(en) Two hundred Demonstrate in Protest Over Guess Sweatshops

Lyn and Shawn (linjin@tao.ca)
Thu, 19 Jun 1997 23:55:51 pst

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Labor Alerts/Labor News a service of Campaign for Labor Rights 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC20003 clr@igc.apc.org (541) 344-5410 http://www.compugraph.com/clr [The following information is taken from a news release from the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE!). Two Hundred Demonstrate in Protest Over Guess Sweatshops On June 11, 1997, in Las Vegas, Nevada, two hundred union activists marched on Dillard's Department Store demanding that the retailer take responsibility for the conditions of workers who make the Guess clothing it sells. Led by Rich Trumka, the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO; Jay Mazur, the President of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE); and Norman Hill, the Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a national civil rights organization, the protesters demanded an end to Guess?, Inc.'s use of sweatshops in the production of its clothing. Protesters demanded that Dillard's, a leading national retailer of Guess clothing, confront the abusive conditions under which Guess clothing is made. Guess was removed from the U.S. Department of Labor's apparel industry Trendsetter List last November after a series of investigations uncovered illegal industrial homework and violations of minimum wage and overtime laws at Guess contractors in Los Angeles. Guess is also under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board for illegally harassing, spying on, and terminating workers as well as illegally relocating work to Mexico to thwart unionization efforts by garment workers. Cristobal Perez, a former employee, said, "I worked for a Guess contractor for six years and sometimes we were paid in cash and did not even receive the minimum wage. Many workers had to take work home. When we spoke out to protest the conditions, Guess retaliated against us by pulling its work and we lost our jobs. We want justice from Guess!" In late May, two hundred activists stormed the upscale South Coast Plaza Mall in Orange County, California, while Guess held its first Annual Shareholders Meeting nearby, to demand that retailers Nordstroms and Robinsons-May similarly take steps to end Guess' use of sweatshops. Protesters distributed leaflets stating, "It's time to take stock of the Guess greed in these stores." To order a free 8 minute "Guess?" video in English and Spanish and for more information about the "Guess?" Campaign, contact Ginny Coughlin at the Stop Sweatshops Partnership, 1710 Broadway, New York, NY 10019; (212) 332-9312; e-mail: stopsweatshops@uniteunion.org Are the products sold with the logo of your college or university made in sweatshops? Do you want to work this fall to make your college or university a sweat-free campus? Contact Ginny Coughlin at the Stop Sweatshops address above. CAMPAIGN FOR LABOR RIGHTS newsletter and membership: Send $35.00 to CLR, 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003. For a sample copy, send your postal address to clr@igc.apc.org ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Labor Alerts lists: Nike, Disney, Guess, child labor, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, US farm workers, US poultry processing workers. To receive information on each of these, let us know that you want to be on our ALL CAMPAIGNS list. If you would like to receive information which falls ourside those categories (prison labor, workfare, other policy issues, additional briefing material on some campaigns), indicate that you want to be on our Additional Labor Information list AS WELL AS our All Campaigns list.

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