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THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2022                                     THE QUEENS TIMES                                                            PAGE 9

         Senator Gillibrand Announces Groundbreaking Fabric Act to                                 Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar
                  Reinvigorate The Garment Industry in The U.S.                                     Partners With Mount Sinai Health
                                                                                                    System For Free Mammograms at
           (Continued from page 7)   tracts, as well as rapidly-shifting  and beyond initial wages.
                                     and widespread cultural values.  •    New liability requirements that        District Office
             The FABRIC Act proposes to  The benefits of regulation that will  hold fashion brands responsible
        address these issues through five  reform the piece-rate pay scale and  for the labor practices of their   (Continued from page 3)  woman Rajkumar, who comes
        central pillars:             champion workplace well-being  manufacturing partners to increase                       from a family of all medical
        1.   Restructuring pay rates and pro-  amount to customer satisfaction.  accountability in the garment   for us. Since day one, the As-  doctors. “My district office is a
        viding minimum wage as a floor  At the NYFWDC, we recognize  industry and compel major retail-  semblywoman has been fighting  community hub where we take
        with productivity incentives on top.  that regulation and reform will ul-  ers to become allies in combating   tirelessly to improve healthcare  care of the health and welfare of
        2.   Establishing new liability  timately lead to a more prosperous  workplace violations.  access in the district.”  the community. It is my true pas-
        measures that compel major retail-  and sustainable fashion industry by       The FABRIC Act has garnered        “I love my constituents and  sion to take care of the people of
        ers to become allies in combating  which skilled workers are treated  endorsements from the AFL-CIO,   I am doing all I can for the sake  South Queens. It feeds my heart
        workplace violations.        with dignity, worker retention is  UNITE HERE, Workers United,   of their health,” said Assembly-  every day.”
        3.   Introducing recordkeeping and  achieved through improved condi-  SEIU, RWDSU, National Employ-
        transparency measures.       tions, and industry ethics are at-  ment Law Project (NELP), Gar-  Mayor Eric Adams to Pace Students: To
        4.   Incentivizing reshoring.   tuned and align with an increasing  ment Worker Center, Partners for
        5.   Creating a domestic garment  consumer demand for justice,” said  Dignity and Rights, Worker-driven   Change The World, You Must Protest
        manufacturing grant program  Ibada Wadud, founding member of  Social Responsibility Network,                And Protect
        aimed at revitalizing the industry.  the New York Fashion Workforce  Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Re-
        Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT),  Development Coalition and Gov-  make, Fashion Revolution, Fashion   (Continued from page 6)  to be flexible. How to make posi-
        Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and  ernance Board member.        Revolution USA, The Model Al-                             tive change.”
        Cory Booker (D-NJ) are original       American garment workers  liance, Center for Advancement  violence, homelessness, or other       Students celebrating this ex-
        cosponsors of the FABRIC Act.  face the second-highest rate of  of Garment Making, The Fashion  societal injustices, people must  citing achievement were a mix
             “It’s time to take bold action  wage theft of any group of work-  Connection, Skilled Laborers  fight for what they think is right.  of undergraduate, graduate, law,
        at the federal level to change  ers in the country. At its peak in  Brigade, Sustainable Brooklyn,       “Here is my message to gradu-  and doctoral students, spanning
        the fabric of the American gar-  April of 1973, the U.S. apparel  Custom Collaborative, The Slow  ates: Yes, protest. But then pro-  a variety of disciplines and future
        ment manufacturing industry. The  production industry employed  Factory, ICAR, New York Fashion  tect,” said Adams. “You are what  careers, such as nurses and phy-
        United States was once home to a  1.4 million people. This number  Workforce Development Coalition,  the American Dream is all about  sician assistants, cybersecurity
        booming  apparel manufacturing  has steadily declined since. As of  Made in NYC, Pratt Center for  … As long as you dream. As long  experts, lawyers, accountants,
        industry, and it’s time to reexamine  April 2022, only 93,800 Americans  Community Development, New  as you fight for what is right, this  teachers, performers, and much
        how this industry has evolved over  were employed in apparel manu-  Standard Institute, the co-lab,  country will be the country we  more. After the main event, cer-
        the past 50 years and change how  facturing. Today, apparel imports  Holly Getty, Honor, Kamrin Hu-  want it to be.”  emonies took place throughout
        we treat our workers,” said Sena-  from China to the United States  ban, DC Sustainable Fashion Col-       ”All of us are imperfect,” he  the day and across the USTA
        tor Gillibrand. “From designers  are over 10 times higher than 30  lective, Circular Services Group,  continued. “All of us are trying.  Billie Jean King National Tennis
        to managers to workers, women  years ago, and between 1995 and  California College of Arts Fashion  All of us are fighting for the  Center. A DJ entertained students
        overwhelmingly play a leading  2020, China gained an estimated  Design, GCNYC, Pratt Institute,  America we want.”   and their families in a celebratory
        role in this important industry.  1.25 million jobs in apparel and  Fashion Design, Fair Trade LA,       The ceremony marked the first  atmosphere.
