Blog post by Pam Michell
Standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the garment industry, on July 2, 2016 the Garment Worker Center led over 80 demonstrators at Figueroa and Vernon for its second action against ROSS Dress for Less. Organizations represented included Fair Trade LA, SEIU, KIWA, ROC LA, IDEPSCA, UFCW 770, Fight for Fifteen, and Students for a Brand New City. Our friends with the LA Sherriff’s Department came by ensuring peaceful protest, but ROSS personnel refused to accept the workers’ letter of demands, instructing Mar. Martinez, Organizing Coordinator with the Garment Worker Center, to address her concerns with the Public Relations Department.
Los Angeles workers producing for ROSS are paid per piece in unsafe, unhealthy factories. Ross needs to be held accountable for sweatshop conditions and low wages in LA factories. The US Department of Labor issued a consent judgment against 13 Los Angeles area supplier factories, four within the 90011 zip code. (Case No. CV 16-217-R-PJW). Although ROSS subcontractor, YN Apparel, has complied with the decree in terms of settling the wage theft of $212,000, neither practices nor conditions have improved.
Ms. Martinez, explained that immigrants frequently don’t understand how Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to or protects them. With no breaks, overtime, holiday or sick pay, the workers’ piece rate equates to five to six dollars an hour.
SHOW your support of the LA Garment Worker Center, demanding ROSS ends wage theft in their factories and commit to make LA sweatshop FREE. Demand ROSS meet with the Garment Worker Center to negotiate a sweat shop free plan ASAP. Learn more here.
Ms. Martinez stressed that at this time we are not calling for a ROSS boycott, however through legal demonstration bringing awareness to the issue, fairness is on the horizon. Sign on to demand ROSS end its wage theft practices here.
Thank you for caring to take action for change. Stay safe and blessed friends.