Cotton may be the fabric of our lives, but FABRIC may be the Act of our lives for those of us involved in the garment production industry in the United States.
On May 12, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand debuted a new piece of legislation that would improve worker’s rights in the U.S. garment industry as well as incentivize more domestic manufacturing. The name is a bit of a mouthful, the Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change (FABRIC), but comes co-sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
We often hear about legislation attempting to bring back American jobs and improve working conditions, but much of it is lip service that never completely materializes. The text as it stands though would represent the biggest overhaul for American labor rights since the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. So what does this FABRIC Act do (and not do) to address the real concerns in this ever shrinking manufacturing sector?
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