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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 97 09:42:51 CDT
From: scott@rednet.org (Peoples Weekly World)
Subject: Disney contractor in Haiti fires four for union activity
Organization: Scott Marshall
Article: 12665

Disney contractor in Haiti fires four for union activity

Special to the World, The People's Weekly World, 14 June 1997

On May 12 the L.V. Myles Company, one of Disney's main sourcing agents in Haiti, fired four employees as part of a retaliatory campaign against workers who were circulating an anonymous flyer in the factory protesting wages and conditions and calling on the workers to organize for their rights.

The Myles factory, like the 13 other factories in Haiti producing garments under various Disney labels, pays its workers from $11.20 to $15.60 per week - about half the Haitian minimum living wage. Workers are forced to work at an inhuman rate, under constant verbal abuse and threats of being laid off or fired. The majority of workers are women who are victims of sexual harassment and abuse.

In an effort to prevent further union agitation, management singled out a worker it suspected and arbitrarily fired her, even though this particular worker was not involved in the distribution of the flyers. That same week three additional workers were fired arbitrarily and a systematic campaign of intimidation was started by management, with threats of an impending 40 additional firings.

The Haitian human rights organization Batay Ouvriye asks individuals and organizations to call Paul Miller at L.V. Myles in New York at (212) 735-0900 and demand that L.V. Myles management: cease all acts of intimidation, layoffs, firings and other reprisals against workers trying to organize; pay a living wage to all workers, which in Haiti should be at least $5 per day, and the lowering of production quotas; terminate all acts of sexual harassment; and rehire all workers fired in May.

Other U.S. companies affiliated with Disney subcontractors should also issue public statements asking their business partners in Haiti to stop their acts of reprisal against workers and to comply with all internationally recognized labor conventions concerning workers' rights.