Donna Karan Catches Flak for Cleaning Staff Cuts

The post-Black Friday news about Donna Karan might wind up not being as positive as she’d like, with figures showing how many truckloads of garments the fashion house baring her name had sold. Instead, the story might turn into Karan vs. unionized labor, as word of her cleaning staff cuts starts filtering out. Pulling that standard business practice of pulling a long-time contract, laying off all the employees, then hiring a new firm who hires all those employees back at a much lower rate, the NY Daily News reports that Karan moved the contract to clean the company’s headquarters in New York from Celestial Cleaning Services to Planned Building Services, and in the process cut health care coverage for those employees and sliced their hourly pay by more than half. What’s more, according to the paper, Karan did this at a point of record-setting profits for the company and went with a firm who “has a history of violating federal labor law.” While we’re fairly positive that Karan herself had nothing to do with the switch (she’s still on the mend with a broken wrist after all), it’s the sort of story that doesn’t play out so well right in the thick of the holiday season.