Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 | “The law is an ass,” said Micawber, and there are times one must agree.
American Apparel is a giant garment maker in Los Angeles, a successful company whose “Made in U.S.A.” labels on slacks, shirts and dresses shock customers used to seeing “Made in China” on everything they buy.
Employing some 10,000 workers, American Apparel keeps prices low enough to compete with imports from Southeast Asia, whose low prices in stores like Wal-Mart are made possible by sweatshop conditions. At a time when U.S. garment manufacturing, like most U.S. manufacturing, has left America to implant itself abroad, American Apparel is a growing success story, helping to mitigate the effects of 10 percent unemployment during what is now known as “The Great Recession.”
Last week, following a series of visits from immigration officials, American Apparel began firing some 1,800 employees whose papers were found to have “immigration discrepancies,” which is a nice way of saying they were fake.