Which led to the bankruptcy of American Apparels

Of the once cult clothing chain American Apparel, there will be no more than two stores left in Germany. If all goes well, two shops in Berlin will survive. Insolvency administrator Wolf-RĂ¼diger von der Fecht is still in talks with the new owners. However, the employees wonder where the clothes for the shops should come from. Because American Apparel is broke in the USA too. And the new Canadian owner Gildan, who bought trademark rights and production facilities for $ 88 million, is explicitly not interested in "stores", not even in Europe. So whether something will come of Berlin is not certain.

Otherwise, it looks even darker for employees across Europe. "The stores in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne will be closed," said the insolvency administrator von der Fecht. In Zurich, Vienna, Stockholm and Amsterdam, the shops are either already closed or they are being prepared to close. Only in Paris could six stores remain in the best case. Fencing is in the last legs of the negotiations. The rest, i.e. the business in all other French cities, will be handled with certainty.

The insolvency administrator emphasizes that he will observe the insolvency and labor law regulations "with regard to the employees concerned". Nevertheless, the employees are appalled that everything is going so quickly now. "It will all be over in three weeks," says one of them in Stuttgart. "No more job and only money from the employment office." Many employees had expected something different. The chain wanted to distinguish itself as an ethically and morally correct company. A trademark was to sell only clothes made in the USA and not to have the textiles produced cheaply in the Far East like other brands.

Obviously that didn't work that well because it's much more expensive to produce in the US than in Bangladesh or India. In addition, company founder Dov Charney was involved in various scandals over sex and company money before he had to resign at the end of 2014. That was also not conducive to the brand's image and accelerated its decline. In the USA, numerous stores closed before the turn of the year.

The employees fear that they will not receive the agreed severance pay

In Germany, say employees, they would just like to be treated correctly. They actually understood it to mean that they would have social security for three months after the opening of insolvency proceedings on January 30th, i.e. until the end of April. But now everything is different.

In Stuttgart, the five remaining employees received the notice of termination in writing this Wednesday. They'll have to close their shop on Saturday. The stores in Frankfurt and Cologne will also close on Saturday (those in Munich and Hamburg will follow in mid-March). And employees will only be paid until the end of the month. They fear that part of the agreed severance payments will not be paid out.

The works council sees this as confirmation of its worst fears. He regrets that the social plan decided in October 2016 is not to be adhered to. This provided for the full payment of the agreed severance payments. But now they don't want to know anything more about it. The works council accuses American Apparel of deliberately shirking its social responsibility in order to make the sale of the company more attractive.