Jerzees de Honduras
Nov. 2009 update: VICTORY!! A settlement has been reached between the workers of Jerzees de Honduras and Russell. The factory will reporn and rehire all 1,200 workers. More info is below in the additional resources section.
Who owns it
Russell Corporation, which is a subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom, Inc. Fruit of the Loom is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
What they produce
university logo apparel
Who they produce for
Indhelva free trade zone in Honduras
Number of workers
Summary of Problems at the Factory
- Workers reported several instances of intimidation by factory personnel in efforts to squash the union.
- 101 discrete incidents during 2007 and 2008 in which managers and supervisors either threatened workers that the factory was going to be closed because of the workers’ efforts to organize a union at the factory
- Many workers starting in mid 2007 were fired for being part of the union.
- On January 31, 2009, the factory was closed. This was in response to 750 workers forming a union at the factory.
Workers have tried to form a union named SITRAJERZEESH which is affiliated with the Central General de Trabajadores de Honduras (CGT).
Communication with Buyers:
Many organizations in the U.S. have sent letters expressing grave concern to Fruit of the Loom and Berkshire Hathaway. The Worker Rights Consortium and Fair Labor Association have also done extensive investigations and communicated since 2007 with Russell and Fruit of the Loom personnel. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. also have contracts with Russell to provide clothing to their schools. Over 25 schools have decided to cut contracts with Russell because of their refusal to cease all code of conduct violations.
Reports/More Information About Factory:
- Russell and Union Joint Statement on Settlement
- NY Times article on settlement
- Workers Rights Consortium Settlement Statement
- Workers Rights Consortium-Russell Action Plan post settlement
- USAS Rein In Russell Campaign
- Press Coverage of factory closing and university contracts
- Worker Rights Consortium Reports, Letters, and Memos
- Testimony from factory workers
- International Rivers Shows Support for "Yes" Vote on Berkshire Hathaway Sustainability Report Resolution
ILRF Publications highlighting Russell:
- Freedom at Work Toolkit "Russell Corporation Closes Down Factory in Honduras to Avoid Unionization"
- ILRF Memo urging Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to release a Sustainability Report
- Video of Norma Mejia (factory worker) confronting Warren Buffett at May 2, 2009 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting
- April 2009 ILRF Blog Post
- ILRF joined several other organizations in filing a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning freedom of association violations
- Russell listed in ILRF report on 2008 5 Workers Companies for the Right to Associate