Mass Layoffs Hit American Apparel’s L.A. Factories

According to recent reports, mass layoffs are sweeping through the American Apparel clothing factories in Los Angeles as changes to the production process are implemented. Those changes spring from the February bankruptcy – and subsequent restructuring – of the ailing fashion brand.

Going forward, manufacturing will be downsized to a single floor of the large downtown factory space in an attempt to cut cost and “ensure consistency and quality,” AA CEO Paula Schneider said in a statement.

There are currently 2,600 employees working in that plant — about 100 have been laid off, according to Nativo Lopez of Hermandad Mexicana. Lopez has been working to unionize the workers at the plant and reports that layoffs are ongoing.

An American Apparel representative has offered no direct confirmation of layoffs or numbers.

The firm has also confirmed it will begin outsourcing some of its more “work intensive” items. The changes come shortly after the departure of long-term company veteran Martin Bailey. Bailey left around the time the clothing company closed down its Hawthorne, California dye house.

“We predicted this,” Lopez said. “Everything that we predicted is coming to pass.”

Interestingly, as American Apparel is gutting its Los Angeles operations – Dov Charney, the firm’s erstwhile CEO, is currently shopping in nearby South Central, scouting a location for his forthcoming apparel startup, currently known on its California business license as Schmatta LA.


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