Pressure Builds on Guatemala to Resolve Labor Complaint; Leading US Brands Weigh In

Leading U.S. apparel brands are urging the Guatemalan government to resolve the long-pending CAFTA labor complaint filed by six Guatemalan unions and the AFL-CIO four years ago. 

In an April 30 letter to President Oscar Molina Perez, the companies stated that, “An attractive business climate for companies like ours includes not only economic and political stability, but also an environment in which the basic rights of workers are respected and labor laws are consistently enforced.”  The letter went on to specifically support the right of workers to organize unions. 

The letter was signed Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, the Fair Labor Association, Gap, Liz Claiborne, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen, Under Armour, and the VF Corporation.  It was sent by the Fair Labor Association to the President and copied to the U.S. Ambassador, Guatemalan cabinet members, and Guatemalan business leaders.  

USLEAP warmly welcomes the letter of support for core worker rights and thanks each of the signers for sending a strong message to the Guatemalan government and business sector that failure to satisfactorily resolve the labor complaint is of serious concern to leading U.S. companies. 

Violence against Guatemalan unions has escalated since the CAFTA complaint was filed; seven members of the country's largest and most important union, Sitrabi, a filer of the complaint, have been murdered in the past year.

The Maquila Solidarity Network, with support from USLEAP, worked closely with apparel brands to make this letter happen.