7 apparel companies join chambers of commerce in expressing concern to Philippines President about political killings and violent attacks against striking workers

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14 November 2006

Foreign businesses to Arroyo: Stop killings - US-based firms join unprecedented call [Philippines]

Author: Ronnel Domingo, Inquirer / INQ7.net [Philippines]

SAYING VIOLENCE has no place in a democracy, foreign chambers of commerce and multinational companies yesterday made an unprecedented call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration to put an end to political killings or risk losing aid and investments. The statement was issued by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFC) in the Philippines, comprising business groups from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Japan and Korea, and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters. A similar plea was made in a letter sent to Ms Arroyo on Thursday that was signed by local officials of the US-based apparel companies Gap, Polo Ralph Lauren, Wal-Mart, Liz Claiborne, American Eagle Outfitters, Jones Apparel Group and Phillips Van Heusen. [also refers to Chong Won]

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7 November 2006

[PDF] [Text of letter from 7 companies to Philippines President, expressing concern about violent attacks against striking workers, and killings of labour rights promoters]

Author: American Eagle Outfitters, Gap, Jones Apparel, Liz Claiborne, Phillips-Van Heusen, Polo Ralph Lauren, Wal-Mart

...As companies buying apparel products from the Philippines,we write to bring your attention to a matter of urgent concern. As you know, there have been recent reports of alleged violent attacks on striking workers and the assaults and killings of labor rights promoters. Our industry is alarmed by such reports and urges your immediate attention to the situation. We are particularly disturbed about allegations that Municipal and Export Processing Zone police may have been involved in some of these alleged attacks and assaults... [signed by American Eagle Outfitters, Gap, Jones Apparel, Liz Claiborne, Phillips-Van Heusen, Polo Ralph Lauren, Wal-Mart]

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1 November 2006

Wal-Mart factory workers assaulted, fired for going on strike

Author: Maquila Solidarity Network

Workers producing clothes for Wal-Mart at the Korean-owned Chong Won Fashion garment factory in the Philippines...[are facing] their employers’ attempt to destroy their union through violence, mass firings and intimidation. On September 27, a combined force of municipal and free trade zone police and private security guards attacked the strikers...22 union members were injured...According to WAC [Workers’ Assistance Centre], at least 10 workers were injured in the first police assault...[and] at least 66 workers have already been served termination notices...Wal-Mart...carr[ied] out a factory audit...[and] met with a few union leaders inside the factory. We are still awaiting the results of their audit...

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