Far out Friday: Employees turn CEO into piñata – and beat it

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Employees of American Apparel staged a demonstration outside the retailer’s Los Angeles HQ recently – with an unusual twist.

The gathered workers took to beating a piñata that was designed to look like CEO Paula Schneider.

Footage of the demonstration was uploaded to the YouTube channel ‘Save American Apparel’.

According to the video, the reason for the protest was due to Christmas bonuses from last year remaining unpaid, as well as 50% wage cuts, loss of employee benefits and the use of sweatshops by the company.

The video’s publication comes eight months after the sacking of former CEO Dov Charney, who was suspended last year following allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment.

In the video, employees can be seen wearing “I heart Dov” shirts and brandishing signs that read “Dov wouldn’t let this happen to us”.

The day after the demonstration, Schneider reportedly sent a company-wide memo.

“The behaviour of a small group that support these intimidation tactics, including the attack last week on our headquarters at 747, and now, the beating of the piñata is truly appalling,” it read.

She added that she was aware there were a number of workers at American Apparel who were no longer happy at the company.

“If that is the case, you always have the right to find a job where you will be happier,” Schneider wrote.

“What I ask is that you allow the rest of us who are here to work hard and to rebuild American Apparel to be able to do our jobs without threats and violence.

“Let’s work together to build a great future for American Apparel.”

  • Workers together to Save American Apparel Union on 29/08/2015 4:32:10 a.m.

    Six of the employees that participated in the Piñata were fired by CEO, Paula Schneider this week.

    It is shameful that American Apparel has changed into a place where the ethics of its foundation no longer matter. American Apparel used to be authentic, it was transparent, it was about the city of Los Angeles, Made in the USA manufacturing and its work force. Lies, Greed & Fraud is what American Apparel has turned into.

    We are a 3000 employees of American Apparel, close to 90% of the work force and have come together and unionized. Our union will continue to fight for our rights. We built this company with our hands, under the supervision of Dov Charney. We demand that the board, and CEO, Paula Schneider resign from this company. Before their hostile takeover the company was in a financial stable position.

    The American Apparel board committed fraud in Dov Charney's firing. The board did not care for us, our company of even the shareholders. We all knew that without the founder's spirit our company would fall apart. Now, in less than 6 months, our company is being prepared for bankruptcy.



    Soon 10.000 employees will be without a job. The end of American Apparel will be a very large loss to the city of Los Angeles. American Apparel was the largest private employer out here. Our workforce mainly consists of immigrant workers. We have been trained in one specific field. Where will we go once American Apparel is no longer? Our future is extremely concerning.

    The American Apparel stores are busy, our brand is more popular than ever before. We have no respect for its new management because we see that their lack of experience is the cause to our decline in sales.

    Here is only one examples of an item we have not had in stock all summer. Every single day we hear that store managers are complaining about not being able to make sales due to stock outages. New management refuses to produce more, although this garment is made with a fabric we stock in house.

    We had to seek Piñata measures to try to get our story out there. Please help us protect our brand, our jobs and made in the USA manufacturing by signing our petition here:


  • LANYCNative on 28/08/2015 2:29:03 p.m.

    Paula's JOB and FIDUCIARY DUTY was to the employees & shareholders (many of whom are both). SHE FAILED. Her JOB was to be the CEO of a PUBLIC COMPANY and she has destroyed it in less than a year by collaborating with a WALL ST hedge fund called Standard General to GUT and SELL. It's FAUX FEMINISM to lower the bar and make special excuses for Paula because she is a privileged white woman. Had she been a man, she would've experienced the same backlash. (You don't see the Donald crying over his pinatas being made across the country.)

    "Violence against women"? Tell that to the thousands of minority female employees (past and present) and their families who suffer everyday because of Paula's actions. Tell that to shareholders who have seen the stock sink 90% in nine months. Tell that to the bond holders that are in a panic knowing that they are going to take sharp haircuts. Tell that to the city of Los Angeles which might just experience the DEATH of its LARGEST PRIVATE EMPLOYER. As much as everyone seems to hate Charney, he brought thousands of people who are normally abused in SWEATSHOPS out of the shadows. He took a POLITICAL stance on immigration reform and DIVERSITY in advertising decades before it was trendy. He created 10,000 JOBS in a company that was transparent, a complete anomaly in the fashion industry. That is a feat that no one has or will ever accomplish.

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