Regional Home Pages:
Québec Mexico Brazil United Kingdom Spain France Netherlands Germany Sweden Italy Austria Israel China Korea Japan Australia
Made in Downtown LA
T-shirts, sweatshop-free, wholesale t-shirts, American Apparel, Made in Los Angeles
A Farewell Letter
Posted by: Dov  9/03/2009  13:06
Dear friends and co-workers,
Although many of you do not know it, my grandmother was a sewer in a clothing factory in the 1930's in Montreal. When I was in high school I wrote a composition about her entitled, "The Immigrant," where I described what life was like for her working as a garment worker at $7 per week.
When I first started American Apparel my grandmother and grandfather, both Jewish immigrants, loaned me money to get the business started.
Although my grandmother never got to see the factory, my grandfather came to Los Angeles before he died and he saw the 6th and 7th floors of the factory.
I am deeply saddened by the fact that many of you will be leaving the company over the next few days and weeks.
Many of you have been with me for so many years, and I just cry when I think that so many people will be leaving the company.
As many of you know, we have been marching for immigration reform since 2001.
Although some of you are leaving the company, I want you all to know that when you are able to get your immigration papers in order, you will be given priority treatment, in terms of being interviewed for future positions with the company.
I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has failed to bring about immigration reform. Whereas I know he has the intention to do so, getting the job done is another story. Let's not forget that George Bush wanted to bring about immigration reform, but could not get it done. Ironically, the rallying cry of the Obama campaign was the words of Cesar Chavez, "Yes we can" or "Si se puede", which inspired so many people, particularly Latinos in the recent election.
It is my belief that immigrants bring prosperity to any economy. They become motivated workers, and they sometimes become motivated business owners like me. They bring fresh ideas, optimism, and passion to any economy and they help contribute to a prosperous future.
Although many people forget, migration has been going on for thousands of years, and it will continue for ever. My true dream is that one day we will all live in a world without borders.
Those of you that need to contact me personally can always reach me at my personal e-mail address: dov@americanapparel.net
I want to thank you for helping me build the company to what it is today.
Although I am crying as I write you this letter, I am confident that immigration reform will be achieved in the near future.
I will continue to fight for immigration reform for the rest of my career.
Right now I will work hard to put pressure on political forces to help facilitate the legalization of workers here in the country, and as a second priority help bring about immigration reform on a go forward basis.
I wish you the best and I open my heart to you all.
Click here for the English and Spanish versions in PDF format.
New Comment
Who are you?
Posted by: Lucky G. 9/05/2009  18:12
It is very touching to hear your personal story and connection to immigration reform. Seeing the faces of your company,it is easy to see that many Latinos, produce your garments and work for hard for American Apparel. Immigration Reform along with Legalizing Gay are Civil rights issues,which need to be dealt with. I have faith that the Obama administration will not follow in the footsteps of our past administration,and not deal with immigration reform correctly. Alienating immigrants is not reform. It is refreshing to know that you will use your influence&passion; to push for these reforms. Keeping these issues in the forefront is vital to the movement itself,how about an organized rally organized by American Apparel for Gay and immigration reform?its all about numbers,after all WE hold the power for change.
Posted by: crissy 9/30/2009  10:47

I think that you've been able to say things about immigration, which many mainstream groups run from. I posted on the b-listed blog which is appreciated. Please post:

Posted by: Restore Fairness 9/30/2009  11:20
We have featured your letter in our latest blog post
Its time to go back to the values we hold dear in America - fairness, opportunity and due process.