Date sent: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 19:35:48 -0700 (PDT) To: clr From: Mike Rhodes <email@example.com> Subject: Disney Contractor in Haiti Fires Four Workers to Stop Organizing!
Labor Alerts/Labor News a service of Campaign for Labor Rights
Disney Contractor in Haiti Fires Four Workers to Stop Organizing!
Summary: The L.V. Myles Company, one of Disney's main sourcing agents in Haiti, fired four workers in May at one of its factories as part of an intimidation campaign against workers who were circulating a flier in the factory. The flier protested wages and conditions at the factory and called on workers to organize to obtain their rights.
Background: The L.V. Myles factory, like the 13 other factories in Haiti producing garments under various Disney labels, pays its workers about half the minimum living wage in Haiti, a range of from 28 cents to 39 cents per hour or $11.20 to $15.60 per week. Workers are forced to produce at an inhuman rate, under constant verbal abuse and threats of being laid off or fired. The majority of workers are women and they are also victims of constant sexual harassment and abuse from their supervisors.
On May 12, 1997, a flier protesting these abusive conditions and calling for workers to organize to defend their rights was circulated anonymously inside the L.V. Miles factory. To retaliate against this practice, management singled out a worker it suspected and arbitrarily fired her, even though this particular worker was not even involved in the distribution of the fliers. That same week three additional workers were fired arbitrarily and a systematic campaign of intimidation was started by management, with threats of an impending 40 additional firings. By using such repressive tactics, management is clearly trying to illegally stop the workers from organizing to defend their rights and to root out all suspected combative workers from the plant.
The Haitian human rights organization Batay Ouvriye asks progressive individuals and organizations to call Paul Miller at L.V. Myles in New York at (212) 735-0900 and demand the following from L.V. Myles management:
1. The immediate suspension of all acts of intimidation, lay-offs,
firings and reprisals against workers trying to organize; 2. The payment of a living wage to all workers, which in Haiti should be at least US$5.00 per day, and the lowering of production quotas; 3. The termination of all acts of sexual harassment and improvement in working conditions in the factory; 4. The rehiring of the workers fired in May.
Other U.S. companies affiliated with Disney subcontractors should also issue public statements asking their business partners in Haiti to stop their acts of reprisal against workers and to comply with all internationally recognized labor conventions concerning workers' rights.
For more information about this campaign, contact the Disney/Haiti Justice Campaign, Village Station, P.O. Box 748, New York, NY 10014; Tel: (212) 592-3612.
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