Friday, August 17, 2007

This Monday

Take action to support Guatemalan union workers!

WHO: You, in solidarity with Guatemalan women workers whose unions are being busted by clothing brands Talbot's, Liz Claiborne, and Macy's/Charter Club

WHEN: Monday, August 20th, noon-3pm

WHERE: Westlake Park in downtown Seattle (on Pine St. between 4th & 5th Ave)

WHAT: Meet at Westlake Park at 11:30am to join is in a rally to demand that U.S.-based clothing brands Talbot's, Liz Claiborne, and Macy's/Charter Club stop union-busting in Guatemala.

The rally will consist of powerful visual representations of the women workers whose rights are being violated daily, informative testimony about their struggle, and creative street theatre action that will illustrate the plight facing courageous women who have been blacklisted for standing up for their legal and human rights as workers!

Please come to learn more and to sign letters of urgent concern, which will be delivered to the brands at the close of the event.

WHY: Despite their historic status as defenders of labor rights in Guatemala, the future of the unions SITRACIMA and SITRACHOI is in jeopardy. The unions, whose leadership and membership are formed entirely of female workers, produce clothing for the U.S.-based brands Talbot's, Liz Claiborne, and Macy's/Charter Club.

Workers at the Cimatextiles and Choi Shin factories in Guatemala are facing severe violations of their labor rights and collective bargaining agreement, with factory management having closed one factory illegally. Although factory management has pledged to reopen the factory and reinstate the jobs of union workers on September 1st, union leaders report that new non-union workers have already been hired and are working in the allegedly "closed" factory. Additionally, factory management still owes workers promised payment, union leaders have received death threats, and union members have been blacklisted from other employers in the garment industry. Workers have been spending nights in the factory for nearly two months to guard their livelihoods. U.S.-based brands have minimized the concerns of workers or have been unresponsive.

With your support we can show Talbot's, Liz Claiborne, and Macy's/Charter Club that they cannot remain silent while workers' rights are violated in their factories. Please come out to show your support!

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The workers at the Guatemalan factory CimaTextiles formed a union in 2001. They won a collective bargaining agreement in 2003, and since then have struggled to protect their gains. The corporation which owns the factory, Choi & Shin Co., Inc., consistently tries to break the union's back, and has since its inception. etc. etc. Here is the union's wiki. Here are the pictures from the protest. Here is the urgent action.

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