Hundreds of Guatemalan garment workers making blouses for former MTV personality Daisy Fuentes’ clothing line have been forced to work unpaid overtime, denied access to medical care when injured, are verbally abused and work under other inhumane conditions.
"The supervisors tell us we are, useless, animals and that we have garbage for brains," workers from the Korean-owned Fribo Factory wrote in a letter to Fuentes.
Kohl’s Corp. decided to pull the clothing line from its department stores after the National Labor Committee (NLC) released a report exposing the workers’ complaints. More than 70 percent of the workers are women.
Spokeswomen Vicki Shamion said Kohl’s buys Fuentes merchandise from P.A. Group LLC and does not oversee production. P.A. Group LLC claims Fuentes is not responsible for the conditions which her clothes were made under.
Charles Kernaghan, the NLC’s director, said the worst thing that could happen is to close the factory. Instead, he believes that everyone involved should work to ensure that the conditions are improved and workers’ demands are met.
"No one wants the factory to close. No one wants the labels to pull out," said Kernaghan. "The workers depend on these jobs and so do their kids."
Fribo workers’ demands are very modest. They include ending verbal and emotional abuse by management, being paid for overtime, having access to drinking water and "bathrooms should be cleaned and supplied with toilet paper and soap."
Write a letter to Fuentes urging her to use her celebrity status to end the abusive sweatshop conditions for these Guatemalan women!