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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Call for Solidarity with unjustly fired Honduran workers

April 14, 2009

Contact your local sportswear retailer about Russell Athletic's labour practices  

The Ethical Trading Action Group is asking for your assistance to convince sportswear supplier Russell Athletic to get serious about remediating well-documented violations of workers’ rights at its recently closed Jerzees de Honduras (JDH) factory in Choloma, Honduras.

On behalf of your union local or local organization, please write to retailers in your city asking them to review the labour rights abuses reported at the JDH factory when considering whether to continue stocking Russell Athletic products on their store shelves.

You can download a draft letter here and find your local Russell Athletic retailer using Russell's store locator.


When workers at the JDH factory in Honduras organized a union to press for their rights at work last year, factory management repeatedly told workers that the factory would be closed because of the existence and activities of the union. Factory managers encouraged employees to collect names on an anti-union petition during working hours, and discriminated against union supporters in job assignments. Finally, last fall, just days after collective bargaining negotiations reached an impasse, Russell announced it was closing the plant altogether.

While Russell Corporation insists that their only motivation for the closure was economic, two independent investigations have concluded that anti-union bias was in fact a significant factor in the decision to close the JDH factory.

The Fair Labor Association in the United States (of which Russell is a paying member) recently issued a resolution calling on Russell to take corrective action, including:
•    offering first hire opportunities to all JDH workers at all Fruit of the Loom (Russell’s parent company) factories in the area, regardless of their union activities; and
•    provide appropriate compensation beyond legal entitlements to all JDH workers, with the amount of compensation to be determined in conversations with the CGT, worker representatives and others.
•    meet directly with other key stakeholders, such as member universities, the CGT union, and the Worker Rights Consortium “in good faith to determine what additional corrective action is needed to address these concerns.”

Until Russell is willing to take real corrective action, universities across the United States and Canada have been ending lucrative licensing agreements with the company. We believe retailers should also take steps to push Russell to clean up its act.

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