Hey folks, it’s been awhile since we updated the blog but now we have great news. Last February 2009 we got UH administrators to terminate their business relationship with Russell Athletic because of labor violations in their plant in Honduras. Use the search box to find earlier related posts for that history. Anyway, after the largest boycott in the history of modern student activism, Russell agreed to reopen the factory immediately and hire 1,200 workers. Here’s the post from United Students Against Sweatshops listserv:
Just over a year ago, Russell Athletic announced it would close Jerzees de Honduras in response to workers’ organizing efforts. During that year, USAS organized the largest boycott in the history of modern student activism. Now, as a direct result of our efforts, we have won an unprecedented victory — the company has agreed to meet worker demands to reopen the factory and re-hire all 1200 workers, who have been without jobs for 10 months or more. View the details of the agreement here.
Landmark Victory: A Precedent is Set
This is one of the most significant youth-led campaign victories in recent times and one of the most significant campaign victories of the global justice movement. No one has ever forced a multinational corporation to reopen a facility it shut down in the global race to the bottom. This victory has also proven that together, we can successfully fight back when those in power take advantage of the economic crisis to attack working people. We should take strength and inspiration from the example of the workers of Jerzees de Honduras. We can fight back — and WIN — against policies that benefit a privileged few and hurt our communities.
Your campus organizing, e-mails, faxes, phone calls, direct action and donations were essential to winning this campaign. We are standing on the shoulders of previous generations of activists. We built on top of USAS victories of the past twelve years, from the sit-ins in the late 1990s that resulted in supply chain transparency and university labor codes of conduct to the formation of the Worker Rights Consortium in 2000. As Russell and SITRAJERZEESH work to implement this agreement, please continue to support our efforts by making a tax-deductible donation to USAS. We need your continued support to sustain our movement.
The struggle continues! ¡La lucha sigue!
United Students Against Sweatshops