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Illinois High School Students Fight Sears', Land's End Use of Sexually Abused Factory Workers

Youth Labor Committee |  By  | August, 29 2011 |  Share  | Source Article

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 August 2011

CONTACTS:

Bruce Taylor, Social Studies/Science, Dundee-Crown High School, Carpentersville IL, +1 224 484 5235, Bruce.Taylor@d300.org Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing, Change.org, +1 404 451 6580 or amanda@change.org

 

***PRESS RELEASE***

 

ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FIGHT SEARS', LAND'S END'S USE OF SEXUALLY ABUSED FACTORY WORKERS

Students at high school near Sears headquarters demand response to Change.org petition, end to intimidating women to hide pattern of sexual abuse at Sears factory in Jordan.

 

CHICAGO, IL - A group of high school students from Chicago, Illinois are joining a viral campaign calling on some of the biggest brands in America -- including Sears and Land's End -- to pull their orders from Classic Factory in Jordan, where managers have been accused of serially raping young female workers.

The students, who formed the Youth Labor Committee to collectively bring their demands to Sears, launched a petition on Change.org following allegations that Sears has been buying garments made at Classic Factory in Jordan, where dozens of workers have accused factory managers of sexual assault. They're asking that Sears'

corporate executives meet with them and agree to increase sourcing transparency and stop working with suppliers with significant human rights violations.

 

"Multi-national corporations are continuously denying workers the most basic of human rights and are consistently blocking the truth in regards to what is happening at their factories around the world. We cannot stand by and continue to allow such atrocious behaviour to continue all in the name of profit for these huge corporations"

-Bill Kidera Youth Labor Committee member

 

"It is horrible that these women have no means of escape from these working conditions, and are even terrified to publicly discuss what is happening to them out of fear for their lives and the lives of their families.  We are demanding that these corporations stand with us and demand the establishment of a safe and prosperous working environment, free from the terrors of rape, enslavement and captivity."

-Dickie Schaefer Youth Labor Committee member

 

It's disgusting that these women have to suffer through shame and fear simply for corporate profit.  It's time to start putting fellow human beings before money.

-Isabella Romano Youth Labor Committee member

 

The online petition, coupled with the students' plan to protest and leaflet outside Sears' headquarters and local Sears and Land's End stores, is likely to increase pressure on the companies to pull their orders from Classic Factory. In addition to Sears, ongoing campaigns are asking Target, Hanes, Macy's and Walmart to pull their orders as well.

"The students of the Youth Labor Committee's organizing around such a complex issue has been remarkable," said Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing at Change.org. "They're using a combination of emerging technology and traditional organizing to spur Sears and Land's End to action."

The campaign on Change.org has been covered by major news outlets around the world, including Ms. Magazine, Huffington Post, Jordan Times, and the Daily Mirror. Activists recently launched a companion campaign asking Queen Rania to tweet her support for the workers of Classic.

 

Huffington Post coverage of the campaign:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/american-brands-abuses-factories-jordan-labor-conditions_n_903995.html

 

Ms. Magazine coverage of the campaign:
http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/08/12/another-jordanian-worker-making-u-s-clothes-alleges-factory-rapes/

 

Journalists interested in contacting Sears' and Land's End public relations staff should try:
Sears Media Hotline
+ 1 847 286 8371

Michele Casper
Director of Public Relations
+ 1 608 935 4633
michele.casper@landsend.com

 

For more information on Youth Labor Committee, please visit: http://ylcnet.org/home/latest-news-2

For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about

Change.org is the world's fastest-growing platform for social change - growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.