Forever 21 started out in the working class neighborhoods of LA, selling affordable clothes that girls could wear to clubs and hanging out on the weekend. Today, they've got dozens of stores in malls across the nation, and have a new store set to open at the Beverly Center, the Mecca of southland mall shoppers. It's a story that the Business section loves.
But, reality is never that simple; there's a dark side to the Cinderella story. That's why over 150 people were demonstrating at the Fashion 21 store in Highland Park, one of the original Forever 21 outlets. They protested the chain for using contractors that have failed to pay a minimum wage, and maintained deplorable working condition.
Garment workers started contacting the Garment Workers' Center with complaints, and after a couple months, a pattern was evident. Fashion 21 is alleged to contract with contractors that pay subminimum wages, no overtime, no water, and ten to twelve hour days.
Ninenteen garment workers, with assistance from the GWC, attempted to negotiate with Forever 21 to get their owed wages. When they were rebuffed, they escalated the conflict turning to the public for support.
Since then, they've garnered support from fifty organizations, ranging from USAS, the United Students Against Sweatshops, a national anti-sweatshop organization, to rock group Rage Against the Machine, and politicians Judy Chu, Jackie Goldberg, and Eric Garcetti.
They are now calling for a national boycott of all Forever 21/Fashion 21 shops, and are organizing future demonstrations at Fashion 21 in Highland Park every Saturday until Christmas.
The link below goes to the campaign website.
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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||Sunday, Nov. 18, 2001 at 10:05 PM
||I DEFEND Sweatshops!
||Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 11:48 AM
||Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2003 at 9:48 AM
||You just contradicted yourself
||Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2003 at 2:50 PM
||Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2003 at 3:02 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003 at 3:54 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003 at 11:09 PM
|Stop being immature
||Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 3:20 AM
||Friday, Oct. 01, 2004 at 7:20 AM
|verse on bag of forever 21
||Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2004 at 6:06 PM
|belated reply to Amy: wake up
||Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004 at 3:18 AM
|John 3:16 on Forever21 Bags
||Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004 at 8:45 PM
||Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005 at 1:18 AM
|my 2 cents
||Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005 at 11:02 PM
||Saturday, May. 07, 2005 at 6:07 AM
||Saturday, May. 07, 2005 at 10:05 AM
|what do you do for a living BA?
||Saturday, May. 07, 2005 at 6:25 PM
|This just in: capitalism still #1
||Sunday, May. 08, 2005 at 8:12 AM
|how has capitalism prevented mass starvation?
||Monday, May. 09, 2005 at 10:31 AM
|FOREVER21 IN CHINA
||Monday, Feb. 26, 2007 at 6:25 AM
||Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2008 at 12:34 PM