FW: Support union workers sewing Ben Davis work wear!
----- Original Message -----
From: Diana Bohn nicca@...
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 9:32 PM
Subject: FW: Support union workers sewing Ben Davis work wear!
.....Bay Area Alert list going on ....
we do need to support workers when they ask; so I hope some of you can come out on Tuesday.
All the best!
From: "Sweatshop Watch" <sweatinfo@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 15:19:39 -0700
To: "Friends of Sweatshop Watch" <sweatinfo@...>
Subject: Support union workers sewing Ben Davis work wear!
Support Ben Davis Workers in San Francisco as They Fight for a Fair Union Contract!
100 Unionized San Francisco Garment Workers, sewing the Ben Davis work wear label, to March in Protest of Company's Bargaining Tactics
Company Insists on Cuts to Benefits Using New S.F. Minimum Wage as Justification
*****SEND AN EMAIL TO BEN DAVIS BELOW*****
+++++JOIN THE ACTION IN SAN FRANCISCO+++++
San Francisco -- In October 2003, the workers of Ben Davis Inc. in San Francisco -- maker of work wear and work fashions -- voted to be represented by the garment workers union UNITE. Since November 2003, they have been in contract negotiations with Frank Davis, the owner of Ben Davis, Inc. who has continued to ask for concessions in health care, vacations, holidays and sick days. The Ben Davis workers have overwhelming rejected these concessions. They have authorized work actions against Ben Davis, Inc. up to and including a strike. Frank Davis' justification for the concessions is the new San Francisco minimum wage of $8.50 per hour.
Ben Davis Inc. has been a unionized San Francisco employer since 1935. It currently employs nearly 100 workers, mostly Chinese and Latino immigrants. In letters to the company's customers, the employees state, "We voted for UNITE because we believe we deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity by our employer. Since that time, we have negotiated patiently with the management of Ben Davis in an effort to reach a reasonable contract. However, the Company has done nothing but ask for concessions. They are asking us to pay 50% of our health care costs, and we only have employee coverage and no coverage for our families. In addition, they want to take away our hard earned vacation and regardless of the time that we have been employed, we will all have a maximum of 2 weeks. They also want us to give up 3 holidays and all of our sick days. If we don't agree to these concessions, they have threatened us to take the work out of the U.S.A. and have the work performed in Mexico, Guatemala or China."
In the face of management's irresponsible positions, the union members are taking such job actions as are necessary to convince Ben Davis that they will not be treated as second-class citizens. On Tuesday, April 27, they will walk off the job to engage in informational leafleting to advise customers shopping at stores selling Ben Davis of the issues at the factory. They will then march to San Francisco City Hall to draw attention and support from city leaders.
+++ ACTION INFORMATION +++
What: Protest and informational leafleting at two retailers selling Ben Davis label < March to S.F City Hall by garment workers and supporters
When: Tuesday, April 27, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Start at Arik Surplus, 998 Market St. and Kaplan¹s, 1055 Market St., San Francisco March to S.F. City Hall
--- SAMPLE LETTER ---
You can also email from www.sweatshopwatch.org/campaigns/bendavis.html
Frank Davis, Owner Ben Davis Inc. 21 Pimentel Ct. Novato, CA 94949
Dear Mr. Davis,
I recently learned of the impasse in the union contact negotiations with the workers who sew your clothes in San Francisco. Ben Davis work wear is known for being "Union Made" and "Made in the USA." That is why so many people -- many union members themselves -- buy your products.
I understand that Ben Davis is a profitable employer. It would be irresponsible of you to slash the employees' benefits after their years of service and quality work. And, it would be even worse if you moved production offshore, leaving these workers jobless and throwing away your commitment to local, union production.
I urge you to ensure the workers receive a fair contact. They deserve the new minimum wage in San Francisco, and they deserve the benefits that they have worked so hard for.
Your name Organization (if any) City, State
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