(en) Haitian Organizers Confirm 150 Firings by Disney Contrac

Shawn Ewald (shawn@wilshire.net)
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 02:18:12 -0700

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 21:48:57 -0800 (PST) To: CLR All Campaign e-mail list <clr@igc.org> From: Mike Rhodes <clr2@igc.apc.org> Subject: Haitian Organizers Confirm 150 Firings by Disney Contractor

LABOR ALERTS: A SERVICE OF CAMPAIGN FOR LABOR RIGHTS To receive our e-mail labor alerts, send a message to CLR@igc.apc.org Phone: (541) 344-5410; Web Site: http://www.compugraph.com/clr Become a member and receive our (hard copy) newsletter. Send $35.00 to Campaign for Labor Rights, 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003. Sample newsletter available on request; include your postal address. ************************************** Haitian Organizers Confirm 150 Firings by Disney Contractor BACKGROUND: A recent update from the Disney/Haiti Justice Campaign reported that over 150 garment workers in Haiti had been fired by Disney contractor L.V. Myles as part of a campaign to stamp out worker protest. Activists were asked to write L.V. Myles in New York or Disney in California to denounce this injustice. UPDATE: Chuck Champlin, Director of Communications for Disney Consumer Products has communicated with labor rights activists in recent days saying that he had talked with Yannick Ettienne of Batay Ouvriye in Haiti and "She did not mention the 150 workers being fired." Ms. Ettienne, however, told Campaign for Labor Rights said that she did not mention the 150 workers because Mr. Champlin did not ask her about them. Ettienne confirmed that more than 150 workers were fired before a Disney internal monitoring team visited the L.V. Myles assembly plant recently. Ettienne said that she told Mr. Champlin that Batay Ouvriye would try to obtain the names of fired workers but that it would be much easier for Disney to do so. In their contacts with workers, Batay Ouvriye does not ask workers their last names and the workers know each other only by first names on the factory floor. They only find out when one of their fellow workers has been fired when someone else is assigned to that person's workstation. The firing process is very fast; workers do not return

to the factory floor to tell co-workers that they have been fired. Much of the time they leave directly for the countryside. Suddenly, workers who have been known to Batay Ouvriye are no longer at the factory and cannot be easily traced. Disney could find out easily which workers have been fired and why simply by asking L.V. Myles for its records. Disney's code of conduct, which is now available in French according to Champlin, stipulates that Disney will have access to the "books and records relating to employment matters" of its contractors. Disney's code of conduct also requires that "manufacturers will respect the right of employees to associate, organize and bargain collectively." It does not mention a living wage but says that Disney expects manufacturers to "recognize that wages are essential to meeting employees basic needs." ACTION NEEDED: Write Disney and ask the company to find out from L.V. Myles the names of the recently fired workers and ask L.V. Myles to reinstate those who were fired for speaking up about low wages and high work quotas. Congratulate Disney for translating its corporate code of conduct into French but ask if the code is posted in places where Haitian workers can see it in all of the factories of Disney contractors in Haiti. Batay Ouvriye organizers say that nobody in the L.V. Myles factory had yet seen the code. Write to: Mr. Michael Eisner, C.E.O. The Walt Disney Company South Buena Vista Street Burbank, CA 91521 Tel: (818) 560-1000 Fax: (818) 846-7319 For more information about this campaign, contact THE DISNEY/HAITI JUSTICE CAMPAIGN, Village Station, P.O. Box 748, New York, NY 10014; (212) 592-3612; or BATAY OUVRIYE, P.O. Box 13326, Delmas, Port-au- Prince, Haiti (W.I.) Tel: 011 (509) 22-67-19.

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