For immediate release
September 22, 2005
Contact: Eric Dirnbach- Apparel Coordinator
OFFICIALS ABOUT SUPPLY OF MILITARY UNIFORMS
New York, NY – On September 19, nearly twenty domestic unionized clothing manufacturers convened at the headquarters of UNITE HERE for a forum with Defense Department officials about the supply of uniforms and other apparel for the United States armed services.
The workshop, which was co-sponsored by the Council for American Fashion (CAF) and the Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC), featured presentations by Sally DiDonato, the Deputy Director of Clothing and Textiles Supplier Operations at the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), representatives of the military uniform offices, and the principal military exchange systems that procure military apparel. This is the second annual forum and is part of an initiative by CAF and GIDC to help secure and expand the domestic industrial base for military apparel.
Attendees included companies that currently have contracts to manufacture military apparel, as well as other manufacturers that are interested in becoming suppliers to the military. In FY 2004 the Defense Department purchased over $2.0 billion worth of clothing and textiles, required by the Berry Amendment to be made domestically.
“This is an important opportunity for high-road union garment manufacturers to get involved with the military procurement process,” said CAF Co-Chairman and UNITE HERE Executive Vice President Edgar Romney. “Too often, the military relies on lowest bidder contractors with poor wages, benefits, and working conditions. With our armed forces deployed around the world, and our domestic apparel industry weakened by the harmful effects of globalization and outsourcing, it is critical that military procurement agencies ensure that our troops get high quality uniforms from good factories that treat their workforce well.”
“We know many responsible companies that could be great manufacturers of military apparel” said Sarah Crean, Executive Director of GIDC. “We are glad that the Defense Department procurement officials are eager to work with these companies and help them understand how to do business with the Pentagon.”
The Council for American Fashion is a labor-management fund that provides industrial development assistance to garment workers and employers. The Garment Industry Development Corporation is a non-profit consortium of labor, industry, and government founded to strengthen New York’s apparel industry.
UNITE HERE is North America’s largest union that represents apparel, textile, laundry and hospitality workers. The union has nearly half a million members. For more information, please contact Eric Dirnbach at 212-332-9329 or visit our website, www.unitehere.org