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Alert! sweatshop activists lost suit against Foever 21, now they want to sue bk!

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    ***Alert! sweatshop activists lost suit against Foever 21, now the company want to sue them back!! My friends and anti-sweatshop allys from Los Angeles Garment
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2002
      ***Alert! sweatshop activists lost suit against Foever 21, now the company
      want to sue them back!!

      My friends and anti-sweatshop allys from Los Angeles Garment Worker's Center
      and Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHRILA) are in
      danger!!

      At the recent legal setback against the netrious Forever 21 retail sweatshop
      at the LA court, now they are launching counter-suit against the activists!!!

      It's not just the slap against the activists, but also the arrogance of the
      mulitinatitional corporsaion and sweatshop owners to respect workers and pay
      livingable wages. with the recent legal 'victory', Forever 21 will be more
      esay to supress workers and their wages!

      Please write, call, FAX your protest letter to Forever 21 Corporation, and
      their corporate lawer Robin D. Dal Soglio of Latham & Watkins, ask them:
      1) stop the legal attacks to the activists, and
      2) sit down with actrivists, workers for a meanful dialogue.

      Forver 21
      Do Won Chang - President
      Jin Sook Chang - Secretary, CFO, Head Buyer, and wife of Do Won Chang
      2001 S. Alameda St.
      Los Angeles, CA 90058
      Phone: 213-747-2121 Fax: 213-741-5161

      Attony Robin D. Dal Soglio
      [Lawyer represent Forever 21]
      Latham & Watkins
      633 West Fifth Street, Suite 4000
      Los Angeles, CA 90071-2007
      Tel: (231)485-1234 Contact: Scott P. Klein

      **Background information on Forever 21 (By sweatshop Watch)
      http://www.forever21.com/contactus/write.asp


      Lee Siu Hin
      ActionLA
      Action for World Liberation Everyday!
      =============================================================
      Forever 21 Files Defamation Suit Against Groups
      Retail: Owners say they were unfairly targeted, two days after a judge
      rejects labor claims.
      By NANCY CLEELAND
      TIMES STAFF WRITER

      March 7 2002

      http://www.latimes.com/business/printedition/la-000016896mar07.story?coll=la%2

      Dheadlines%2Dpe%2Dbusiness

      Hip clothing retailer Forever 21 filed a defamation lawsuit against several
      anti-sweatshop groups Wednesday, claiming they unfairly targeted the label in
      a "vicious" public campaign.

      The suit came two days after U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real dismissed
      a claim for back pay and damages filed on behalf of 19 workers, who said they
      sewed Forever 21 clothing at various Los Angeles factories. The retailer
      argued in its motion for dismissal that it had no control over wages and
      conditions because the workers were employed by subcontractors. Attorneys for
      the workers said they would appeal.

      Based largely on the workers' claims, made public last September, several
      advocacy groups in Los Angeles took on Forever 21 as a symbol of problems in
      the garment industry. The workers said they routinely were paid less than the
      minimum wage and denied overtime premiums, and had to work in filthy
      factories infested with rats and cockroaches. Although not addressing the
      complaints, Forever 21 owners Do Won and Jin Sook Chang said they did not
      employ the workers. They said they buy clothing through vendors and
      contractors, and were removed from the workers.

      "The fact is that Forever 21 was in no position to have any impact on their
      working conditions," said attorney Robin D. Dal Soglio of Latham & Watkins.
      "Its owners are truly decent, good people, very philanthropic, involved in
      their church ... To have them be associated with sweatshop conditions is just
      so upsetting." Dal Soglio said the owners are seeking a public apology and an
      injunction to stop further activity.

      Groups named in the defamation suit include the Garment Worker Center and the
      Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. Both have organized
      pickets outside Forever 21 stores and the owners' Beverly Hills home, and
      maintained Web sites outlining worker complaints.

      Kimi Lee, director of the worker center, said Forever 21 was targeted because
      of a high number of complaints associated with the label. "We got so many
      workers from different factories in a short period of time. In four to five
      months, about 20 workers came to us from six different factories," Lee said.

      She said the use of contractors and subcontractors is common in the garment
      industry, and that brand-name manufacturers and retailers are taking steps to
      monitor working conditions in factories.

      *

      Retailers such as Forever 21 "exert substantial control over the economic
      relationships and employment conditions in the garment industry," Lee said.
      "They could have ensured that the factories where their labels were being
      sewed into clothing were in compliance with labor laws."

      A Forever 21 vendor, also named in the original complaint, settled with the
      workers, providing some back wages and agreeing to undergo training in labor
      laws.

      The public campaign severely impacted Forever 21's image and hurt sales
      during the crucial holiday season, Dal Soglio said. She said the dismissal
      shows Forever 21's owners were right. "We've now been vindicated," Dal Soglio
      said. "It's time to clear our name."

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