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News ::
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FOR NIKE COLLEGE APPAREL WORKERS IN MEXICO
11 Jan 2001
On Tuesday, January 9, at 8:00 am, 800 workers staged a work stoppage to protest labor abuses at a Nike factory making university apparel in Mexico. Solidarity actions to take place in the U.S.
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FOR NIKE COLLEGE APPAREL WORKERS IN MEXICO

On Tuesday, January 9, at 8:00 am, 800 workers staged a work stoppage to protest labor abuses at a Nike factory making university apparel in Mexico. The factory, Kukdong International-Mexico, makes sweatshirts for the Universities of Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Arizona and Indiana, amongst others. It is located in southern Mexico in the small city of Atlixco, Puebla. The immediate cause of the strike was the firing of 20 workers who had complained about rotten food in the cafeteria, low wages ($30 for a 45-hour week), and the failure of the company to pay the Christmas bonus in accordance with Mexican labor law.

The workers are demanding:
1) That the company disregard the current union, which was brought in by the company;
2) The reinstatement of the illegaly fired workers;
3) That the company recognize the organization that the workers have formed.

Workers plan to continue the stoppage until the Company meets the demands. They have taken over the factory and are controlling the gates. Already they have been harassed with anonymous threatening notes and there is some fear that the police or union thugs might attack them. The workers are supported by their parents (most of the workers are young women from rural villages surrounding Atlixco) and by unions from the Volkswagen plant in the nearby city of Puebla.

We are asking individuals, and especially organizations, to do thefollowing:

1) Contact Nike and Kukdong, let them know that you are aware of the events in Mexico, and demand that they comply with Mexican laws, Nike's Code of Conduct, University codes ofconduct and Convention 87 of the ILO with regards to the rights of freedom to organize.

The addresses are the following:

Philip H. Knight,
Chairman and CEO NIKE, Inc.
One Bowerman DriveBeaverton,
OR 97003-6433
Fax: (503) 671-6300

Kukdong International-Mexico, SA de CV
Fax: 011-52-244-610-24
E-mail: Kukdong (at) avante.net.mx

2) Send letters of solidarity (preferably in Spanish) to the workers at the following e-mail address: librado (at) gofairtrade.net

LETTER FROM A KUKDONG WORKER

Brothers and Sisters:

We are workers at the Kukdong Internacional SA de CV factory. We make sweatshirts for Nike, some with university logos. We have been working for a year and month, during which we have suffered mistreatment from the Korean supervisors. Some talk to us in their language, and though we do not understand them at the moment, after researching the words, we know that what they call us the most means "trash".

We write you to ask for your support and solidarity with the work stoppage we have begun. We don't want to hurt the company, we just want to remove the union, since we were forced to join it and threatened with being fired if we did not. People who started work in the factory were made to sign their affiliation without knowing what they were signing. The union gained power,
but this power was not to help the workers, but to serve the union's and the
company's interests. Therefore we were forced to stop work to show our diagreement, and to be heard.

We thank you for your attention,

Sincerely,
Josefina Hernandez Ponce

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Comments

this Weekend - Newbury St. - Niketown
11 Jan 2001
I could really care less if the cops are reading this. So, if anyone would like to join me, I will be printing the above story/statements/letter and leafletting at Sweatshop Alley on Newbury St... Niketown/Gap corner. See you there piglets. Don't leave me there alone to fry with the bacon fellow activists.
What time?
12 Jan 2001
What time is the protest on Newbury? The cops were out in force last time. Are we meeting somewhere before the protest to show up as a group? Last time people came in small groups and were told to move on by the cops. It sucked!!!!!!!!!!
spontaneous
12 Jan 2001
There is nothing formal planned as far as I know. It was merely an invitation hoping that people would join me.