MSN worked closely with the independent September 19 union of the Authentic Labour Front (FAT) and the Human and Labour Rights Commission of the Tehuacan Valley (CDHLVT) to help the workers win the right to be represented by an independent union.
When the Hermosa garment factory in El Salvador closed in May 2005, it left the workers with no jobs, severance pay, back pay, or health benefits. Labour rights groups in Europe, the US, and MSN in Canada pressured major brands to take responsibility for their supplier's irresponsible actions.
Gildan Activewear is a Montreal-based manufacturer of t-shirts, socks and underwear. Starting in 2003, MSN led a campaign concerning a pattern of violations of freedom of association at Gildan Activewear's El Progreso factory in Honduras. Grassroots campaigns targeting Gildan Activewear in Canada and the United States succeeded in pressuring Gildan to agree to a corrective action plan and MSN suspended the Gildan campaign in January, 2005.
Gina Form Bra factory workers in Bangkok, Thailand, fought to keep their unionized factory open after receiving word in early September 2006 that the owner was going to close the factory and shift orders to China or Cambodia. International brands including Warnaco, La Senza, Victoria's Secret and others bought apparel from the company. With the help of international organizations including the Maquila Solidarity Network, the workers were able to win a substantial severance package well above the norm in Thailand.
The local activists and organizations that advocate for women's and workers' rights are often themselves targetted by governments and others in order to silence their voices. MSN works with local, national and international organizations to defend their right to speak out.
Highlights of MSN's campaign work from our 2010 Annual Report
Since 2007, MSN has been actively involved in an international campaign to push Milwaukee-based auto parts manufacturing company Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) to respect the rights of workers in their Puebla, Mexico plants.
The Maquila Solidarity Network has joined a multi-stakeholder coalition made up of apparel brands, financial institutions, faith-based investors, public pension funds, shareholder advocates, investor rating agencies, and labour and human rights NGOs who are campaigning to end the use of forced child labour to harvest cotton in Uzbekistan.
Sportswear supplier Russell Athletic has reached a historic agreement with the union representing 1,200 unjustly laid off workers at its shut down Jerzees de Honduras (JDH) factory. Under the agreement the company will open a new facility in the Choloma area, re-hire and provide substantial compensation to the former JDH workers, and sign neutrality agreements to open the door for union organizing at all of Fruit of the Loom’s Honduran facilities (Russell Athletic is owned by Fruit of the Loom).
On December 29, 2005, Martin Barrios Hernández, President of the Mexican Human and Labour Rights Commission of the Tehuacan Valley, was arrested by the intelligence division of the Puebla state police and transported from his home city of Tehuacan to the state capital of Puebla where he was held in state prison. The Maquila Solidarity Network immediately launched an international campaign to win his release from jail and protect him from further harassment and intimidation.