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There's Something About a Man in Sweatshop-Free Uniform

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In an effort to chip away at the large number of sweatshops in Los Angeles's complicated garment industry, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that requires contractors who manufacture uniforms and related goods bought by municipal entities to agree to a code of conduct. Pre-approved contractors and firms must adhere to workplace laws or risk losing the City of Los Angeles as a client.

The projected fiscal impact includes the $50,000 paid to a company that will supervise compliance, and $20,000 - $70,000 in other contracting fees.

The schmata industry is not thrilled. If we’re to believe what Joe Rodriguez from the Garment Contractors Association of Southern California told the LA Times, Council passed the measure "for show and to pad the city payroll." LA politics are far from squeaky-clean, but the danger of public employees lining their pockets (so to speak) with the fat kick-backs from this law is minor.

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LAist is proud that our Council is taking the lead among other major metropolitan manufacturing centers to address the issue. We also hope this measure means good things for American Apparel, the local manufacturer of top-notch basic wear and advocate of fair workplace practices.

Photo: Roxane Auer