        However, garment workers in the  apparel-adjacent manufacturing  Mara Hoffman, Reformation,  time that Pace held a combined       During the main ceremony,
        United States are often underpaid,  while the U.S. lost roughly 700,000  Another Tomorrow, Argent, New  commencement for graduates  Pace awarded members of the
        overworked, and put in unsafe  jobs. The U.S. garment industry  York Embroidery Studio, Hickey  from its campuses in New York  New York City and Westchester
        conditions. Protecting the garment  now loses out on approximately  Freeman, Mi Jong Lee, Maven  City, Pleasantville and from its  communities who exemplify the
        workforce is a sustainability issue  $30 billion annually that is instead  Women, INDIGENOUS, Can-  Elisabeth Haub School of Law in  Pace motto of Opportunitas, or
        and has direct impacts on environ-  imported from China. To fix this,  tiqLA, Open Studios, Faherty,  White Plains. Students from the  creating opportunities for people,
        mental sustainability, community  the FABRIC Act has dual goals: 1)  Thrilling, Swap Society, Ethix  Classes of 2020 and 2021, who  with the Opportunitas in Action
        development, gender equality and  protecting and improving working  Merch, Senza Tempo, ZYEM  were not able to have a traditional  Award. Marco Damiani, CEO of
        economic prosperity. This legisla-  conditions for garment workers;  NYC, Jacques Louis, The Choco-  celebration due to pandemic-  AHRC NYC, the largest organi-
        tion would thread the needle of  and 2) rejuvenating the garment  late Cosmos, Johnathan Hayden,  related restrictions, participated  zation in New York dedicated to
        protecting workers’ rights, putting  industry in the United States.  Kindom, ThredUp, Maybelle  in what was the largest ceremony  supporting people who are neuro-
        an end to abusive pay rates, and       Specifically, the FABRIC Act  NYC, Nisolo, EcoFashionCorp,  in the history of the University.  diverse and helping them to lead
        ensuring equitable compensation  amends the Fair Labor Standards  Ferrara Manufacturing, SAITEX,       In addition to Mayor Adams  full and equitable lives, was New
        for garment workers, while also  Act of 1938 to create a historic new  Botanical Colors, Made X Hudson,  receiving a Doctor of Humane  York City’s honoree.
        making historic investments in  set of labor protections for workers  Sew Co., Rite of Passage, Alex  Letters, honoris causa, degree       Joseph Kenner, CEO of
        domestic garment manufacturing  in the garment industry designed to  Crane, Wing & Weft Gloves, Lizzie  during the main ceremony, Con-  Greyston, a pioneering organiza-
        so we can not only make American,  curb many of the abuses inherent  Fortunato Jewels, Reid Miller, Tact  gresswoman Grace Meng  re-  tion that unlocks the power of
        but buy American.”           to industry bad actors, including:  & Stone, Timberlake Studios, Tri-  ceived a Doctor of Laws, honoris  human potential through Open
             “Senator Gillibrand’s FAB-  •    A prohibition on predatory  archy, Fibershed, Upcycle It Now,  causa, degree at the ceremony for  Hiring—a process that is open to
        RIC Act  will  reinvigorate  the  payment-by-piece-rate compensa-  Nana Atelier, Transparentem, Toit  the Elisabeth Haub School of Law.  anyone who wants to work, with-
        garment industry in the U.S. by  tion schemes as base pay for work-  Volant, Et Tigre, MINIMALIST,  Baroness Ariane de Rothschild  out background checks, resumes,
        strengthening garment workers’  ers, which are a traditional means  and Everlane.       ‘88 MBA ‘90, also received a  or interviews – was Westchester’s
        rights and driving wage growth,  by which bad actors in the garment       This legislation has received  Doctor of Humane Letters degree,  honoree. For over 40 years at its
        while promoting equity. It’s time  industry avoid paying a fair wage  technical assistance from the De-  honoris causa, from the Lubin  world-renowned Greyston Bak-
        that industry leaders understand  to their workers. The bill works  partment of Labor Wage & Hour  school of Business. Both Meng  ery in Yonkers —which makes
        the financial and business risks  to ensure manufacturers provide  Division and legal experts at the  and de Rothschild addressed  the brownies included in Ben &
        associated with unsafe working  minimum wage as a pay floor, with  Cornell University School of In-  graduates at their respective cer-  Jerry’s products and packaged
        conditions and shoddy labor con-  the option to pay piece rate above  dustrial and Labor Relations.  emonies.        brownies for Whole Foods Mar-
                                                                                                     “Graduates, my message to  ket—Kenner’s organization has
          Gillibrand Calls For President Biden to Invoke The Defense                            you today is simple,” said Pace  offered jobs to hundreds of people
                                                                                                President Marvin Krislov. “I want  who otherwise faced obstacles to
          Production Act to Urgently Address Baby Formula Shortage                              you to remember that change is  employment.
