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NEW YORK, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) members overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract with the Clothing Manufacturers Association (CMA) this past week. The contract, which became effective May 1, 1995, calls for wage and benefit increases of 7.1% over the life of the contract, including a 20-cent wage increase each year. It covers 35,000 workers in the men's tailored clothing industry throughout the U.S., with the largest concentrations in the Southeast.

"Everyone is aware of the difficulties facing our workers and the industry," said ACTWU president Jack Sheinkman. "We worked hard to achieve for our workers the best contract under tough industrial conditions. We believe that this contract will help keep jobs here in America and assist in stabilizing unionized plants. As always, ACTWU is committed to strengthening domestic production and providing job security for our members."

As did the last contract, this agreement acknowledges the globalization of the men's tailored clothing industry. The contract maintains a sourcing agreement that permits employers to outsource a percentage of their production. Any employer who outsources must commit to investing in improved upgrading of their domestic facilities. Additionally, the agreement includes advance notification of outsourcing and a guarantee of employment for at least 1,470 hours a year for all current employees during the life of the contract.

Unique to this globalization agreement is a stipulation by the employers to use only partners, contractors or other sources which observe international labor standards which the union can and has enforced. These standards include providing wages and benefits that comply with applicable laws and provide a living wage; reasonable working hours, freedom of association according to the standards of the International Labor Organization, including the rights of all employees to organize, bargain collectively and to strike.

The employers also may not work with contractors who use child labor or forced or compulsory labor, nor with contractors who practice discrimination or neglect to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

According to the contract, outsourcing provisions between October 1, 1995 and September 30, 1996 stipulate that the employer may outsource no more than 15% of production; between October 1, 1996, and September 30, 1997, the employer may outsource no more than 20% of production; and between October 1, 1997, and September 30, 1998, no more than 22% of production can be outsourced. "Outsourcing" means only "imported" production. The previous contract allowed for no more than 10% of the production to be outsourced.

As in the expired contract, employers will continue to have the option to pay into a jointly-controlled 401(k) plan for the workers' retirement or to pay a bonus to the workers. The payments under the outsourcing provision are to be increased under this new contract.

The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union was formed in 1976 when the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the Textile Workers Union of America merged. ACTWU represents workers in the U.S. and Canada. Its members work primarily in the men's clothing industry and in the textile industry. ACTWU also represents workers in the auto parts and auto supply, millinery, shoe, laundry, neckwear, glove and tanning, bag and packaging, retail and related industries. Additionally, ACTWU represents all of the Xerox manufacturing workers in the U.S. and Canada.

In February of this year, ACTWU announced a proposed merger with the ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union). The new union is to be called UNITE! (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees), making it one of the largest manufacturing unions in the U.S. A special ACTWU convention, at which delegates will vote on the proposed merger, is scheduled for June 28, 1995, in Miami Beach, Florida. The first convention of UNITE! is scheduled for June 29 and 30 in the same venue.
 -0- 5/3/95

/CONTACT: Jo-Ann Mort, Communications Director of ACTWU, 212-242-0700, or night line, 212-242-1149/

CO: Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union; Clothing

Manufacturers Association ST: New York IN: TEX SU: CON LBR

MS-TM -- NY126 -- 4593 05/03/95 17:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 3, 1995

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