Alerts

Unprecedented Agreement Signed between Guatemalan Fribo Factory and U.S. Companies

July, 05 2007 Share

Daisy Fuentes and other Labels to be sewn under Humane Conditions

July 5, 2007

 

The Agreement

July 5, 2007
URGENT ACTION ALERT

Guatemalan Workers Win their Rights.
This is No Time for Companies to Pull Out.

An unprecedented agreement was reached today that will transform the Fribo factory in Guatemala—that produced clothing for Daisy Fuentes and other labels—from an abusive sweatshop into a far better-than-average factory, hopefully on the way to becoming a model operation—if the U.S. companies keep their production in Fribo. We can guarantee the seriousness of these improvement efforts as the excellent independent Guatemalan NGO CEADEL will have access to the factory to monitor for compliance.

This is a major victory for the 500 workers at Fribo and their families, but the significance of this victory will have a much longer reach across Guatemala. In Guatemala, workers producing goods for export to the U.S. are in a trap. They know through bitter experience if they struggle to win respect for even their most basic legal rights, the chances are high that they will lose their jobs in retaliation, as U.S. companies cut and run, pulling their work from the factories. We need to break this vicious cycle.

The agreement signed with the Fribo factory, the U.S. P.A. Group that produces Daisy Fuentes and other labels, CEADEL and the National Labor Committee will establish a new precedent-- that workers can struggle for their legal rights and keep their jobs, too.

The P.A. Group is doing the right thing. Once the far-reaching improvements are initiated, the P.A. Group will put their work back into the Fribo factory.

Wet Seal has not committed to this, nor has Maurices/Dress Barn, Filia, Pretty Girl or Rue 21. We need these companies to return their production to the vastly improved Fribo factory and not walk away at the exact moment the workers are finally winning respect for their legal rights.

After reviewing the attached agreement, it would help enormously if you could endorse it—as individuals and organizations—so that we can send the agreement with a long list of endorsers to the above companies. This is not the time for these companies to walk. Rather, they should support these unprecedented worker rights gains by keeping their production in the Fribo factory. This is not too much to ask.

This is too important a case to even think of losing. Please circulate this widely, to gain support. Thanks!

Wet Seal, Inc.
26972 Burbank
Foothill Ranch, California 92610
Tel: (866) SHOP WET SEAL
Email: customerservice@wetseal.com

Dress Barn, Inc. (Owner of Maurices)
David Jaffe, CEO
30 Dunnigan Drive
Suffern, NY 10901
Tel: (845) 369-4500

Pretty Girl/Trends Sportswear
4609 1st Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11232-4200
Tel: (718) 369-7400

Rue 21/Pennsylvania Fashions Inc.
Robert Fisch, CEO
155 Thorn Hill Rd.
Warrendale, PA 15086
Tel:  (724) 776-9780

ENDORSEMENTS

 

Today an unprecedented agreement was reached between the Fribo factory in Guatemala, the Daisy Fuentes label and P.A. Group which manages it, CEADEL-the Center for Studies and Support of Labor Development in Guatemala and the National Labor Committee (NLC).  The Fribo factory will immediately be brought into full compliance with Guatemalan labor law.  To guarantee respect for worker rights, the highly respected local human rights organization, CEADEL, will have unprecedented access to the Fribo factory to independently monitor implementation of the agreement.  This is a major victory for the workers of Guatemala and CEADEL.

To their credit, the PA Group, which is responsible for the Daisy Fuentes label, did the right thing, guaranteeing to keep production in the Fribo factory contingent upon concrete improvements being made in the factory.  The NLC and CEADEL are asking Wet Seal, Maurices, Pretty Girl and other labels to do the same.

When U.S. companies pull their production in response to worker demands that their legal rights be respected, they are only further punishing the workers, who have already suffered enough.  The Fribo workers, 70 percent of whom are young women, depend upon these jobs to raise their children.

By doing the right thing, the PA Group has joined CEADEL and the NLC in delivering a very powerful message to tens of thousands of export garment workers across Guatemala—that struggling for respect for their basic legal rights does not mean the workers will lose their jobs.  A curtain of terror has been lifted.

If other U.S. labels return their production to the now much-better-than-average Fribo factory, then the workers, CEADEL and factory management, working together, can turn Fribo into a model factory creating a win-win situation for everyone—the Fribo factory, the workers, Daisy Fuentes and the other labels, and American cons umers.

Every worker in Fribo will now be treated with respect, will be paid correctly for all the hours they work, including overtime, will be covered by the Guatemalan Social Security Institute's health care and pension programs; will have access to clean drinking water and clean bathrooms, a proper lunch area, vacation benefits, and more.  Through CEADEL, the workers will now have a powerful voice—which is something they have never had before.

Signing the breakthrough agreement are:

National Labor Committee (New York, NY)
Charles Kernaghan, director
Phone:  212-242-3002   
Email:  nlc@nlcnet.org

CEADEL / Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarrollo Local (CEADEL)
Center for Study and Support of Local Development  (Chimaltenango, Guatemala)
Gabriel Zelada Ortiz, director
Gladys Marroquin, assistant director
Phone: (502) 2424-6122  
Email:  director01@intelnett.com

Fribo S.A. (Santa Maria Cauque, Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala)
Owner/Manager: Yook Ryun Cha
Legal Representative: Mynor Daniel Garcia Salazar
Phone: (502) 787-93561      
Email: mynordgarcia@hotmail.com

P.A. Group (Manufacturer of Daisy Fuentes)
Jason Weisenfeld, spokesperson           
Tel: 212-252-8881 x 7504
Counsel:  Andrew Samet                   
Phone:  202-742-4494

 

 

Fribo, Guatemala Campaign Page
Fribo, Guatemala Report