                                                                                                inevitable. Nothing is forever. As       In her remarks to students,
                                                                                                a 2020 graduate told me when  Victoria Rooney, a graduate of
        Gillibrand: “No Family in  Supplemental Nutrition Program   future supply chain disruptions.   she watched her final semester  Dyson College of Arts and Sci-
        America Should Ever Be Con-  for Women, Infants, and Children   Gillibrand is also a cosponsor   turn remote: tomorrow is not  ences, noted the uniqueness of the
        cerned They Cannot Feed Their  (WIC), Gillibrand leads the an-  of the Supply Chain Resiliency   guaranteed.”        past few years, and said regardless
        Children. Corporate Greed and  nual effort to fully fund WIC   Act, which would help alleviate        “This, I believe, is the biggest  of which campus a student called
        Malfeasance Have Put Us in  and to provide  supplemental   current supply chain bottlenecks   lesson of the past two years,” Kris-  home, Pace was one community
        This Dire Situation and Now We  funding for baby formula. She   and prevent future disruptions by   lov continued. “Who would have  where “nothing is impossible, and
        Must Act With Urgency. That’s  also supports the bipartisan WIC   reducing reliance on long supply   anticipated this pandemic? Who  everything is achievable.”
        Why I’m Calling on President  Healthy Beginnings Act, which   chains and investing in American   would have anticipated our politi-       “Even throughout a world-
        Biden to Invoke The Defense  promotes competition and quality   companies. She cosigned a FY23   cal upheaval? Our powerful racial  altering pandemic, we adapted
        Production Act to Increase  for infant formula manufacturers   appropriations letter requesting   and social justice movement?  and diligently zoomed our way
        Production of Baby Formula  by creating an online database   $20 million in funding for the   War in Europe? But the very fact  through our studies, proving that
        and to Keep Our Children Safe  to streamline bids from formula   Maternal and Infant Health and   that nothing is forever is exactly  we could persevere and conquer
        and Fed.”                    manufacturers to state WIC pro-  Nutrition programs at the FDA   what gives us hope for the future.  the unpredictable,” she said.
                                     grams. Recently, she cosigned   to help provide sufficient staffing   Everything changes. Things will  “However, being students at Pace
             U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  a letter led by Senator Murray   for pre-market reviews of infant   change. You can change things.  was not just about the hands-on
        is calling on President Biden to  calling on the Infant Nutrition   formula and rapidly respond to   You will change things. And that  learning and opportunities, it
        invoke the Defense Production  Council of America (INCA), an   recalls. Together, the success of   is what we have taught you at  was also about the everlasting
        Act to urgently address the cur-  association of the four major U.S.   these efforts would be instru-  Pace. We have taught you about  relationships and memories we
        rent baby formula shortage.  infant formula manufacturers, to   mental in preventing a crisis like   your field, but we have also taught  made. These last four years have
                                     increase infant formula produc-  the one being felt now across the   you how to think. How to interact.  been filled with discovery, love,
             A champion of the Special  tion and distribution, and prevent   nation.            How to be lifelong learners. How  fun, and knowledge.”
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