Medford group calls on REI to drop sweatshop products
On July 19th, several Rogue Valley residents involved with Occupy Medford and other groups staged an action at the Medford REI store as part of the United Students Against Sweatshops‘ (USAS) national day of actions at REI stores calling on the chain to stop carrying North Face-branded apparel.
For over a month, USAS, a college student-run group with chapters at over 150 campuses around the country, has been carrying out these actions as part of their campaign to put pressure on VF Corporation, the parent company of North Face, JanSport, and many other brands, to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Building and Fire Safety to improve conditions in their many Bangladesh factories. VF has thus far refused to sign the Accord despite a 2010 fire in one of their factories that killed 29 workers in large part due to inadequate fire escapes and locked exit doors, and another fire this past June 20th where dozens of workers were injured again due to an inadequate number of exit doors. In Medford, the activists did a letter delegation to the manager and chanted and flyered outside the store. They were met with a sign acknowledging their free speech activity but saying that their views are not endorsed by REI and VF propaganda being handed out to costumers who spoke to the store manager about the issue.
For more information visit http://northfacedeathtraps.com and please contact your local REI store manager to call on them to stop carrying North Face until VF Corporation signs the Accord!