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X-Sender: ksm@pop.wwa.com
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 06:35:51 -0500
To: USLIST@rednet.org
From: Mike Rhodes <clr2@igc.apc.org> (by way of Scott Marshall <scott@rednet.org>)
Subject: Disney Union in Haiti Asks for Support

Union Busting in B.V.F. Apparel Mfg: Haitian Disney Garment Workers Need Your Support!

Labor Alerts/Labor News, 18 December 1997

For the past two weeks, a tense repressive atmosphere exists at B.V.F. Apparel Mfg. BVF Apparel Mfg. is a company that is subcontracting for the Waterbury Corp in Connecticut. Workers are assembling garments with the Disney label. They are paid 28 cents an hour to sew pieces on garments that sell for $12-$30 each in North American stores.

For more than seven months the union has been requesting a meeting with the owner of the plant concerning working conditions. Recently, the union sent another letter through its lawyer pressuring management to negotiate. Management refused to respond and, meanwhile, the company fired two union leaders under ridiculous charges:

1) On August 19th, the secretary of the union was accused without any proof of tearing garments that she had been responsible for assembling.

2) On August 29th, when the General Coordinator of the union got back from a visit to a medical clinic, the head supervisor, Mr. Yvon Charles refused to let her inside the factory, forcing her to miss a day of work. The next day she was fired based on the excuse that she missed too many days of work.

The workers' solidarity organization, Bayay Ouvriye, calls upon all progressive organizations and people to support the struggle of the workers at BVF Apparel Mfg. Company. Since the formation of the union, floor managers and supervisors have been harassing workers who have joined the union. Last November, managers fired Odette Denier and 6 other union members. More were fired under false pretexts that management invented.

BATAY OUVRIYE and the Union have been fighting these firings. Today, the survival of the union is at stake. Both organizations urge people to protest the firings of these two women workers. Both of them are very active and outspoken union organisers. The factory owner wants to get rid of this union before the plant is relocated to another city and to intimidate other workers from fighting for their interests.

This is a clear case of the kind of dismissals for union activities that the Walt Disney Company has always denied by saying that its licensees never violate the rights of the workers. Don't let Disney get away with it this time, send your faxes or letters of protest to the following people:

Michael Eisner
Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, Ca 91521
Tel: 818-850-1000
Fax: 818-560-1930

Jack Brownstein, Pres
Waterbury Garment Corp
1669 Thomaston Ave.
Waterbury, CT 06704
Tel: 203-574-3811
Fax: 203-575-0169

Alain Villard
B.V.F. Apparel Mfg
Rues Lumumba f Cineraire
Delmas, Port-au-Prince
Haiti, (W.I.)
Tel/Fax: 509-46-4199