Seventy sewing workers and their allies sent a strong message to the
new FOREVER XXI retail store inside the Beverly Center on Saturday with
chants calling for "justice and a living wage for garment workers."
The picket line and informational leafleting attracted interest among
shoppers and organizers called the response "overwhelming positive."
FOREVER XXI, a chain of clothing stores with an infamous labor
relations reputation, has opened a large outlet at the Beverly Center.
The demonstration, which included workers and their families, was
organized and sponsored by the Garment Workers Center in downtown
Los Angeles. Information sheets, handed to shoppers, cited a series
of worker rights violations being protested.
Legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild monitored the
protest site, reminding Beverly Center administrators that the action
was on "First Amendment protected sidewalks." The Center has
maintained previously that "the sidewalks are our private property."
The bold and strong protest continued without incident and the
participants ended with a spirited chant, "We'll be back! We'll be back!"
[The GWC sent info about a press conference with Bet Tzedek Legal Services, which filed suit against JDI Industries / Jeff Hamilton Industries. Here's an excerpt from the press release: "Bet Tzedek Legal Services has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against J.D.I. Industries dba Jeff Hamilton Industries, alleging illegal and inhumane employment practices. Among other abuses, the lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer of Nascar, NFL, NHL, NBAand other branded jackets failed to pay minimum wage and overtime pay and required workers to work shifts in excess of 24 hours with inadequate breaks. The lawsuit alleges that J.D.I. Industries falsified records to cover these violations of wage and hour laws. Jeff Hamilton’s designs are worn by celebrities including Madonna, Michael Jackson, President Clinton, Michael Jordan, Jeff Gordon, and many NBA players."]
Call for help with Sweatshop Watch documentary
I'm currently producing and directing a documentary about sweatshops in LA, funded by Sweatshop Watch, a grass-roots organization working with garment workers in LA. Production is pretty advanced, but Iím looking for a producer with experience in activism and production to help with this very ambitious project. Since this is an activist work no pay is involved until/unless we get funds to subsidize the ìcreatorsî. Please e-mail me if youíre interested in knowing more about the project or if you know someone (including yourselves) who would want to participate. Thanks so much!