October 2009 Archives

October 5, 2009

American Apparel forced to lay off 1,800 immigrant workers

The Obama administration has forced American Apparel to lay off 1,800 immigrant workers there.  As reported in Terra:

The firings at the well-regarded Los Angeles based company provide a clear example of how the Obama administration is trying to move from workplace raids to forced termination in the fight against illegal immigration. But the firings are not without controversy, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the terminations were “devastating” and his office publicly called on the federal government to focus on employers that exploit and abuse their workers. American Apparel has historically been very good to their workers, providing all of their garment producers with health and life insurance and paying them well above the standard going rate for garment workers.

Opinions on this move have been mixed. While some say these jobs can now go to Americans and legal residents, others say this could further harm a region already devastated by unemployment. The Los Angeles Times, for example, wrote the following editorial:

There are those who believe that Los Angeles will benefit because those jobs will now go to American citizens. Certainly that is possible. Joblessness in California is at 12.2%, a 70-year high andfar past the national average of 9.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And between August 2008 and August of this year, Los Angeles lost more jobs than any other U.S. city. Citizens of every race and ethnicity, desperate for employment, are now frequenting day- labor sites in downtown L.A. and Hollywood, according to the Wall Street Journal; some have turned to farm work and labor in the fields. But even if American Apparel replaces its lost workers with U.S. citizens, it’s just a shell game; one problem is solved while another is created.

Filed under Fashion and Apparel, U.S. Government by

October 6, 2009

Apple leaves U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Apple Inc. has quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because the group has been too critical of proposed steps to cut pollution. This seems like a good move. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents many of the really huge Corporations in the U.S., but has never shown any real interest in small business concerns, or in the rest of our society for that matter. As reported in San Francisco Business Times:

The Cupertino computer and popular electronics business is just one of several businesses, including Nike Inc. and PG&E Corp., that have criticized the chamber’s stance. Nike resigned from the chamber’s board of directors but stayed as a member of the group. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticized proposed “cap-and-trade” legislation passed by the House of Representatives and due to come before the Senate. Apple’s vice president of worldwide government affairs, Catherine Novelli, sent a letter to Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the chamber, in which she said, “We would prefer that the Chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue.”

Filed under Business Associations, Energy Industry, Environment and Climate, Opinion by

October 13, 2009

California sours on Schwarzenegger

With a long history of bad moves and missed opportunities, California has soured on Governor Schwarzenegger. In spite of his “nice guy” image, a field poll just released shows that only 27 percent of residents approve of Schwarzenegger’s job performance while 65 percent disapprove. This is That’s the lowest approval rating for any California governor in 50 years – except for Gray Davis who registered a 22 percent approval rating in 2003 just before voters recalled him. Voters are even more disgusted with the State Legislature with only a 13 percent approval rating – the lowest in 25 years. “It’s brutal,” Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said to the San Francisco Chronicle. ” ‘How low can we go?’ is an open question. Voters don’t think we’ve bottomed out yet.”

Filed under California Legislature, California Politics, Governor Schwarzenegger by

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