Thursday, June 28, 2007

Student Labor Action Project

Every summer, clothing companies like American Eagle spend millions of dollars advertising fall's must-have items, hoping we will run out and buy them for the first day of class.

But this summer, business as usual isn't going to fly for American Eagle Outfitters. Over the next few months, students across North America will show AE that students care about more than just fads and fashion.

Thousands will pledge to boycott American Eagle Outfitters back-to-school.

AE says it cares about workers — its own Code of Conduct requires contractors to respect the right of employees to form unions. Yet workers at the National Logistics Services warehouse contracted to ship AE clothing in Canada faced harassment and intimidation when they tried to improve conditions by forming a union with UNITE HERE. Instead of doing the responsible and moral thing – protecting workers' rights at NLS – American Eagle hasn't lifted a finger. We think this inaction violates AE's own Code of Conduct, which requires that contractors respect their employees' right to organize.

Students have worked hard to create accountability for workers' rights with both the overseas contractors where university apparel is sewn and with the contractors here at home that prepare our dining hall food and clean our classrooms. Taking the same fight to a retailer, especially one whose target customer is young, college-age people like us, is an extension of our efforts.

Don't Buy American Eagle until they protect workers' rights!

Be among the thousands of young people who have signed the pledge!

I pledge to not purchase American Eagle Outfitters merchandise until AEO enforces its Code of Conduct to ensure that distribution workers at National Logistics Services in Ontario have the right to join a union free from harassment and intimidation.

The Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) is a joint initiative of Jobs with Justice and the United States Student Association and is a network that engages student organizations in economic justice campaigns. Jobs With Justice (JwJ) coalitions around the country house local SLAPs that connect students from multiple campuses. SLAP supports the growing student movement for economic justice by making links between campus, community, and labor union organizing. So does AFSCME Local 965.

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