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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:

In Memory: Stephen Coats

April 5, 2013

On April 2, MSN received the devastating news that our long-time friend Stephen Coats had died in his sleep the previous night. For more than 25 years, Stephen worked tirelessly to defend the rights of Latin American workers as the director of the Chicago-based US Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP), formerly the US/Guatemala Labor Education Project (US/GLEP).

MSN joins the chorus of voices in the international labour rights movement in offering our condolences to Stephen’s wife, Kim Bobo, and their two sons.

Stephen was one of our heroes. With his wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as sound judgment and a deep personal commitment to workers, he was someone we often turned to for advice before contacting brands or launching a campaign about a case of worker rights abuses or a government or corporate policy issue. Most recently, we were coordinating on a brand letter to the Government of Peru calling for the repeal of legislation that allows clothing manufacturers to hire workers on repeated short-term employment contracts, thereby denying them their lawful rights and benefits.

Stephen was a good friend and a kind and generous man, generous with his time, his thoughts and his advice. His death is a huge loss for the labour rights movement. We will miss him dearly.

The family asks that if you want to do something in Stephen's memory (in lieu of flowers), please consider making a contribution to one of the following ministries/organizations that were so important to him:

P.O. Box 268-290
Chicago, IL   60626
The mission of USLEAP was Stephen's life's work.

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
4750 N. Sheridan Road, #429
Chicago, IL   60640
Stephen had tremendous respect for this organization's work in support of workers rights in Central America.

North Shore Baptist Church (put “for the Karen Missions” in the memo line)
5244 N. Lakewood Avenue
Chicago, IL   60640
Stephen was an active member of the church and involved in supporting the ministry with Karen refugees.  Stephen grew up in Thailand on the Burmese border where his parents ministered with Karen people.

If you wish to send a card, you can send it to:

The Bobo/Coats Family
1723 W Chase Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

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