Nicaraguan workers protest 'bad publicity' in
U.S. labor case
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- Nicaraguan garment factory workers protested
Thursday in Managua, saying they want U.S. labor activists to stop slamming
their employer because the bad publicity could cause the plant to close.
The protest, however, came as U.S. activists in Milwaukee called off their
demonstrations outside stores that contracted with Chentex, a Taiwanese-owned
factory in Managua.
The activists, who accused the plant of operating under sweatshop conditions,
said they were informed that the factory's workers had reached a tentative
agreement with management to improve conditions. However, officials were not
available in Nicaragua to confirm that.
The activists, who filed a lawsuit against Chentex in a U.S. District Court
Angeles, launched demonstrations at Kohl's stores across the United States over
the past few months to call attention to their cause.
Kohl's, based in suburban Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has contracted with
Chentex to make jeans sold under the store's private label. Chentex also makes
clothes for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kmart Corp., Target Corp. and J.C. Penney
The New York-based National Labor Committee said Thursday it was ending
demonstrations, pending a final written settlement between Chentex and the
But Chentex's manager, Carlos Yiin, told Nicaraguan reporters Thursday
company is facing financial difficulties and could close its Nicaraguan plant.
Under the agreement, two of 11 fired union leaders at the plant are to
reinstated and the others are to receive severance; at least 80 fired workers are to
be reinstated; the company is to drop charges against union leaders; the company
is to drop an anti-union lawsuit; and management is to establish protocol
addressing human and worker rights.
Raises were negotiated with another, pro-management union now operating