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IATSE offers Olympic uniforms option

Union weaves plan to have wardrobe workers create all-American garb amid controversy

The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, reacting to the controversy over U.S. Olympic team uniforms being made in China, has offered to make the garments in the United States.

IATSE president Matthew D. Loeb said Friday that the IATSE’s 44 wardrobe unions in the U.S. were “ready, willing and able” to assist in the production of the uniforms prior to opening ceremonies on July 27.

“Our people design and build costumes for all sorts of events and entertainment and have done so since 1893,” he said. “Members of the IATSE create all types of clothing under the tightest of schedules and we welcome the opportunity to be engaged by the U.S. Olympic Committee to help produce these uniforms with skilled American workers. We are extremely proud of our U.S. Olympic team as they represent us in the London games, but we want them also to be proud to wear uniforms that were made by workers in their own homeland.”

IATSE reps over 100,000 below-the-line showbiz workers.

Several lawmakers have blasted the U.S. Olympic Committee in the wake of an ABC News report that U.S. athletes in this year’s London Games will wear outfits designed by American Ralph Lauren that are manufactured mostly in China.

“The pride of our Olympic athletics goes hand in hand with the pride of American innovation and manufacturing,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to U.S. Olympic Committee officials. “We shouldn’t be going to the world stage with anything less. From head to toe, Team U.S.A. must be made in America.”

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