Gilman, M.W. and Arrowsmith, J. and Edwards, P. and Ram, M. (2001) Once More into the Sunset? Asian Clothing Forms After the National Minimum Wage. In: Third Conference of the International Thematic Network on Public Policy and the Institutional Context of Immigrant Businesses 'Working on the Fringes: Immigrant Businesses, Economic Integration, and Informal Practices', Liverpool.
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Intense global competition and the advent of a raft of employment regulations (notably, the national minimum wage, or NMW) have placed the UK garment industry under severe pressure. The prospects for a significant segment of this sector -- ethnic-minority-owned businesses -- appear to be extremely gloomy, although earlier predictions of its demise proved to be unduly pessimistic. Drawing on case studies of eighteen firms, we present an examination of longitudinal change in the Asian-dominated West Midlands clothing industry. In particular, the aim is to examine the responses of manufacturers to market and regulatory change (in particular, the NMW). The findings clearly illustrate that the sector is in decline, with firms finding it increasingly difficult to cope with cheap imports, labour shortages, and employment regulations. A range of responses was evident and included firms that resorted to operating in 'grey' markets; manufacturers that 'retrenched' their operations; 'work intensification'; and businesses that attempted to move 'up-market'. Finally, potential policy responses are considered. In particular, the case of the Coventry Clothing Centre is examined. The Centre worked with the grain of employment legislation, and appeared to have experienced some success in encouraging local firms to accommodate the NMW and improve working practices.
|Item Type:||Conference or workshop item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|Divisions:||Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Industrial Relations/HRM|
|Depositing User:||Mark Gilman|
|Date Deposited:||02 Sep 2008 15:22|
|Last Modified:||11 Jun 2012 08:33|
|Resource URI:||http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/10778 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)|
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