SAN FRANCISCO -- California links with New York and New Jersey today in landmark agreements that will result in improved oversight of the activities of 95 percent of the apparel manufacturers in the United States, announced Lloyd W. Aubry, Jr., director of the California Department of Industrial Relations.
"Manufacturers and contractors who operate outside the law put law-abiding apparel manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage," Aubry said. "By sharing information with enforcement agencies from New York and New Jersey we will be able to significantly level the playing field for most of the industry."
The agreements provide that enforcement agencies in California, New York and New Jersey will have reciprocal access to information they maintain on apparel manufacturers and contract sewing companies. Access to this information will enhance each state's ability to enforce laws covering industrial homework, payment of wages, child labor, and apparel registration. It will also better enable the agencies to target those violators who break the law in one state, only to flee to another and resume operations.
At a ceremony in Atlantic City, New Jersey State Labor Commissioner, California State Labor Commissioner Victoria L. Bradshaw, who heads the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, signed the agreements on behalf of the State of California together with New York State Labor Commissioner John Sweeney and Peter J. Calderone, Commissioner of Labor for the State of New Jersey.
Aubry paralleled the new association between the states to the beginning of California's "Targeted Industries Partnership Program" (TIPP), launched after recommendations to the Governor by the Department of Industrial Relations and other state enforcement agencies. TIPP is an education and enforcement program focused on the state's apparel manufacturing and agriculture industries. The program achieved high visibility within the state's apparel industry, in part because of its highly effective methods of sharing information between various state, local and federal agencies. The information participating agencies maintain is used to target violators of labor laws, tax laws and regulations governing workplace safety and health.
"Our experience in California under TIPP has shown that various government agencies can work more effectively when they work together, share information and have open lines of communication," Bradshaw said. "Joining together with New York and New Jersey will enable us to work smarter to aid the legitimate apparel manufacturers and protect the rights of apparel workers in our respective states."