It looks like Alexander Wang can use a strong drink tonight, as the law suit against his supposed inhumane working conditions rise to a whopping $450 million.
A second employee, Flor Duante, has stepped forward and put her name on the $50 million civil action suit filed against the company by fellow former employee Wenyu Lu. Thirty other Wang employees have also subsequently come forward since the initial accusation, allowing the lawsuit to rise to such an outrageous number.
It is going around that Duante, 48, a mother of three (does the number of children really matter?), insists that she was made to work 90 hours weekly in sweat-shop like conditions. Lu and Duante claim that they were each fired due to filing for workman’s comp, to pay for injuries they obtained while working for Wang.
The designer and his team are not backing down or giving into such allegations, and a representative addressed this by making a statement to WWD:
“The company takes its obligations to comply with the law very seriously, including the relevant wage and hour regulations, the payment of overtime to eligible employees and having a safe working environment for all of our employees. We will vehemently defend any allegations to the contrary.”
Now, I am not one who condones unjust working conditions in the slightest. I believe that employees should be treated with respect, and that employers have a responsibility to ensure their workers are safe.
I am curious, however, as to why so many workers appeared to just deal with such “terrible” conditions for so long. Why did Duante and Lu allow themselves to be worked to exhaustion, before finally having to file for workman’s comp to pay for medical bills? Was it impossible for them to look for work elsewhere? Did they not realize they would soon grow sick?
What about the thirty other employees that are now coming forward? Not one felt the need to stand up to, or walk away from, the deplorable working conditions?
With the media beginning to address Duante as a single mother of three children, I have a feeling the prosecution will argue that she simply could not afford to walk away from a stable paycheck, and maybe she couldn’t.
But still, I am curious to know as to why so many people dealt with atrocity in order to scrape together a living? Did these workers truly feel they had no choice? That they were deserving of conditions that one assumes can only happen in poverty stricken nations? Or are they conveniently jumping on the bandwagon of their fellow finger pointing and sue-happy employees?
I guess as the story unravels we will learn more concerning the exact conditions of the workspace and tasks required of the employees, and from there can decide whether or not these allegations hold ground.
Is Alexander Wang a Fashion Icon turned Fat Cat?
Oh no! Please don’t tell us Alexander Wang is now running a sweatshop?
@ Anna Silva- Before you go calling anyone ignorant, pleas go educate yourself. You’ve either decided to skip over the article (which expresses a similar sentiment to that of yours) to post your spamming messages or you cannot read. The publisher DOES NOT condone unjust working conditions. They are only addressing the credibility of these claims, because they are in fact questionable.
Well as the publisher I certainly have no illusion that Alexander Wang was suddenly going to advertise with us. We’re too clever for the type of individual he caters for….star struck fashionistas sucking up to an inbred establishment.
Oops, I sent the wrong link in the prior message. This is the correct link to my blog about Alexander Wang news coverage in the Chinese media – they did much more extensive coverage on the sweatshop workers that English-speaking media are afraid to expose.
BTW, this is my blog with my Chinese friend translating the much more extensive AW news coverage by the Chinese media, the kind of coverage that the English-speaking media are afraid to expose for fear of offending the AW – their potential advertising client. Luckily, the AW doesn’t advertise in NYC Chinese newspaper.
Your questions are answered in my blog where my Chinese friend translated the much more extensive AW news coverage by the Chinese media, I’m re-posting in here.
How about this ignorant fashionista try living in a foreign country when you don’t understand the local language, and you are over 40 years old with no education degree, no job skills other than handling garment? On top of all that, you have children to support hoping your kids will get a good education in the new country with a brighter future than your own. Some sweatshop workers are undocumented/illegal immigrants, the AW knows very well that he could be as abusive as he wants on illegal immigrants fearing deportation.
Good question. It’s taken too long, you are right, but also people were terrified. It’s not as though the fashion industry is booming with jobs right now. Also, since Wang has become such a big name people wanted to be part of something cool, innovative new, and growing in the industry and they were aware that would take a lot of work especially initially… but unfortunately AW took advantage of their eagerness and did not compensate those who helped them grow by leaps and bounds in the beginning years. Nor did they hire enough people to handle the enormous growing pains in a humane fashion. They relied on abusing their workers and hiring more and more interns.
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