Urgent Update on Daisy Fuentes Workers at the Fribo Plant in Guatemala

June, 21 2007 Share

Worker Receives Death Threat for Exposing Violations at the Fribo Factory

Still No Response from Daisy Fuentes, Kohl's or Wet Seal


Efrain Vasquez Nolasco, the injured worker whose testimony exposing the serious violations at the Fribo factory appeared in our first report on June 18, has received a death threat from the Korean owner of the factory, Yook Ryan Ha. Efrain's brother, who worked as a supervisor on Line #7—which sewed Daisy Fuentes blouses—was approached two days ago by the owner, who took out his pistol saying he was going to kill Efrain.  Just yesterday, he came to the brother again saying he would get his revenge against Efrain, that things would not stand as they were.

The owner is saying that because of the denunciations, the Fribo factory will close in two months, as Daisy Fuentes is immediately pulling her work from the factory, and implying that this is why Line #7 has been shut down.  Daisy Fuentes production accounts for about 50 percent of total factory production.  The owner is also telling the workers that he is broke now that Daisy Fuentes has pulled her orders and that he will have to "borrow from somewhere" in order to pay them.

The strategy seems clear.  In typical fashion, the owner is trying to intimidate and frighten the workers into withdrawing their denunciations—saying that if they do not they will have no job at all and will be fired to boot, without any of the back wages or benefits due them.

That is why the workers are desperately waiting and hoping for a positive response from Ms. Fuentes, confirming that she has no intention of pulling her work from the factory and that she will keep her production there will helping to clean up the plant and end the violations.

Yesterday, representatives of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute showed up at the Fribo factory and distributed forms for the workers to fill out in order to be inscribed in the mandatory national health care and pension system.  The minute the representative left, the Chief of Personnel with the help of security guards immediately confiscated the forms.

The situation remains tense.  CEADEL (the Center for Studies and Support of Local Development), which is assisting the workers, is holding a press conference tomorrow morning together with Efain Vasquez Nolasco to denounce the ongoing serious threats.

We will keep you posted.



Daisy Fuentes clothing sewn in Guatemala: NLC/CEADEL June 18, 2007 report