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Sat, Jan 13, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Garment workers want end to US labor rights protests

AP , MANAGUA, NICARAGUA

Nicaraguan garment factory workers protested on Thursday, saying they want US labor activists to stop slamming their employer because the bad publicity could cause the plant to close.

The protest, however, came as US 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 US District Court in Los Angeles, launched demonstrations at Kohl's stores across the US over the past few months to call attention to their cause.

Kohl's, based in suburban Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has a contract with Chentex to make jeans sold under the store's private label.

The New York-based National Labor Committee said on Thursday it was ending the demonstrations, pending a final written settlement between Chentex and the union.

Under the agreement, two of 11 fired union leaders at the plant are to be reinstated and the others are to receive severance and management is to establish protocol addressing human and worker rights.

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