Ivanka Trump has not been having the best week. Earlier, the First Daughter was booed on stage in Germany in a failed attempt to sell her father, Donald Trump, as an advocate for women’s rights and “champion of families”.
A hot topic at the W20 summit was how women can maintain the balance between their careers and their families. Ivanka faced some tough questions from the group of journalists present as they as they questioned her role in the White House and who exactly she is representing as the First Daughter; her father, American people, or her business. Ivanka was quick to defend herself saying that her business was certainly not what she was representing in the White House.
She admitted that she was still “unfamiliar” with her new role in the White House, claiming that she’s carefully listening and learning, identifying ways where she can make a positive impact for the American people.
Even though German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, encouragingly nodded at Ivanka’s answers but the crowd wasn’t having it. They booed and hissed as Ivanka classed her father as a “tremendous champion of supporting families”.
To make matters worse for Ivanka, last night The Fair Labor Association’s audit revealed that workers in the factory that manufactures Ivanka Trump clothing were only making a mere $62 per week after punching in 60 hours of work.
Clothes for G-III Apparel Group Ltd. are manufactured in the same factory. G-III Apparel Group also manufactures clothes for Donna Karan, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein and Karl Lagerfeld. The Fair Labor Association did not specifically state which brand’s project was being worked on at the time of the audit.
G-III claims that its facilities are routinely audited by internal teams along with outside parties like The Fair Labor Association.
The Fair Labor Association, on the other hand, claims that its auditor has 24 different violations under the UN International Labor Organization. The work that was being done over time, exceeded the legal time limit. As per the law, workers can only work for 36 hrs in overtime but in this facility, they were putting in 42hrs overtime per month. In some months the overtime hours could go up to 82hrs.
The facility isn’t in violation of minimum wage, the workers were given wages of about $255-$284 per month.
Ivanka Trump did address the issue of unequal pay in the workplace in the W20 Summit. She had stepped down from her business to take an official position in the White House as an advisor to her father.
Ivanka’s involvement in her father’s administration is clearly costing her brand. A couple of months ago Nordstrom discontinued her brand due to poor sales; as a result, the value of Nordstrom’s stocks went up.
Yesterday, news surfaced that the Ivanka Trump brand was being sold under another brand name – Adrienne Vittadini at discount retailer store, Stein Mart. The reasons for this have not been disclosed. The store could have done it to avoid bias against the brand or the brand could have renamed itself in order to avoid being associated with a discount store.
Donald Trump has been pushing the idea of bringing manufacturing jobs back to America and buying American products, yet, the majority of his brand’s products are produced overseas, namely in China (which he has spoken very aggressively about). In addition to China, the Trump brand’s products are also produced in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Just last week, Trump signed executive orders that force Federal Agencies so they prioritize American products.
He’s been pushing other American companies to manufacture in the US despite facing high costs of production. When it comes to his own companies, however, he appears to have excused himself.