Petition by Elizabeth Brennan
At one garment factory inside an export processing zone in Tipitapa, Nicaragua more than 8,000 workers produce camisoles, T-shirts and lycra clothing for Walmart and other retailers. They are paid less than $1 per hour. They are mistreated, regularly yelled at, denied trips to the bathroom and more.
A courageous group of workers is fighting to improve their working conditions, demand respect and win better wages. They are trying to form a new union, but in the process they are experiencing extreme retaliation. Workers have been bribed and 16 have been illegally fired in the company’s efforts to silence them.
On March 4 workers were brutally beaten during a peaceful protest when the company, SAE-A, paid a mob of more than 300 other workers to attack these employees, using scissors, metal pipes, and other weapons.
Workers reported serious injuries including a broken nose, black eyes and stab wounds, and at least one case where the victim was stabbed in the face. According to a medical report, workers suffered severe bruising on their face, ears, necks, legs, arms, and torsos. Witnesses have also reported that other workers suffered broken ribs and a broken nose.
*Details are based on the findings of the Workers Rights Consortium. You can learn more about their investigation of the violent attack here: http://www.warehouseworkersunited.org/support-nicaraguan-garment-workers/
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Walmart: Your garment supplier in Nicaragua, SAE-A, was caught fomenting, facilitating, and, in essence, bankrolling a violent mob attack on employees as about 30 workers engaged in a peaceful protest. This is a serious violation of Nicaraguan law and Walmart's own Standards for Suppliers.
We are calling on Walmart to demand its supplier reinstate the fired workers, end all violent and illegal practices inside the factory and reimburse workers for medical bills and stolen property that resulted from the violent attack March 4.