If you were the richest man in the world, what kind of factory would you
Would it pay a decent wage?
Would workers feel safe to talk to one another about their pay and working conditions?
Would you threaten to close it down if they spoke up and asked for a raise?
One of the richest men in the world invests in a sweatshop in Honduras. We need you to take action today to make Russell Corporation -- part of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Corporation -- treat its workers with dignity and respect.
Russell Corporation, the apparel manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway Corp., the Nebraska-based investment firm headed by Warren Buffett – world’s wealthiest man,– has been linked to some of the most egregious violations of workers rights seen in Central America in recent years.
Last year, Russell Corporation fired huge numbers of workers at its apparel plants in Choloma, Honduras– in all; the company fired nearly 150 workers in retaliation for exercising the basic right to join a union. In response to pressure from United Students Against Sweatshops and activists from universities and colleges whose logo apparel Russell produces, the company agreed to give workers their jobs back, offer them back pay, and to recognize a union at its Jerzees de Honduras plant.
This victory for workers is under attack!!
In October, negotiations between Russell and the workers broke down -- in part, because the company’s best offer for a wage increase was only a four cent per day wage increase over minimum wage (minimum wage for a Honduran worker is $139 a month.) Only days later, Russell, claiming a lack of orders, announced that it would close the plant for good in March of 2009. An outside investigation found, however, that anti-union retaliation played a significant role in Russell’s decision. Workers identified over 100 instances where managers, including Russell’s Central America labor relations director, said that the plant would close because of workers’ decision to form a union. In response, U.S. universities are considering terminating their license agreements with Russell altogether.
Supporters of workers rights are calling on Russell and Berkshire Hathaway to reverse the decision to close this plant. If allowed to stand, the decision would not only unlawfully deprive 1,800 workers of their jobs; it would also send an chilling message to workers in Honduras and everywhere in Central America that the cost of standing up for one’s rights is the loss of one’s job.
We know that you have a ton of errands and activities to do this time of year. Please take just a few minutes to take action. It will mean a world of difference for hundreds of workers.
Send a message to Russell Corporation and Berkshire Hathaway that justice requires the reversal of Russell’s decision to close Jerzees de Honduras. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION!