Hear from garment workers who sew apparel in Honduran and Haitian factories owned and contracted by Gildan Activewear, a Montreal-based apparel company that recently became the largest supplier in the Western hemisphere to sportswear giant Adidas.
Workers will be speaking out across New York to encourage the State to uphold its commitment to not subsidize sweatshops, and in the backdrop of another mounting campaign against Adidas. Six universities have already committed to end their apparel contracts with Adidas over the brand's refusal to pay $1.8 million in legally-owed severance pay to 2,800 former Indonesian workers at a factory called PT Kizone, which shut down unexpectedly over a year and half ago.
Come, listen, and take action!
Monday, February 4th – Three opportunities to hear from the workers!
12- 1 p.m. @ Fashion Institute of Technology, Katie Murphy Amphitheater–enter FIT at the northwest corner of Seventh Ave and 27th Street
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. @ St. Joseph’s College, 245 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
8:00 – 9:00 p.m. @ NYU, Kimmel 406 (60 Washington Square South)
Telemarque Pierre is a factory worker and union leader at Premium Apparel, in Port Au Prince, Haiti. The factory produces t-shirts for Gildan, a Canadian company. Gildan clothing is sold in university bookstores, worn by New York state police, and at Walmart. Today at Gildan's four Haitian contract suppliers (Genesis, Premium, Palm and SISA), workers continue to face prohibition of union activities in the factories and arbitrary firings. Moreover, several of Gildan’s Haitian suppliers refuse to pay the new mandatory minimum wage of less than $6/day.
Yannick Etienne is the director of the Haitian workers’ rights organization Batay Ouvriye. Batay Ouvriye brings together independent, democratic unions and worker rights organizations, and educates, empowers and organizes wage-workers, self-employed workers as well as the unemployed for the defense of their rights.
Raquel Navarro is a garment worker and union leader at STAR, an Adidas supplier factory in Honduras owned by Gildan. Gildan is Adidas’ largest supplier in the western hemisphere. After Raquel and her colleagues formed a union in November 2007, a bloody struggle ensued, including the illegal firing of 55 union activists. Still today, mass layoffs continue. Recently, Gildan’s vague plans to close factories provoked a dangerously hostile atmosphere towards union leaders where Gildan management allowed death threats against union leaders to transpire.
In addition, representatives from Labor-Religion Coalition of New York, SweatFree Communities / International Labor Rights Forum, and United Students Against Sweatshops will share information about local actions that people can take in support of Adidas/Gildan workers.
Additional events in New York State:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
4:00-5:30 p.m.: Presentation at Syracuse University, New York
6:00-8:30 p.m.: Dinner and Presentation at All Saints Church
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
4:00-5:30 p.m.: Presentation at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
7:00-8:30 p.m.: Presentation at First Presbyterian Church, followed by dessert reception hosted by Labor-Religion Coalition of the Finger Lakes (315 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY, by DeWitt
Thursday, February 7, 2013
8:30 a.m.: Breakfast and Presentation at First Unitarian Church (220 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14610)
12:15-1:30 p.m. Presentation at St. John Fisher College, Basil 135
6:30-8:00 p.m.: Presentation at University of Buffalo, Natural Sciences Complex 215, NY
Friday, February 8, 2013
11:00 a.m.: Press conference at New York State Capitol, Albany
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Presentation at Siena College, Key Auditorium, Roger Bacon 202
3:00-4:30 p.m.: Presentation at SUNY Albany, Humanities 354
7:00-8:30 p.m.: Presentation at Pastoral Center, sponsored by Peace and Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Albany
For more information:
Joy Perkett, Faith Organizer/ Campaign Coordinator
Tele; 518/ 213-6000 ext. 6348
For background on Haitian sweatshops:
In $7-Per-Day Fight, Haitian Workers Call for North American Support
What Are 'Peacekeepers' Doing in a Haitian Industrial Park?
Some Key Players in Haiti’s Assembly Sector