LOS ANGELES — Latino workers at a fashion headwear business in Carson have noticed that they are making more money, and they owe it all to one man: Donald Trump.
According to Cali-Fame president Brian Kennedy, Trump’s campaign has given Cali-Fame $270,000 dollars to make “Make America Great Again” hats for his campaign. Most of the workers at Kennedy’s company are Latino, and the extra hours stitching, steaming and stacking the hats gives the employees more take-home money, for which they are grateful.
Local journalists seem to have descended on the factory to find workers willing to complain about the Republican frontrunner–but found mostly the opposite response.
One employee of more than twenty years, Yolanda Melendrez, enthused to Fox LA, “Thanks to Trump, we have a lot of work. We’re making a lot of money.” She said that her paycheck has increased by roughly $200 since the company started making Trump’s hats in July, adding, “We didn’t have overtime before. We were kind of slow around this time.”
Kennedy himself supports Trump, who has ordered hats for his golf course before, but he told Fox LA that he is non-partisan when it comes to business, saying, “We really just manufacture hats. And it doesn’t matter what is says. If there’s an order we’re gonna take it.” Twenty more employees have been hired since Trump’s order came through. The hats sell for $25 on Trump’s website.
The Latino workers know of Trump’s comments regarding immigrants but in general offered no comment. Melendrez did protest to the Los Angeles Times, “When we first got the order [for the Trump hats], I said to myself, ‘Just wait until he sees who’s making his hats. We’re Latinos, we’re Mexicans, Salvadoreños.’”
Cali Fame originated as Chicago Hat Company in 1925; the name was changed to Cali Fame of Los Angeles in 1946 when the company moved to Los Angeles, where it started creating fashion golf headwear. In 1947 that Thunderbird Country Club in Palm Desert bought the first decorated golf caps for their membership.