911 N. University
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality presents a talk on. . .

?The Struggles of Sweatshop Workers in Central America that Produce U of M Apparel?


Gilberto Garcia, El Salvadorian Labor Organizer

Friday November, 19th

3pm Koessler Room of the Michigan League

El Salvadorian labor organizer and workers? rights advocate Gilberto Garcia will speak about the conditions in factories producing University of Michigan apparel. He is visiting the University of Michigan as part of a national tour to discuss the realities of sweatshop labor in Central America and provide an alternative to these exploitative practices. Garcia will be representing the workers of Just Garments, the only unionized apparel factory in El Salvador, and will talk about the workers? struggle to organize in order to improve working conditions.

Garcia works with the Center for Labor Studies and Support, an El Salvadorian non-profit organization that empowers workers to exercise their rights on the job. He was involved in the campaign creating the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Textil (STIT), the first-ever successful union in the Salvadoran apparel industry. The organizing efforts of STIT resulted in the creation of Just Garments ? which remains the only unionized apparel factory in all of El Salvador.

Just Garments was created as a result of a November 2002 agreements between the STIT union and Tainan Enterprises, a major Taiwanese textile assembly that was operating twin plants in El Salvador. Over the course of two years, the STIT union had grown despite company efforts to suppress organizing. By March 2002, there was strong enough support by workers to begin collective bargaining with Tainan. Just as the papers were filed, Tainan permanently closed is El Salvadorian plants in April 2002. In response to the closure, the textile union UNITE, the AFL-CIO, the International Textile Federation (ITGLWF), US-Leap, Campaign for Labor Rights, United Students Against Sweatshops, Focus on Globalization and many other organizations joined forces to bring about the November 2002 agreement. Universities, including the University of Michigan, acted and refused to renew a contract with Land?s End because they were outsourcing to Tainan. All this attention led to the creation of Just Garments in April 2003.

learn more about Just Garments, you can visit http://www.justgarments.net/.

The event is sponsored by the International Labor and Industrial Relations Department.

Added by arborupdate on November 16, 2004

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