, one could argue, somewhat ethical.

Should that be the case then it would be clear that this is a government crackdown to send a message that even if you pay taxes and fairly employ undocumented immigrants the government will get you. As such, I'm currently seeing this as a big fucking INS mess and it makes me really angry about our immigration laws.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:30 am
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note1



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 1260
Location: providence
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Isn't the whole point of hiring undocumented workers the fact that you don't have to pay them as much? Isn't that what this is all about? Why hire illegals (and expose your company to government crackdown) if you're just going to treat them like everyone else?
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:41 am
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 9740
Location: Denver
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Because they need jobs and do them well?

Just a thought.

Fuck immigration laws.

EDIT: Also, that a nationwide DREAM Act hasn't been passed yet is fucking ridiculous. There are large numbers of undocumented students who have no hope of ever affording college or working legally. Most of them have been in the country for over 10 years and attended high school here, but they can't work? Again, FUCK immigration laws... biggest mismash of bullshit and opportunity-sapping bureaucracy in the universe.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:58 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
 Reply with quote  

note1 wrote:
Isn't the whole point of hiring undocumented workers the fact that you don't have to pay them as much? Isn't that what this is all about? Why hire illegals (and expose your company to government crackdown) if you're just going to treat them like everyone else?


That's an assumption, though. From what we know we can assume a few things:

1) Maybe AA was hiring undocumented people to exploit them.

2) AA is an advocate for immigration reform, and much of this documentation was invalid or forged. Thus, they may have simply chosen not to go to any length to verify the employment records. What this would mean is that they do not know who is or is not legally allowed to work, which would mean that they probably treat everyone the same.

3) Perhaps the situation above is correct, but they still take advantage of it and use it to keep all wages and benefits down. Though, this would conflict with the report Bernard put together that indicated that AA has poor conditions, but they are still better than most of the conditions in that industry and their wages are very fair compared to the rest of the industry.

4) Whatever the economy and job situation is here, it is worse in Mexico.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:20 am
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Shinigami



Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 275
Location: Midwest
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i don't understand why Mexico's economy is our problem to begin with?


not trying to hate, just saying.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:27 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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1) Despite living on the other side of a river, imaginary line, or fence, Mexicans are still human.

2) As one of our nearest neighbors their economy directly influences ours.

3) The more we ignore their economy and allow them to suffer the more likely they are to try to flee to our economy, because for someone with virtually no standard of living almost anything is an improvement.

4) They are poised to become the American working class, as the standard of living that most Americans desire or expect is increasingly unattainable with blue-collar salaries.
Post Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:36 am
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