The Ain't I a WOMAN?! Campaign
Garment Women Rally vs. Liberty Apparel & Sweatshop Subcontracting System
November 18th at 12pm noon
In front of the Liberty Apparel showroom, 1407 Broadway btw 38th & 39th St. (1,2,3,N,Q,R,S,W to Times Square)
Dear Friends and Supporters,
On behalf of the Ain't I A Woman?! Campaign, we would like to ask for your support of the garment workers suing their manufacturer Liberty Apparel for egregious labor violations. After 9 long years, finally the Liberty Apparel workers have a day in court.
Twenty six workers labored 80 plus hours a week sewing garments for Liberty Apparel in a factory named 103 Fashion for several years without days off or sick leave. Workers were repeatedly misled by Liberty Apparel and the subcontractor. Liberty representatives, including the owner, Albert Nigri, were aware of the violations since they were often in the factory and promised workers they would be paid if they rushed to meet tighter deadlines. In early 1999, the subcontractor closed the shop and ran away, leaving workers without four to six entire months of pay. After the shop closed, Liberty Apparel never kept their promise, and refused to take responsibility.
In August 1999, workers filed a lawsuit against Liberty Apparel. However, the manufacturer has used the court to drag out the case and avoid responsibility. To this day, the manufacturer is still using well-known sweatshops in Chinatown and Brooklyn's Sunset Park to produce clothing for Liberty Apparel and their other company, Pretty Girl. This example shows how employers use the subcontracting system to evade responsibility for their bad working conditions.
On May 30th, 2008 Judge Richard Sullivan issued a court decision rejecting Liberty Apparel's attempt to dismiss the case. In his decision, the judge found that a manufacturer did not need direct control over the factory in order to be held responsible. For more information on the decision go to: http://aintiawoman.org/Liberty/Liberty.html This case has a reverberating impact on working people throughout this country who toil within the subcontracting system. This decision, if won, would be an important victory for all working people, especially for low-income women, immigrants, and people of color who make up the majority of subcontracted workers in not only the garment industry, but also in construction, janitorial and office cleaning services, high tech, temp office work, freelancing, accounting, home healthcare, meatpacking, food services, and data processing. Now with this new decision, we want to take this opportunity to come together and fight against the abusive subcontracting system
Workers are holding a rally in the middle of New York City's Garment District where many manufacturers' showrooms are located.
Workers and supporters will speak of the problems with current Federal and State law, to expose the sweatshop subcontracting system and to call for change. A victory for Liberty Apparel workers will bring us closer towards ending the rampant lawlessness in the garment industry.
We urge you to lend your support by spreading the word about the impact of this important campaign and by promoting stronger legislation for manufacturer accountability. We invite you to help us plan the upcoming November 18th rally.
If you plan to attend the rally or are interested participating in the campaign, please call Betty Yu at 212-334-2333 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the campaign website at http://aintiawoman.org/index.html. We look forward to hearing from you.
Ling Nan Zheng
CSWA Board Member &
Liberty Apparel Workers' Representative
Organizer, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops