Monday May 30, 2005
May 29, 2005
We were up early *8:30am* to clean the house. We headed to the Chinese Progressive Association in downtown San Francisco Chinatown to help them with a campaign against Nova Knits. The story is that Nova Knits employed a lot of Chinese immigrant workers as garment workers, some for over 20 years. Suddenly, last October, they laid off 144 workers with either 1 hour notice or none at all. Some showed up to work and then found out the factory was closed and they were out of a job. This violated the WARN act, which requires 60 days notice of laying off / firing workers in the garment industry. Therefore, a lot of workers were screwed over and the Chinese Progressive Association is helping them fight Nova Knits to try and make them pay back the back-wages for these workers.
About 90 of the workers rolled-out today to a direct action in Union Square. They first walked around Union Square and then went into stores like Talbots and Ann Taylor and Macy’s who sell Nova Knits clothing and asked them to fax a letter to their CEO to put pressure on Nova Knits to pay back these workers. Some of the Cantonese-speaking folks in our training group helped with that, while others, including myself, walked to some other stores and talked to store managers to make them aware of what’s going on – most said they would pass on information to their district manager and would let their employees know about it. Although we didn’t exactly win any battles, I think the stores are feeling some pressure in the SF area from us and they now know about what’s going on so that’s good. As for Nova Knits, they still have yet to pay back the workers – next week the CPA is taking them to the CEO’s home and knocking on his door and his neighbors to let him know what a bad person he is. Hehe.
We then talked about making ACT a permanent Bay Area program (since SoCal has a Summer Activist Training). A lot of the Berkeley and Stanford folks seem really thrilled to continue working together so that’s another thing I’m going to be working and thinking about this summer.
After a nap during the drive back I ate some huge pizza slices with Roosevelt events committee folks and then went to the A3C to copy PoliSci notes with Jin. Then I did a bunch of work. Fin for a great weekend.